7 Smoking Tips for a Thanksgiving Feast to Remember
For many, the Thanksgiving turkey is the star of the show. A beautifully roasted bird, golden brown and glistening with juices, can make even the most skeptical diners take a second look at this holiday staple. But what if you want to add something special to your turkey this year? Something that will really make it stand out from the rest? Try smoking it!
Smoked turkeys have been gaining popularity in recent years as more and more people discover the incredible flavor that smoking imparts to meat. And no holiday's more suited to smoked turkey than Thanksgiving. So if you're looking to add something extra to your feast this year, read on for seven smoking tips for a Thanksgiving feast to remember!
7 Tips for the Perfect Smoked Turkey
Cooking a turkey is no small feat. It's a dish that requires time, precision, and patience. But if you're looking to add an extra touch of flavor to your holiday feast this year, smoking your turkey is the way to go. Here are a few tips to help you smoke your turkey like a pro.
1 | Choose the right turkey.
When smoking a turkey, you'll want to use a bird around 12-14 pounds. Any larger and it will take too long to smoke; any smaller might not have enough flavor. If you can, buy a heritage or free-range turkey with more flavor than mass-produced birds.
2 | Choose the right type of wood.
When it comes to smoking meats, different woods will impart different flavors. For turkey, hickory and apple wood are two of the best options. Hickory has a strong, robust flavor that will stand up well to the bold taste of turkey. On the other hand, Applewood imparts a subtle sweetness that can elevate the bird's flavor.
3 | Brine your turkey overnight.
Brining is the process of marinating your meat in a saltwater solution. To make a brine for your turkey, combine one cup of kosher salt with one gallon of water and ice in a large container. Submerge your turkey in the mixture and let it sit overnight in the fridge. This helps to keep the turkey moist and flavorful during the smoking process.
4 | Set up your smoker correctly.
If you're using an electric smoker, preheat it to 225 degrees Fahrenheit before adding your turkey. If you're using a charcoal smoker, light your coals and let them burn until they're covered in gray ash before adding them to the smoker. Once your smoker is set up, place your turkey on the rack and let it cook for about 30 minutes per pound.
For next-level performance, smoke your turkey on your new hybrid grill from American Made Grills. Our hybrid grills give you the flexibility of cooking with any fuel, from gas to charcoal to hardwood or a combination. And with the industry-best features, construction, and expansive grilling surface, our hybrid grills can handle small and large birds. Choose from the sleek and smooth Encore Grill or the stylish Muscle Grill, and experience a new level of versatility this Thanksgiving.
5 | Baste your turkey.
Basting is key to keeping your smoked turkey moist and flavorful. Every 30-60 minutes, open up the smoker and brush the turkey with juices from the bottom of the pan. This will help keep the skin from drying out and add even more flavor to the bird. You can also try a mixture of apple cider, butter, and spices to help to keep the bird moist and add an extra layer of flavor.
6 | Check for doneness
The best way to check if your smoked turkey is cooked adequately is to use a meat thermometer. Stick it into the thickest part of the thigh (being careful not to touch bone) and cook until it registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
7 | Let it rest.
When your turkey is done smoking, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. This allows time for the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making for a juicier final product. And there you have it! These simple tips will help you smoke a Thanksgiving turkey that impresses your guests.
Create a New Family Tradition
Thanksgiving is all about tradition—but that doesn't mean you can't mix things up once in a while! So get out there and give it a try! If you're looking for a way to add something special to your feast this year, try smoking your turkey instead of roasting it. With these tips, you'll be able to smoke a delicious bird that's sure to be the talk of the table.