Mock Smoked Turkey

TurkeyI seriously had no time to plan my meal for our recent family gathering.

When my mom emailed me asking what I wanted to bring – I told her it would be something on a bun.

A “surprise sandwich” if you will.

Trust me – it was a surprise for me, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

When I finally got around to thinking about it – just 2 days before we left – I found 1 big turkey in the freezer.

It was too big to fit in the smoker – so I knew I couldn’t smoke it. So what could I do to make it a little different than just roast turkey sandwiches?

My exhausted, muddle-headed brain decided to try brining the bird putting some liquid smoke right in the brine.

Would you believe it worked? The family gobbled up that bird (excuse the pun) so fast I was amazed.

The smoked flavor was light – but the brine keep it really moist and yummy! And the best thing of all – anybody can make it – you don’t need a smoker!

Sometimes creating while half-asleep is a good thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mock Smoked Turkey

Take your thawed bird (either a chicken or a turkey) and put it in a large container to brine. This will need to fit in your fridge overnight – so you might need to be creative. (Hint: Alton Brown suggests using a large ice chest for brining your birds so that it can sit out overnight.)

Then make enough brine to completely cover your bird. I do this one batch at a time until the whole thing is drowning.

Brine:

1/2 cup non-iodized salt
1/2 sugar (I’ve used both white and brown)
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 quart water

Just mix them together till dissolved and pour over your bird.

Then let the whole thing sit for at least 6 hours – but I prefer overnight – in the fridge (or ice chest).

When your ready – take it out of the brine and place in a roaster with a little water on the bottom. Shake a little salt and pepper on the bird and bake at 350 degrees until that little popper thingee pops up.

You could slice it and serve it hot from the oven – or you could pull it from the bone and freeze it with the broth until you need it.

I pulled the meat offย  and froze it overnight with the broth. (I wanted it good and cold for the 4 hour car ride the next day.) To serve – I threw it in the crock pot to warm it up and served it hot over my dad’s fresh buttermilk bread. Yum!

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

How to Smoke a Turkey (or Chicken)

For years I’ve drooled over smoked meats. I watch everything on Food Network that talks about smokers. I can almost smell them cooking right through the TV screen…yum…

So when my husband brought home an electric smoker from a garage sale, I was in hog heaven!

Now I realize that while the “purists” in the smoking world would frown upon an electric smoker, it’s been the perfect way for me to get started.

Our favorite meat? Poultry. Either turkey or our own farm-raised chickens.

Step one: Thaw your meat. I did 2 small turkeys in this batch.

Step 2: Then the night before you plan to smoke, wash the bird and open it up. Remove the plastic piece holding the legs together. Don’t forget to take out the giblets! Your goal is to open the bird so more flavor can get inside.

Step 3: Now you’re ready to brine your bird. This step takes time, but it gives so much flavor! Start with 1/2 cup of brown sugar (or white sugar, or maple syrup).

Then add 1/2 cup of salt.

Add 1 quart of water and mix well. Put your poultry in a clean container that is large enough to submerge the entire bird. Pour the brine over the top. You will need to keep mixing up brine until the bird is totally covered. It will take several quarts of brine before you are done. Make sure you get some inside the bird as well.

You will need to place a weight of some kind on the bird to hold it in the brine (they tend to float). Now park your brine-covered fowl in the refrigerator overnight.

Step 4: As soon as the bird is in the brine, I like to start soaking my wood chips. I use a plastic container that can be thrown away, fill it half full of chips and cover with water.

Step 5: Time to get smoking! The next morning remove your bird from the brine, making sure to empty out the cavity. Throw the brine away. Place your poultry on the shelves of your smoker. (Note: Place your smoker out of the wind for the best results. For this batch, we needed to put it in the workshop to protect it from the elements, but we got a wonderful end product.)

Drain some of the wood chips and place in the chip container of your smoker unit. Plug the smoker in and wait. Every 2-3 hours you should check the chips and possibly add some more. Try not to open the top often to check!

Step 6: Leave the birds in the smoker for 8-10 hours. When you remove them you should see a beautiful golden brown color on the skin.

Step 6: Finish the birds off by baking them at 350 degrees for about 1-2 hours depending on the size. (If you’re doing turkeys, check the popper for doneness.) You can carve the meat and eat it right away, or pull it from the bones and refrigerate.

These lovely birds are destined for a family gathering this week end. I took them off the bone and froze them. I’ll use a crock pot to reheat the meat and will serve it with homemade rolls and baked potatoes. It is always a hit!

Sound good to you? There’s some great electric smokers online. If you’re interested please click here.