At Christmas time, we sell a lot of smoked turkey crowns, as well as smoking turkey throughout the year for our turkey cubanos or smokehouse club sandwiches. If you’re not a fan of turkey due to memories of feather spitting, dry, festive dinners, please give one of these options a go – it’ll change your mind, we promise! The subtle, smoky flavour and butter-moist breast meat will have you finding any excuse to throw a turkey in the smoker.
Wood: Apple, Pear, Cherry, Beech
1. Prepare Brine
Put all the Festive Brine ingredients in a large pan along with the 6 litres water. Stir over medium heat for 5–10 minutes, until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Take off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
2. Bathe your Bird
Once the brine has cooled completely, add the bird, making sure it’s fully submerged. If using a whole turkey instead of a crown, put it breast side down. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with kitchen towel. If you’re using a whole turkey, stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic, onion, thyme and sage. Brush the turkey with oil and season liberally with the Garden Rub.
Set your grill up for indirect heat, maintaining a temperature of 120°C/250°F. Add in some fruit wood (we like cherry and applewood) and when it’s smoking, put in your turkey, breast side up. This will take between 4 hours and 6 hours to smoke. Take the internal temperature from the thickest part of the breast, being careful not to hit bone, and when it reaches 74°C/165°F it’s ready. Remove from smoker, loosely foil tent and allow the turkey to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Dry Cure Alternative
If you’re not a fan of brining, dry curing is another sure-fire way to enhance your bird’s tenderness and moisture-retaining abilities. Prepare 1 tbsp fine sea salt, 1 tbsp soft brown sugar and 1 tsp garlic granules per kilo of turkey. Mix ingredients well and coat turkey evenly. Refrigerate for 24 hours. When ready, wash off cure thoroughly. If you’re covering with bacon, don’t use any more salt to season the bird. If you’re doing a whole bird, stuff the cavity with lemons, clementines and seasonal oily herbs such as rosemary and thyme.
It’s Christmas; the season for making merry, stuffing your face with copious amounts of delicious food and sharing the joys of the year with your nearest and dearest. Parents, aunties, cousins, mates? Beg borrow and steal some spare crockery and invite ’em all!
If you love your traditional Christmas turkey trimmings, pile your plate high with every juicy parsnip and crispy blanketed pig you can lay your hands on. Alternatively, if you fancy going the whole whole hog with a BBQ twist, we love ours served with pecan and apple stuffing, chipotle cranberry BBQ sauce, smoked turkey gravy, sweet potato fries and green bean casserole.