Once upon a time, there was...

The Wrapped Smoked Turkey

Okay, it took me a while to dig out these pictures. This was our very first foray into smoked turkey, back in, what, 2006 or so?! Note the presence of the Bar-B-Chef offset, so you know it was back in the good old days!

General notes: I am a staunch fan of fresh over frozen turkeys, and brining. I just can't stress enough how these two choices produce much better results, and both shorten cooking times. 

I've always gotten petite 9 to 11 pound turkeys, and rather than go bigger I would get two, as we did on that occasion, just because lower temps are involved than when roasting in an oven and you don't want things to take too long to warm up out of the "danger zone". Oh, and DON'T stuff, for the same reason.

So we had our two turkeys, and I made something like two pounds of melted butter. The turkeys got seasoned and wrapped in cheesecloth:

Then they got soaked with all that wonderful butter:

Then they went into the Bar-B-Chef, at what was probably somewhere in a wild range between 225 - 275 (hey, we were still new at this stuff, and that thing is a leaky old tub).

I do remember that we basted the cheesecloth a couple of times with more butter and some broth, to keep it from drying out and sticking. This is what the turkeys looked like at about the three-hour mark:

As always, doneness was checked with a probe thermometer, and when they were close, the cheesecloth was removed -- it cracked off in a perfect turkey-shape like a mummy casing, leaving this:

We probably tried to raise the heat a bit at the end, to crisp up the skin, but then again it didn't need much more help at that point. The turkeys looked weirdly Norman Rockwell overperfect, as if they'd been airbrushed or photoshopped or something. 


And that was the big First Smoked Turkey Adventure!  Those birds were some fine eating.  We hope your Thanksgiving turkey turns out just as well.



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