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bbq turkey

If ya’ll really want to impress the kin folk on Thanksgiving try smoking your own turkey. Not only does it taste better than the store bought smoked turkeys but, it is much more cost effective to smoke it yourself. You will never buy another store bought turkey after you taste the one you smoked. Turkey's are one of the easiest items to smoke because the skin acts as a filter just letting in enough smoke for flavor while keeping the moisture inside the skin to prevent drying out.

Items you will need
  • Medium or Large Turkey with pop thermometer
  • Large Aluminum Roaster Pan
  • Injection kit that contains seasoning and needle
  • Butter
  • Wood of your Choice
  • Salt and Pepper

Shopping and Choosing the perfect Turkey

   Choosing the perfect Turkey will depend on how many people you are serving. I prefer the fresh Turkeys opposed to the frozen. If you use a frozen turkey though keep in mind you have to have time for it to thaw out in the refrigerator. Allow about a day in the frig for every 4 pounds. You cannot go wrong with one of the top name brand like Butterball.

Prepare your Turkey

   Wash and Dis-infect your hands well before handling any food items, you may want to consider wearing disposable food service gloves Remove the plastic from the turkey, rinse it well to remove the blood and any other contaminants. Don’t forget to remove the turkey’s insides, these are usually in a bag on the inside of the turkey. O look you found a nice treat, a turkey neck yum! Wash the inside of the turkey as well as the outside. At this point a large disposable foil pan is handy to put the turkey in.

   Now we are ready to prepare a sauce to inject in turkey. You can buy many different flavors of injectable seasonings, garlic, Cajun, butter just to name a few. You can make your own, I used about 1 cup of butter melted and added Cajun seasoning to it and mix it up. You will need to purchase one of the injectors for this step. Inject in to the meaty parts of the bird. Inject a couple of different places in each breast, and a couple to each inner thigh. Sprinkle the outside of your bird with a little salt and pepper. Cover with foil and let it marinate over night. In the morning when you’re ready to cook rub the outside of turkey with butter and place any of your sauce you had left after injecting the turkey on the outside of the bird.

Build that Fire
   Arrange your logs in a way that air can get around each log, may start with some smaller logs then move to bigger ones as the fire heats up. The initial fire should be fairly large as most will hopefully burn down to coals before you begin cooking. If you have a propane torch, this is the perfect method to start your wood burning. If a torch is not available, you can use a small pile of charcoal soaked in lighter fluid under your logs. You can read more about different wood types over at Cooking Woods. Open up all your air vents wide open so that the fire is getting maximum air. Light her up. Let your fire burn until you have a good deal of coals and it is self sustaining, this usually takes 20 to 30 minutes depending on greeness of the wood. The cooking area should reach temps of close to 400 during the warm up.

Once the fire has reached this point I shut the air vents down to extinguish the flames for a few minutes, then barley open them so it puts the fire in a smoldering state barely getting enough air to smoke. Careful not too leave it closed too long as your fire will go completely out. Of course this varies on the type of pit you are using, I am using one of the household Smokers as an example.
Insert Your Meat
   When you insert you turkey in the smoker set it with the breast side up. You will need to keep your turkey at 250 – 300 degrees. It usually takes about 20 – 30 minutes per pound, but it is still important to check the inner temperature of the turkey with a meat thermometer. Half way through the cook, turn it so the other end is near the fire. The bird is done when the thermometer pops, this means the inner thigh has reached 180 degrees.

Pull Your Meat Out and Prep

   When the turkey is done remove from smoker and let cool enough that you can handle it to carve. It will not be golden brown like you see in the pictures, it will be black. But when you cut into that meat, you will find the most tasty moist turkey meat in existence. Much better than a fried turkey any day of the week. Here are some steps to help you through carving your turkey. Carve thin slices off the sides of the breast, cutting parallel to the breast. I normally pull the legs off and then salvage whatever meat you can off the carcus. Ok I am not a professional when it come to carving.

Thank you for reading, if interested in further specializing your skill for competetion cooking please see this detailed guide

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