We had a great Thanksgiving this year. I took Wednesday off to prepare the turkey. Based on my experiment in September my cooking plan went like this
- Tuesday night: prepare the brine; cool overnight
- Wednesday morning: put turkey in brine
- Wednesday afternoon: prepare the drip pan gravy; make cornbread for stuffing; oil the new cutting board; move furniture
- Wednesday night: remove turkey from brine and put in fridge over night to dry out.
- Thursday: cook the bird; reduce the drippings and make the gravy
The brining and other prep went much better this time compared to September. I used an Alton Brown recipe for the brine instead of the Amazing Ribs recipe which called for 7 cups of salt (insane). Plus the gravy just wasn’t that tasty. I think next year I’m going to just get a Butterball and cook it in the smoker just like I would in the oven.
|Brine ready for cooling in the refrigerator overnight|
I use a 5 gallon insulated drink cooler for the brine. This is like football teams use on the sidelines. It’s great; the temp stays below 32 for hours. I weight the turkey down with a milk jug filled with ice. It takes a long time to break ice cubes down to a size that will fit through the opening. There’s got to be an easier way.
|Turkey in the brine. Weighted down by a milk jug of frozen water.|
|Pan drippings setup|
|Simmer the vegetables and aromatics with the turkey neck|
|Cool overnight. I’ll microwave it Thursday before putting it in the roasting pan|
|My new cutting board! I treated it with mineral oil|
|Corn bread mixings|
|The cornbread; just short of burned. This will be turned into dressing for the turkey|
|Add some thyme and sage to olive oil overnight before rubbing.|
|Turkey out of the brine and drying out a bit in the refrigerator. You can see I tore the skin a bit trying to loosen it for the wet rub underneat|
|Wet rub and aromatics|
Smoke for 45 minutes then cook at 340 until the breast registers 160*
|Onto the smoker. On a rack over a roasting pan holding the gravy|
|Set the tables|
|After 45 minute sof smoke; add some aluminum foil to legs and wings for protection|
|An hour later remove the foil|
|Leave the lid closed a few hours. If you’re lookin’ you ain’t cookin’|
I was ridiculously pleased with my carving this year. I sliced the breast differently; take it all off then cut sideways.
Rating: ★★★ 3 out of 5 stars. I’m not a fan of turkey; but this is good.