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4 Tips for Smoking a Turkey for Thanksgiving

4 Tips for Smoking a Turkey for Thanksgiving

smoking a turkey on a platter for Thanksgiving

Are you ready to fire up the smoker for Thanksgiving? Some people are all about those side dishes, but the main star of the day is the turkey. There are so many things you can do with your turkey to impress your friends and family. Smoking it is an incredibly flavorful option. And, if you’re in need of a smoker, stop in and see us at Tredway Pools. Our knowledgeable staff will help you find the perfect smoker for preparing your Thanksgiving feast. Here are four tips for smoking a turkey for Thanksgiving. 

Plenty of Thawing Time

If you are using a frozen turkey, make sure you give it plenty of time to thaw. The best way to thaw your turkey is in the refrigerator. It may take more than a day, depending on the size of the turkey. The bigger the bird the longer it will take to thaw. 

If you are in a pinch, you can thaw your turkey in cold water. Keep it in its wrapper; submerge it in cold water, and keep changing the cold water every thirty minutes. This method will take several hours but not quite as long as the refrigerator method.

Alternatively, you could go with a fresh turkey. Remember to remove everything from the cavity of the turkey before brining and smoking. 

Brining the Turkey

First, check to see if your turkey has been pre-brined. If not, to make a juicy, moist smoked turkey, soak your turkey in a wet brine for up to 24 hours. Don’t soak it longer than that because it will start to break down. Be sure to keep the turkey under 40 degrees while brining. You could keep it either in the refrigerator or in an ice bath. After brining the turkey, rinse it with cold water and pat it dry. 

Some people prefer a dry brine, which involves just rubbing salt and the desired spices on the outside of the turkey. Others prefer putting butter and seasonings under the skin. The wet brine method tends to work best for smoking. 

Selecting Your Wood

The type of wood you use to smoke your turkey makes a difference in the flavor. Pecan is one of the best woods for smoking turkey. And hickory and mesquite tend to give the turkey a more robust flavor. Some people prefer cherry or applewood. 

Prepping for Smoking a Turkey

To keep your turkey moist and to avoid longer cooking times, you might consider smoking two smaller turkeys instead of one large turkey. 

Read your grill instructions to see what temperature you should be smoking a turkey at and to see how long your turkey needs to be on the grill. This will depend on the size of the turkey. Plan ahead so that you know what time you need to start smoking the turkey to have it ready for your Thanksgiving feast. 

Some prefer to baste the turkey every couple of hours. Some prefer to keep the grill closed as much as possible to keep the heat and smoke in. Have a meat thermometer handy. When the turkey reaches 165 degrees throughout, the turkey is done. 

Come see us at any of our three Tredway Pools Plus locations in Fort Wayne North, Fort Wayne South, or Warsaw, IN, to get your Primo® Grill or Smoker today. Or, give us a call at 260-489-5596.



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