Learn the absolute best most flavorful way to prepare a turkey by making this Brined Smoked Turkey Recipe.
Prep Time: 20minutes
Cook Time: 4hours
Brining Time: 1day
Total Time: 1day4hours20minutes
2peeled and roughly chopped medium size onions
1bunch fresh thyme sprigs
1 14-16poundtrussed turkey, giblets and neck removed
Add 4 cups of the cider with all the salt and sugar to a medium-size pot and bring to a boil and cook until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Whisk occasionally.
Transfer the mixture to a large 5-gallon container along with the remaining amount of cider, water, onions, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme, and whisk to combine.
Add in the trussed turkey and ensure it is completely submerged.
Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours or up to 48 hours.
Remove the turkey and rinse very well with cold water on all sides.
Transfer the turkey to a roasting pan and pat it dry using paper towels.
Preheat the smoker to 250°.
Add the turkey to the smoker and cook for 4 hours to 4 ½ hours. The thigh meat should read 160° to 165° when it is finished, or the button in the breast should have popped out.
Wrap in foil and let it sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing and serving
Chef Notes:How to Reheat: to reheat it simply place it in a saucepan with a little bit of chicken or turkey stock, or gravy, cover it with foil, and heat it in the oven at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until warm. You can also simply heat it in the microwave until warm.How to Store: It will hold in the refrigerator covered in plastic for up to 5 days. In addition, you can freeze it covered for up to 3 months. Be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator for a full day before reheating it.How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of turkey to a saucepan along with ½ to 1 cup of chicken stock. Cover and cook in the oven at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until warm. You can also heat the turkey in the microwave on a plate until warm.You may need to add plates or bowls to the turkey in the brine to ensure it is completely submerged.Feel free to add 1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns as well to the brine.If you do not have a smoker and can only cook it in the oven, you may do so at 350° for 10-13 minutes per pound.Other ingredients you can add to the brine include fresh rosemary, sage, orange peel, lemon peel, or brown sugar.After the brine is in the 5-gallon container and is whisked together and you find it still is not very cold, feel free to add in 2 cups of ice.If the bones on the ends of the legs or the tips of the wings begin to turn dark brown too quickly, wrap them in a small amount of foil.