Smoked turkey is one of the most iconic roast recipes to please audiences. But with every single step in the process of improving bird flavor, there are many things that can easily go wrong. How to smoke turkey in an electric smoker.
Barbecue smoking is one of the best ways to cook large cuts of meat while adding the beautiful smoky flavors often associated with cookouts and barbecues.
While the cooking method can be time-consuming, what you get in return are beautiful textures with woody spices and meat flavors that combine to create a perfectly cooked meat.
Electric smokers are a very welcome addition to the market for grilling and smoking enthusiasts. While some might think that something electrical isn’t authentic, it offers a cooking environment that’s easy to control and extremely safe to use.
If you don’t have an electric smoker, check out my guide to the best smokers for beginners .
Turkey is the perfect meat choice for smoking. It is a beautiful white meat that benefits from being cooked at relatively low temperatures for long periods of time. When we combine this with the woody and smoky flavors of smoking, we have an amazing cooked meat.
Not sure where to start? Here is our guide to smoking a turkey in an electric smoker.
Do you have an offset smoker? Check out our guide to smoking turkey in an offset smoker
Choose your turkey
While this step may seem like one of the simplest, it can be daunting if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for. There are many options, so my advice: always choose something with no added ingredients or flavorings. We can add flavors later with injectors, rubs or a brine.
Never roast a frozen turkey . heh This can be dangerous or even leave uneven hot and cold spots in the meat.
Do is clean
Begin by thoroughly cleaning the turkey, removing the neck, gizzard, and other internal parts of the turkey. If you do so, make up for reaching into the turkey and removing the neck. When the bird is fully thawed, you should find that the neck is loose in the cavity.
You can place the gizzard in the main or throat cavities. The latter can be found between the wings of a turkey. Finally, rinse the inside of the bird under cold running water.
One of the most important steps in the preparation of poultry is the salting. This is the process by which foods are treated with salt to allow them to retain moisture for longer periods of time while cooking. Originally, curing was used as a means of preserving meat, but with the development of smoking it was used more to enhance flavor while preventing food from drying out.
Turkey Brine Shot or Marinade Recipe .
Do the washing up
After you take the turkey out of its brine, it’s important to wipe off any excess brine so you give it a good rinse. Use cold for this and when rinsing, be careful to rinse the body cavity as well as all other surfaces of the bird.
After rinsing, you should let it dry properly and also redistribute the salt and flavors throughout the meat. Do this while letting it dry for 12 to 24 hours.
Salting and cleaning aren’t the only steps we need to take to welcome the turkey to the smoker. We also need to season the bird.
For this, I recommend using two types of grating. One of them is a dry massage, which you need to apply to the cavity. The other is a wet rub that YOU apply to the outside of your turkey. The reason for this is that a wet massage adheres much better to the outer surfaces of the AV.
To make a moist dressing, mix vegetable oil with your spices to create a thick paste. In addition to applying to the outside of the bird, we want it to be under the skin of the breast as well. To do this, very carefully separate the skin from the meat and gently massage the friction between the two. Be careful not to completely remove the bird’s skin. Use toothpicks to attach the skin to the turkey.
Choose the right wood
One of the keys to a good grill is choosing the right type of wood. This is especially true of turkey, a meat that picks up smoke flavors much more readily than other meats.
The best woods for smoking turkey are soft hardwoods. Also avoid hickory or mesquite, as both can mask the flavor of your turkey. Instead, opt for something more subtle like cherry apple. Both are quite sweet but go really well with turkey.
Preheat your electric smoker to 110°C. Grease the rack as it heats to keep the turkey from sticking to it.
After preheating, place your turkey in the smoker. Cook 40 minutes per pound of poultry.
Use a little butter or vegetable oil to baste it from time to time while cooking. This serves to lock in moisture and is especially important for large cuts of meat that need to cook much longer.
The ideal internal temperature of your meat that you want to achieve is 70°C. Use a meat thermometer probe to take the temperature of your meat(if you don’t have one, check out my thermometer guide here). When you have reached the desired temperature, remove the bird from the smoker.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Benefits of Smoked Turkey?
Barbecue smoked turkey is more than just a way to train your grilling muscles. There are actually some health benefits of smoked turkey.
Meat is a fantastic source of protein that will help you feel fuller for longer. No more snacking between meals.
It consists of very lean meat with high levels of essential B vitamins and zinc. It’s also much lower in calories compared to other meats, including chicken.