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deconstructed turkey
deconstructed turkey

Deconstructed Maple Brined Smoked Turkey

  

November 8, 2016

This recipe inspiration came during a conversation with Ms. Candy Weaver of BBQr’s Delight Smoking Pellets. One year at The Jack Daniels Invitational BBQ Competition I had the pleasure of meeting her and helping her hand out pellet samples during the festivities. We were just bouncing around ideas for turkey recipes when she dropped this gem into my lap. Perfect way to celebrate the flavors associated with colder weather and pay tribute to Ms. Candy!

Ingredients

For the turkey:

1 Turkey- The one I used was 18 pounds

1/2 pound BBQr’s Delight Sugar Maple Pellets

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 tablespoon cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons poultry seasoning

2 cups apple cider in a spray bottle

For the brine:

3 cups kosher salt

3 cups Vermont maple syrup

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 gallons cold water

6 tablespoons poultry seasoning

2 tablespoons cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 1/2 gallons ice cubes

Directions

Preparation:

1Combine the salt, maple syrup, sugar and water in a large vessel such as a cooler. Whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the poultry seasoning, cracked black pepper and dried thyme. Whisk again and finish with the ice cubes.

2Have your knives sharp and ready and prepare to deconstruct your turkey. Rather than going into a lengthy “how to” description on breaking down a bird please see this wonderful tutorial but skip the last few steps. Do not separate the legs from the thighs and do not cut each breast in half.

3Place your turkey pieces into the brine and let sit overnight or at least 8 hours. I got lucky and had a particularly cold evening so I just brought the cooler outside and in the morning I still had plenty of ice. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold water. Pat dry and refrigerate until your ready to cook.

Grilling Instructions:

1I used the A-Maze-N Tube Smoker for my cook. I filled a 6 inch tube, lit it with my torch and allowed it to burn for 10 minutes before blowing it out. Place the smoking tube on its side atop your GrillGrates in a cold grill, off to the side. Close the lid. Season your turkey pieces with poultry seasoning, kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Place your turkey parts into your smoked filled cold grill bone side down for 20 minutes for a nice pre-smoke. After 20 minutes light your grill but keep your burners on low. Using a dual probe thermometer insert one into the fattest part of the breast and the other a few inches from the grate surface. Ideally your looking for your cooker to stay under 300F, I kept mine sub 280F. Adjust your temps and allow the bird to cook slowly adding more pellets as needed to give a nice smoke- sugar maple is quite mild so you won’t run the risk of over smoking. After 45 minutes move the pieces of turkey around keeping the bone side down. Spritz with apple cider a few times during this period. When the internal temp of the breast is 120F flip the pieces to begin crisping the skin. Occasionally move the pieces of meat positioning them in such a way you get even browning and crispness and continue to spritz with the cider. When the internal temp of the breasts have hit 165F they can be removed from your grill and covered with foil. The wings should be done by this point with an internal temp closer to 200F. Allow the thigh and leg quarters to get to 200F internal and remove from grill. Carve your breast meat and separate the legs from the thighs for serving. Enjoy!

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