Recipe By:TOM TROTTIER
“Smoked turkey is a delightful way to cook a turkey while relaxing. I know lots of people are a bit apprehensive about preparing their first smoked turkey. I have smoked over 100 and never has a bad one. The skin is beautifully tanned and the meat is so juicy.”
- 1 (12 pound) thawed whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh savory
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon salt (optional)
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- Rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Combine savory, sage, salt, and black pepper in a bowl; rub half the herb mix inside the turkey's cavity and inside the neck cavity. Loosen turkey skin over breast and legs; rub remaining half of the herb mixture underneath the loosened skin. Rub olive oil over the entire turkey.
- Light 20 charcoal briquettes and place half of them on each side on the lower grate of a kettle charcoal grill. Place a drip pan or disposable aluminum baking pan in the middle of the lower grate and pour in water. When the coals are gray with ash, place a 2-inch square piece of hickory or other hardwood onto each bank of coals.
- Place turkey on the cooking grate and cover the grill. Monitor the heat with a grill thermometer to maintain temperature between 150 and 250 degrees F (65 to 120 degrees C); add 3 to 5 coals to each side about every 1 1/2 hours. If pieces of hardwood burn away, add more to keep a steady stream of smoke rising from the wood. If open flames erupt when you open the lid, douse them with a drizzle of water or beer.
- Smoke the turkey for 20 minutes per pound, about 4 hours; let the heat increase to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) during the last hour of smoking. An instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh, not touching a bone, should reach 165 degrees F (75 degrees C).
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