This story is part of with tips on the best ways to manage the holiday season.
Based on recent search trends, it seems that many people this year want to know how to smoke a turkey. If you are tired of the same old roasted turkey for Thanksgiving, but too scared of fireballs to try frying turkey, a smoked turkey can be your lucky medium. You can go outside, free up oven space for side dishes and pies and enjoy a wonderfully different taste than you are probably used to.
Smoked turkey is not for the faint hearted – it does require care, and it has a bold taste that purists reject. Consider roasting a turkey breast backup for them and know that for a classic gravy you need to make a batch out of turkey spare parts in advance (always a good move). You can also use the reserved turkey neck to make a gravy with bourbon, apple, apple cider and onion; that recipe is included in the smoked turkey recipe from Chowhound.
According to well-known Chowhound members, you might want to smoke a training bird, or even just smoke the turkey breast for an easier time (although who among us can resist smoked Disney-style drumsticks?).
We also recommend taking some tips from a pitmaster about how you generally smoke meat, especially if you have never smoked before.
Make sure you have your game plan in place and give enough time to get the process going. Then you are ready to tackle a turkey. Below are some essential tools, tips and ideas for what you can serve alongside your mahogany masterpiece.
If you have a smoker, great! If you don't, you can do it like us and use a charcoal grill for smoking turkey.
You also need two sets of tongs, a few different disposable aluminum pans (two serve drip trays, the other a steam pan), a baking tray, oven gloves, a few buckets of water, an oven thermometer and a meat thermometer. More about this later.
Last but certainly not least, you need wood and a good fuel source.
We love apple wood for smoking turkey because it has a more delicate and fruity taste than hickory or oak.
We also strongly prefer hardwood lump charcoal instead of briquettes. These charred pieces of wood burn hotter and cleaner than briquettes, but if you have to follow that route, at least avoid the self-relieving ones, which are full of chemicals.
Brine the turkey
Brining turkey can be a controversialbut we like to do it, especially for a smoked bird that can dry out. You must pickle the night before – but make sure the turkey is completely thawed first. And if you make brine water wet, make sure it is dry and leave it at room temperature for a while to ensure crispy skin (or two hours in the refrigerator, uncovered).
Enjoy your wood chips
This only takes about 15 minutes, but every second is precious when you are hangry guests waiting for food – so don't forget to put your fries in a bucket of water before you prepare your grill or smoker. (And already have Thanksgiving snacks available to the public.)
Heat up your grill or smoker
This is the easy part; maintaining the temperature costs a little more finesse. This is why the oven thermometer is needed (it is not surprising to tell when the turkey is ready) – and the steam pan, which retains water and helps lower the grill temperature, is also a necessity.  http://www.cnet.com/ "height =" 425 "width =" 756 “/>
This inexpensive device is indispensable for measuring the temperature of your barbecue.