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Smoked Beer Can Turkey

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Double the size of the can for this big bird and you can smoke a turkey on a beer can. This is a great way to keep the turkey moist by putting steam inside the turkey while it cooks. If you've tried beer can chicken then you know this is going to be one great turkey.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole turkey, about 15 pounds/7 kg
  • 12 ounces beer plus 2 tablespoons/30 mL
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons/10 mL thyme
  • 1/4 cup/60 mL brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons/10 mL hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL paprika
  • 1 tablespoon/15 mL black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon/15 mL salt
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL cayenne pepper
  • 1 24 ounce beer can

Preparation:

Empty the beer can into another container. Cut the top of the can off and pour in 12 ounces of beer. Add bay leaves and thyme. Set aside. Combine 2 tablespoons brown sugar with the paprika, salt and pepper. This is the rub for the turkey. In another container combine 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, 2 tablespoons of beer and hot sauce. This is your baste for the turkey while it cooks. Prepare smoker for a 6 hour smoke. Rub surface of the turkey with the spice rub. Try to get as much as you can under the skin, particularly over the breast meat. Stand beer can up on the smoker grate and gently set the turkey over the can so that the can is completely inside the cavity of the turkey. Make sure that the turkey stands easily and doesn't sway. The turkey needs to be stable. Once you have the turkey in the smoker let it cook for about 6 hours at a temperature around 250 degrees F. Check for an internal temperature in the thigh of about 165 degrees F. (74 degrees C.) This is when the bird is done. Baste the turkey with the baste mixture every 2 hours.
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