Cherry Smoked Festive Turkey

I’ve treated myself to an early Christmas present. I’ve justified myself to Santa that I needed a new smoker at least a month early so that I could practice hot smoking before the big day to get it all right, there’s no excuse for getting it wrong on Christmas day….

I decided on a well regarded water smoker a ProQ Frontier from the lovely people at Hot Smoked .

Well i’m very pleased with the outcome, the smoking was easy, keeping a constant 108deg C for a few hours, and I used a couple of handfuls of cherry wood chips  that I’d soaked for half an hour in water.

The rolled turkey breast joint was from a good local butcher, and took almost 5 hours to reach 65 degC.

The result was flavourful, moist and smokey

Hot Smoked FestiveTurkey

Brine Ingredients

2 litres hot water

150g table salt

200g caster sugar

4 tbsp honey

4 tbsp maple syrup

1 Onion sliced

4 cloves garlic sliced

6 Bay leaves

2 tbsp whole black peppercorns

4 cloves

1 orange quartered

4-5kg turkey or turkey crown or if you prefer a rolled turkey breast joint.

Smoking Rub

100g Butter

A couple of good glugs Olive Oil

Half a handful of sea salt

A load of fresh ground black pepper

A couple of cloves crushed garlic

Freshly chopped herbs, e.g. Rosemary and Thyme

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp each of onion powder and celery powder

To make the brine add all the ingredients to the hot water in a plastic bucket that will be large enough to hold your turkey. Squeeze the juice from the orange in and throw in the quarters.

Add 4 litres of cold water and allow to cool. Pop your turkey into the brine, making sure the turkey is covered in brine. If you plan on smoking using your BBQ then make sure the turkey will fit, you can even use a turkey crown if you have a small kettle BBQ. The turkey in brine needs to be kept cool for between 12- 24 hours, outside is fine in winter. Always wash your hands after handling the turkey.

Take the turkey out of the brine 6 hours before to let it come up to room temperature. Make up a rub with melted butter, olive oil, salt and pepper, lots of nice fresh herbs, rosemary and thyme, and some crushed garlic. Dry the turkey inside and out and use half the rub working it right into the skin with your fingers.

Set up your smoker or BBQ, (as long as your BBQ has a lid you can cook this), though a small kettle would only take a turkey crown or breast. The temperature should be kept to between 105 deg C and 120 deg C, make sure the charcoal is not directly underneath the turkey, but place a foil tray to catch any fat dripping down. You can use a variety of wood chunks to smoke, I like beech and apple. Make sure the wood chunks have been soaking, and put them on the coals.

Regulate the heat as required, adding extra charcoal and wood chips every hour, cook until the internal temperature reaches 65deg C, remove and rest for 20 minutes minimum.

This will give you a lovely juicy turkey, with a mouth-watering smoky taste, a far cry from the usual dry cardboard turkey we’re all so used to.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Oh that looks and sounds amazing! I love smoked meat. I’m sure you’ll get it perfect on Christmas Day it sounds like you have the skills!

    Reply

  2. Wow Marcus! That looks wonderful!

    Reply

  3. Wonderful that you can get meat (turkey) from a local butcher, you know what you are eating that way.. I have to confess that i bought myself an early santa pressie too and very heavy dutch oven that has been on my woodstove simmering something every day since, so i feel justified too!! Nothing like slow cooking.. Your turkey looks great.. c

    Reply

    • Thanks Cecilia, that how I buy all my meat since I stopped being a vegetarian. Ooo I’d love a dutch oven and a tripod for it so I can cook on a campfire.
      Look forward to seeing some of your delicious meals on it.
      Cheers
      Marcus

      Reply

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