Yes, you should smoke your Thanksgiving turkey this year!
If you are considering how to get that perfect Thanksgiving turkey, we can help you out. This recipe will guide you on how to prep and smoke a crispy and juicy turkey and making a delicious gravy. You can't compare an oven baked turkey to a turkey smoked with FOGO charcoal.
Recipe Video - Episode 6
Defrost your turkey if it was frozen and then remove the backbone. Using poultry shears, cut out the backbone and set it aside. Remove the innards from the inside of the bird and set them aside.
Flip the turkey over so the breast side is up and press firmly on the turkey to break the breastbone and make it lay flat. This will take some weight to flatten it out. Sprinkle the turkey with some kosher salt and let it rest in the refrigerator for 8-24 hours on a cooling rack and pan. This will dry out the skin and ensure that it is crispy when smoked.
Set up the grill for indirect heat at 350 degrees with a few chunks of cherry wood. Cherry wood will give the bird some nice color and will have a sweet smoke flavor. In this video, we used the G’rillaQue accessory by Changon BBQ to make two zones of cooking divided by a water tray to keep the grill moist throughout the cook.
Roughly chop up 1 carrot, 2 stalks of celery, and 1 onion. Place them in an aluminum drip pan and add about 2 cups of chicken stock. Add a few whole thyme sprigs to the pan as well. We will place this pan below the turkey to collect drippings to make the gravy. Place the drip pan into the grill, then the grate over that.
Place the turkey breast side up on top of the grate and let it smoke until the breast has an internal temperature of about 160 degrees. The carryover heat should get it to a perfect 165. Measure many parts of the bird as you cook to ensure it is cooking evenly. You can rotate the turkey halfway if it is not cooking evenly. Dark meat should measure around 170-175 and breast meat around 165 minimum internal temperature. Cook time will vary, but as a starting point, allow about 10 minutes per pound of turkey when spatchcocked.
While the turkey is smoking, prepare the gravy. Chop up the backbone into about 1-inch pieces and put in a pot with some oil, salt, and pepper to brown them. Once browned, add about 2 cups of chicken stock, 2 chopped carrots, 2 stalks of celery chopped, 1 onion chopped, and a few sprigs of thyme. Let this simmer until the turkey is fully cooked. While the turkey is resting, remove the drip pan and strain drippings into the pot and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain all of this liquid into a container. In another pot, add about 2 tbsp butter and let it melt. Whisk in about ¼ cup of flour slowly and keep stirring until it is golden brown. Slowly add the strained liquid and sprinkle with some pepper. Your gravy should have a nice consistency, color, and depth of flavor.
Once the turkey is fully cooked and deliciously crispy, carefully transfer to a cutting board.
Carve the turkey.
Serve hot with gravy.
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Best smoke Turkey Ever!
About how long does it take the average turkey to smoke until it is ready?
I have a Kettle Grill and recently bought a G’rillaque. How big of a turkey do you recommend for this?
Great turkey this Christmas. I do recommend brining for 2 days for extra juicy and tender turkey.
I have made this twice now. The gravy is outstanding.