Thursday, February 11, 2016

How Do You Smoke a Turkey

Traeger smoke stack
Fig.1 Stack
By Gary Boutin
 

Supplies and Tools: 
Thermometer
Traeger Lil Tex Elite Wood Pellet Grill Electric smoker  
Turkey 12-pound  

Over Thanksgiving my nephew Josh G. showed us his aunts, uncles and friends that a standard 12-pound turkey didn't have to bake in the oven, it could be smoked. This is a successful thanksgiving post and I never would have imagine that a smoked turkey could add so much flavor. This meal would work on any type of bird and smoking it would add a new delicious dimension to any meal.  

This post shows the three steps to cook a smoke turkey.  

Step 1:  Preheat smoker to 166 degrees Fahrenheit (74.4444 degree Celsius). Fig.1 above right and fig.2 below shows the smoker used during this Thanksgiving. The Traeger Lil Tex Elite Wood Pellet Grill Electric Smoker was used for this holiday meal. Listed below are some of its advantages of the Traeger Electric smoker.

Fuel Type: Wood. Product Type: Smoker. Ignition Type: Electrical
Assembled Depth: 20 in. Number of Shelves: 1. Wheeled: Yes. Grill Material: Steel. Color Family: Black. Cooking Space: 567 sq. in. Assembled Width: 40 in. Heat Output: 20000 BTU. Catch Pan Included: Yes. Assembled Height: 49 in. Sub Brand: Lil Tex Elite. Number of Burners: 1. Heat Thermometer:
This is an electric smoker
Fig.2 Electric smoker
Step 2: Fig.3 shows that the turkey is not ready, but is starting to look good. The smoker was set first at setting one approximately 166 degrees Fahrenheit (74.44444 degree Celsius) for 1 1/2 hour. Then changed to level 5 for 6 hours at 300 degree Fahrenheit (148.88889 Degree Celsius).
Smoker cooking turkey
Fig.3 Not Ready 
but almost there
Turkey preparations:  
  1. Turkey should be always kept in the refrigerator below 40° Fahrenheit ( 4.444444 Degrees Celsius) before preparation.
  2. Prepare an 12 lb. thawed fresh turkey by removing the giblets and neck draining the juices, and clean and rinse the bird thoroughly, drying with paper towels. The turkey should be completely thawed. Remove the pop-up timer!
  3. Use hot water to help avoid wasting fuel. Place the chips pre-soaked in water for 30 minutes.
  4. Brush the skin with a combination of the seasoning and spices. Some examples are below for your considerations. Always use mitts and tongs!
  5. Set the smoker to 300° Fahrenheit (148.88889 Degree Celsius). Place the turkey on a cooking rack and cook for 6 hours. 20-30 minutes a pound to completion.
  6. Check the temperature of the turkey after 3½ hours. The turkey must pass through a critical range of 140° F (60.0000 Degree Celsius) 4 hours.
  7. Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and let stand for 20 minutes before carving. The turkey is done when the thigh meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.88889 Degree Celsius) and breast for a temperature of 170° Fahrenheit (76.66667 Degree Celsius). 
Step 3: A standard seasoning and spices were used to smoke this turkey and prevent the meat from drying out. Fig.4 shows the turkey is finished and ready to serve.
Turkey has cooked in smoker and is ready to eat
Fig.4 Finished
Optional Seasonings ingredients Packet:
    1 (12 pound) whole turkey
    4 cloves garlic
    2 tablespoons seasoned salt
    1/2 cup butter
    1 apple
    1 onion
    1 tablespoon garlic powder
    1 tablespoon salt
    1 tablespoon ground black pepper


   Optional Spices ingredients:
    Salt
    Paprika
    Pepper, black
    Chili powder
    Garlic,
    Onion powder
    Cayenne pepper
    Basil
    Poultry seasoning



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