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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

To me, Thanksgiving always marks the beginning of my favorite time of year for cooking. This is when I kick the womenfolk out of the kitchen and go all out.

It starts the night before with the baking of the pies. This year, traditional pumpkin pie and a “Two-Tone Holiday Pie” from a recipe my mom sent me a few years ago. It’s a combination pumpkin and mincemeat pie. Yeah, I know. It sounds vile. But it is surprisingly good!

This year I also brined the turkey overnight as well. I don’t normally do this. I usually use injectable marinades and rubs for smoking the bird or traditional glazes and basting for roasting.

If you would like to try it, here’s what I did:

For a 10 lb. turkey –

2 gals water (bottled), 2 cups kosher salt, 3 cups sugar, 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, 1 sachet Zatarain’s Crab Boil, 1 tsp black pepper, some worcestershire, some hot sauce, some honey. Submerge the bird and soak for at least 12 hours.

Prepare the smoker. Once the temperature settles into the 225-250 degree range, cut an onion and an apple into quarters and stuff into the bird’s cavity. Use your favorite rub on the outside of the bird along with some peanut oil or olive oil and place in the smoker. You need to let it cook for 30 minutes┬áper pound. I also use a digital probe thermometer inserted into the thigh and remove the bird from the smoker when it reaches 175. Yeah, I know, the photo shows the probe inserted into the breast. I actually take two readings. Thigh should read 175, breast should read 170. The turkey will usually continue to cook a little after you remove it bringing it to the ideal 180 degrees at the thigh and 175 at the breast.

Smoked Turkey

Smoked Turkey


Happy Thanksgiving to all and re

  1. Greg Chizewsky says:

    Is the turkey pre-thawed or do you thaw it in the bucket/wherever you are soaking it? I usually thaw it in the bucket with the brine, your choice of brine ingredients, that way it will absorb the flavor while thawing.

  2. Normally I brine the thawed bird but thanks for the tip, Greg! I’ll have to try thawing in the brine next time.

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