I hope that you had a relaxing Thanksgiving holiday. Ours was very calm. We had Michelle’s parents in. and I cooked a Smoked Orange Ginger Turkey for our meal. This could be the best turkey I have cooked to date.
I started with an all natural Butterball turkey, I chose this one because I wanted a turkey that was less processed than the average one you find in the frozen section. It was about 12.5 pounds so it was just about perfect for the number of people we had over and still some left for those after the holiday sandwiches we all love so much. I thawed it in the refrigerator for 2 days, always thaw at a temperature below 40° so you don’t grow nasty stuff in your meal. Once it was thawed, I put it in a brine of Kosher salt, orange juice, minced ginger water and ginger ale for another 24 hours. I took the turkey out of the brine and patted it dry then trimmed the excess skin off, then placed the turkey in the refrigerator to dry out a little bit before I rubbed it down with a butter, ginger and thyme mixture, under the skin. Once the rub was on, it went back into the refrigerator for about 6 hours until I was ready to put it on the smoker.
I wanted to be sure that I had plenty of time to allow a slow cook here, I started the smoker at about 5:30am, thank goodness it was not as cold as it was last year. It took about 45 minutes for the temperature to settle in, I started the smoker with too many coals, so I had to let it burn off before I added the wood. I used apple wood that is set to soak the night before and had some hickory chips to add in a few times as the cook got towards the end. I did something that I have not done in the past and that was to have a small grill to the side that I used to get the coals ready to add to the smoker rather that putting in hands full of unlit lump coal as I have done in the past. This seemed to help me keep a more even temperature throughout the cook, I plan to try this again when I am cooking ribs here in the next few weeks.
The cook took about 6 hours but since Michelle’s parents were not scheduled to be here until later I let the smoker temp fall and kept the turkey warm. I used my Maverick et732 thermometer to keep track of the bird and the grill and a instant read thermometer to check the turkey temperature at the breast. Remember it’s not the time that determines doneness it’s the tempuerature of the meat.
Wonderful tasting, moist, turkey. So, want to give this a try? Let get to it.
Smoked Orange Ginger Turkey for Man Food Mondays
- 1 12 to 14 lb turkey
- 1 gallon water +
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup ginger, chopped
- 1 orange sliced
- 1/4 cup orange zest
- 1 qt OJ
- 1/2 quart apple juice
- 16ounces ginger ale
- 1 granny smith apple, sliced
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon Ancho pepper powder
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup ginger, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Boil 3 cups water.
- Add 1/2 cup chopped ginger, 1 cup salt, 1/2 cup brown sugar. Stir to dissolve.
- Allow to cool. Add remaining water.
- Add remaining ingredients.
- Submerge turkey add water to cover weight down with plate if necessary refrigerate 6 hours or over night.
- Remove from brine and discard mixture. Pat the turkey dry.
- Set in fridge to dry out 3 to 4 hours.
- Mix the rub.
- Loosen skin and put the rub on to the breast and as far down the legs as you can. Rub any remaining mixture on the skin and return to the refrigerator for 4 hours or until you are ready to cook
- Put on smoker with a temperature gauge inserted on the inside of the thigh.
- Turkey is done at 170° when measured at the thigh.
This was, as I said, one of the best turkeys I have had. You would think that with so much ginger that it would be very apparent but that is not the case. I am considering cooking this again just for the leftovers!
If you give this a try let me know what you think.
Until next time have fun and be safe.