Here’s how smoking a turkey with apple wood on a Big Green Egg cooker is accomplished.
Preparing the Bird for Smoking a Turkey
- Get a Turkey or Turkey breast ( we had a small turkey since there is just the two of us).
- Unpack it
- Drain the fluids
- If it is a whole turkey pull out the neck and the giblet packet from the cavity
- Rinse under cold water
- Pat dry
- Put a rub on it and in the rib cage area of the cavity. Making your own rub can be lots of fun but if stuck for time there are many good commercial rubs available at the store. I am smoking with apple wood and we just happen to have an apple wood rub.
Prep the Grill
I have a set up on my Big Green Egg (kamado style grill) that is specific for smoking but you can smoke with any grill using an offset or indirect setup.
While getting the coals ready you can soak your wood chips in water to cover.
When your coals are ready, lay down a layer of wood chips, assemble the rest of the setup, put the bird in and cover to smoke. I am taking the bird temp from the fattest part of the breast heading to 161 F.
My setup allows me to leave the grill alone pretty much unattended. It is winter and it takes long enough to get the grill to temp. Any time you open a grill it looses heat, quickly so no peeking. Taking the temperature of the item is the very best way to judge if it is done but approximating the time will give you an idea on how often you want to check your temps. I left this alone until about twenty minutes before it was to be done based on weight and time, then I used the temp of the turkey to finish. I never looked at it until it was ready to come off the grill due to the BBQ Guru setup I have. A system such as this will save lots of time and effort when you smoke a turkey or any other types of meats..
Normally I would brine this bird, which is the very best way to assure a moist finished turkey. Commercial birds are injected with a brine solution at the producers according to specifications by the buyer. If you are stuck for time as I was in this instance a frozen bird will be a better choice than a fresh bird.
The final product from smoking a turkey comes out moist with a great smoked flavor. The meat, as with all smoked meat, will be a little pink near the bone which is normal and as long as you hit your temperature it is cooked through even though it looks a little under cooked. The skin on a baked turkey is a crispy treat that gets picked apart while the bird is resting.