As much as I dislike a certain grocery store chain, there is a store in the same shopping center as the Taekwondo studio the offspring attends. It is hard to justify an additional stop during an already busy day/evening when you have an hour available to walk over to the store. Last Friday, I went to grab some fresh cilantro (since it won't make it 6 days between "grocery day" and when it was needed) and cheese (greater consumption than planned) for dinner. Commuting from produce to dairy led me past the frozen turkey case. What do I spy? A HUGE sale. ($0.59/pound for whole birds vs $1.89!!!) So, I schlepped a 12.5 lb bird back to Taekwondo.
Time to smoke some turkeys!
I called a dear friend and she grabbed one also. (Which found its way to our house.) After thawing in the spare refrigerator for a week, I started the brining/smoking process.
Make sure to remove the neck and giblets from the abdominal cavity.
1 gallon water/4 lbs of bird weight
1 lb salt/gallon of water
1/2 c sugar/gallon of water
(For my 12 lb bird, I used 3 gallons of water, 3 lbs of salt, and 1 1/2 c of sugar.)
Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water. The salt and sugar will dissolve more easily if you mix up each gallon separately. Pour the brine into the brining bag set-up.
A good bit of fat comes out of the turkey during the smoking/grilling process, so we line the turkey side of the grill with aluminum foil to ease clean-up.
My husband prefers to cover the grate of the "fire side" of the grill with several layers of foil to help direct the heat, and more importantly, the smoke towards the birds on the "cooking side".
(In this picture, all of the fire is on the left side of the grill.)
I like to smoke turkeys for about one hour. After this time, we only add additional charcoal to the grill.
(After the smoking process is over, I like to throw any cast iron in need of a new seasoning coat on the "fire side" of the grill. Might as well make good use of the long fire.)
We ate some for dinner. The rest was froze for both families to use later.
The carcasses are sitting in the spare fridge waiting to be converted to smoked turkey broth. (I refuse to waste anything.)