Applewood smoked Thanksgiving turkey - 2009

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I was unable to get a pasture raised turkey for Thanksgiving, so I decided to give a kosher bird a try. In kosher processing, they don't scald the bird to pluck it, so you are likely to get more pin feathers and skin rips. They coat the bird with salt, to draw out the blood, before rinsing it off, which makes it so it is unnecessary to brine the bird. I went with a really simple wet rub, applewood smoke, and no injected spices or liquid just to see how the kosher bird would come out.

This was my first Thanksgiving with my Masterbuilt electric smoker, and I was also anxious to try out my new Turkey Cannon. The The Masterbuilt smoker is insulated and has digital temperature control, a big bonus when smoking in the cool season. The Turkey Cannon is a gadget for making "beer can chicken" with a full-sized turkey. Since the base of the cannon sits several inches outside the bird, the liquid heats up much better, infusing the cavity with steam. The claim is that it greatly speeds up cooking, in this case I can verify that the claim is true. Normally I have to smoke a 14 pound turkey for at least 6-8 hours; this 17 pound bird was done in just over 3!

The result was a very moist and flavorful bird.

Servings:
Depends on the size of the bird, and how gluttonous you are
Preparation Time:
30 minutes prep, 3 hours in the smoker. 6 hours without Turkey Cannon.
Tools
  • smoker
  • drip pan (if you want pan gravy)
  • turkey canon (optional)
  • remote read thermometer
  • applewood chips

Ingredients

  • 17 pound kosher turkey.

Wet Rub

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons hot paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (more if you didn't get a kosher bird or brine it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage powder
Cooking Instructions
  1. Preheat smoker to 225° F. Soak wood chips.
  2. Remove any giblets and the neck (save for stock and gravy). Rinse the turkey inside and out. Pat dry.
  3. Combine rub ingredients. Carefully separate the skin from the breast, working your fingers underneath to make a space for the rub. Slather on the rub under the skin and inside the cavity.
  4. Add one cup liquid of your choice to the Turkey Cannon. Place the bird on the turkey cannon. Truss it with butcher twine as necessary. Use toothpicks or skewers to hold the skin over the meat wherever it has ripped.
  5. Put the turkey in the drip pan, and insert the thermometer probe, and put it in the smoker. Toss in the the wood chips.
  6. Cook until thigh temperature reaches 160° F, tossing in wood chips whenever the smoke stops.
  7. Let rest at least 20 minutes before carving. The temperature should keep climbing to 165 by then.