Brined Smoked Turkey

Brined Smoked Turkey

2 quarts cranberry juice( 2 litre)
2 quarts orange juice(2 litre)
2 small garlic heads, cloves crushed but not peeled
1 cup kosher salt(250ml)
4 star anise
¼ cup coriander seeds(60ml)
¼ cup whole fennel seeds(60ml)
4 ounces fresh ginger, thinly sliced(120gr)
6 bay leaves
1 tablespoon pepper corns (15ml)
2 cinnamon sticks ( 4 inches each/ 25.8cm)
1 quart water(1 litre)
1 fresh turkey, 12 to 14 pounds (5.5 – 6.3 kg)   

Rub for turkey:
1 tablespoon lemon zest(15ml)
1 tablespoon cracked pepper(15ml)
2 teaspoons chilis(10ml)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme(10ml)
½ cup brown sugar(125ml)
2 teaspoons cinnamon(10ml)
1 tablespoon kosher salt(15ml)

Stuffing for turkey:
1 whole lemon, cut in half
1 medium sized onion chopped
1 whole orange, cut in half
1 whole apple, cut in half
1 whole head of garlic, cut in half
6 sprigs of fresh thyme

Drip pan
1 bottle of white wine

Basting Butter:
½ cup of unsalted butter(125ml)
¼ cup lemon juice(60ml)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard(15ml)
¼ cup maple syrup(60ml)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped(15ml)
salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium heat melt the butter. Add lemon juice, Dijon, maple syrup, thyme and salt and pepper. Stir to combine evenly.

12 cups (3 litres) hickory wood chips

To make the brine:

In a large saucepan or stockpot, combine the brine ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat until salt dissolves. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool completely.

Remove the neck and giblets and any excess fat from the turkey and discard. Rinse the bird inside and out, under cold water, drain, and place in the 5-gallon bucket or other container large enough turkey to keep it completely submerged. Cover the container with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 24 hours.

Prepare three smoke pouches. Place 9 cups(2.2 litres) of hickory wood chips into a bowl of cold water to soak for 1 hour. Reserve the 3 cups(750ml) of dry hickory wood chips.

Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brine.

To make the rub:

In a bowl evenly combine lemon zest, cracked pepper, chilis, fresh thyme, brown sugar and cinnamon. Rub the mixture vigorously all over the turkey.

To the cavity of the turkey add lemons, chopped onion, an orange, an apple, some garlic and thyme.

Next, truss the turkey and pin the neck skin flap to the body using small trussing needles. Place the turkey on a baking sheet.

To build a smoke pouch, drain 3 cups (750ml) of the wet wood chips and squeeze excess water out. Spread wet wood chips on a large piece of aluminum foil. Place 1 cup (250ml) of dry wood chips on top. Mix them together. Close the foil around the chips to make a sealed foil package. Use a fork to puncture holes in the top and bottom of the foil pack to allow the smoke to flow through and infuse the meat. Repeat to make the other two smoke pouches.

Prepare the barbecue for indirect grilling. Preheat the barbecue to high heat. Place the smoke pouch directly over the heat source and a drip pan under the grill on the side that is off. Pour in some white wine into the drip pan. Close the lid and wait for smoke. Once BBQ is smoking reduce the heat to 220ºF/110ºC and place the turkey on the side of the BBQ without direct heat. Smoke the turkey over indirect heat for approximately 3- 4 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 170F in the breast and 180F in the thickest part of the thigh. After about 45 minutes, start basting with the basting butter prepared earlier. Replace the smoke pouch and add more wine to the drip pan each hour through the cooking time.
When fully cooked, transfer the turkey to a cutting board or platter, loosely cover the whole bird with foil, and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Serves 8


Popular Posts