This was one of my first smoked turkeys; the other one is on the bottom grate. I was trying to get out of doing the BBQ turkey all together just because of all the craziness that having a new baby brings, but my family wasn’t going to allow that. Plus, the baby isn’t that new anymore and I should be able to work within this so-called “craziness”
I must say, that I was impressed with the results and nothing could have been easier. This was especially true of the cleanup, no roasting pans to scrub! YAY!
My smoker (WSM) fits two small birds, about 12lbs. each. I like the smaller birds for a few different reasons. First, they cook faster. Second, the meat to skin ratio is more to my liking. Third, the drumsticks are way more manageable. They’re smaller and you have four of them.
What I did:
Generously rubbed some BBQ seasoning all over the birds (nothing special, just some extra BBQ rub that I had in a jar).
Got my smoker up to temperature and added some hickory chunks to the coals.
Smoked two turkeys at about 230º for about 9 hours (the time will vary)
Placed them in an aluminum tray, wrapped them in foil and sent them to the in-laws.
If I were to make some adjustments here is what I would do next year:
Brine: First off, the birds were still a little frozen the day before the smoking, so I ended up not brining them, which I usually do. The meat could have used a little more saltiness and moisture, but isn’t that what gravy is for?
Inject the bird: I didn’t bother to inject, but I should have. This would have delivered some additional flavor deep into the meat. Especially in the breast.
Gravy: find a way to get some pan drippings from the smoked bird and make the gravy. This is one advantage of doing an oven roasted bird.
BBQ Sauce: consider offering some as a condiment to the smoked bird. This seems a bit heretical, but it may be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving Day table.