Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 12 to 15
- 1 12 to 15 pound turkey
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 quarts apple juice (or cider)
- 1 or 2 quarts water (depends how many breasts I'm smoking, Use enough to allow the breast/s to be fully submerged in the
I smoke on a Weber Kettle grill. So I start the grill, use a good amount of charcoal. (can't tell you exactly how much cause I don't count my coals) once the coals are ready spread them to the outside of grill. Throw on a pie pan with water in it and set in middle of the charcoal rack between the coals
Pull the bird out of the brine. Rinse off with water. Pat dry with paper towel and place on the top cooking rack. Toss on a handful of apple wood chunks on the coals (they seem to give a better tasting smoke flavor if I don't soak them first IMO). Then put the top on the grill. I add charcoal as needed. Sometimes I may have to take the top food rack off with the turkey on to adjust the coals and knock the ash off to keep the temp up. I will adjust the bottom air intake vents from time to time to raise or lower the temps. But I always leave the exhaust vent all the way open to avoid to much smoke building up in the grill. I'll add more wood as needed to try and keep a nice light flow of smoke coming out. I'll turn the bird 180 degrees about an hour and a half into the cook to assure even cooking.
An 8 pound breast usually gets done between 2.5 to 3 hours with temps between 230F & 280F. On average it takes me just about 21 minutes a pound. This has been pretty well with every turkey breast I've ever smoked. A whole turkey could vary a bit. Pull off of grill when done, which is around 175F. Wait at least 10 minutes before carving.
After it's carved, if we don't plan on eating right away we'll throw it in a crock pot on low with a small amount of water in the bottom. It helps keep it warm, Moist, and actually enhances the sweet smoky flavor of the bird.
Well that's my recipe for smoked turkey. It's the one I use every time pretty much exactly, because the results are so good. I've tried different brines and a little different techniques but this one is the best for me.