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Smoked Turkey

  • 3 gallons water or to cover bird
  • 8 ounces molasses, Maple syrup, dark corn syrup or cane syrup
  • 1 pound salt
  • 8 ounces Prague powder #1

Dissolve all ingredients in cold water (38 to 40 degrees). Inject the bird with the solution. Ten-percent of the birds weight should be injected, for a 20 pound bird, use two pounds of solution, (approximately 2 pints). After pumping, place the bird in the rest of the solution. Weigh down so that it is completely submerged. I use a gallon zip lock filled with water to do this. Place in the fridge and allow to brine for 4 days. After 4 days, remove from the brine and rinse with cold water. Place on a wire rack and allow to dry. Sprinkle the bird very heavily with course ground pepper as it starts to dry, most of it will fall off, but what does stay makes for an additional kick to the skin. Start the smoker and preheat to 130 degrees. When the bird's surface is dry (about 3 hours) place in the smoker and start the smoke with the damper full open for about 1.5 hours. Close the damper to 1/4, and smoke for about 5 hours. Raise temperature to 140 degrees, and hold for 4 hours. Raise the temperature to 160 degrees, and hold until internal temperature reaches 152 degrees (as tested at the ball/socket joint of the thigh/drumstick portion of the bird. Note: If you double the salt and prague powder, the bird will taste and look like ham.

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