It may not be thanksgiving anytime soon, but it is never too soon for you to practice how to smoke a turkey in Traeger grills. Plus, you can have turkey as a meal any time you want.
Traeger grills have been producing many models of pellet grills that you can use for any recipe that you want to cook. They allow you to make the best foods with no hassle when cooking.
With many advanced features, you can use a Traeger grill and make a great meal without spending too much time beside the high temperature that the grill produces when cooking.
That is especially true when you smoke meat. The smoking process takes a very long time, so you do need to make sure you do not get sick of the heat and the smoke that the grill produces.
Turkey is one of the best types of meat that you can smoke. Due to the relatively dry white meat, you need something to cook it all the way through without sacrificing its moisture.
That is why you need a Traeger grill to smoke the turkey in. This recipe will help you get the most tender turkey with all the delicious juices inside the meat when you cut through it.
Selecting The Best Turkey
While it is relatively easy to take a look and see what a good turkey is, there are some underlying factors that you need to consider when you are about to buy a turkey for smoking.
The color of the skin must be pale, with some hints of pink on it. There should be no blood clots aside from the parts that were cut off from the turkey, as it is a sign of bad butchering.
The trauma signs on the skin of the turkey are pretty prominent just by looking at it. There should be no purple colors on the skin and deep red ones to ensure it is fresh.
When the turkey that you are about to buy has these signs, look for another one. You can also go with frozen turkey as they are perfectly preserved and will hardly make any difference.
For the Traeger recipe itself, you will need some softened butter, minced garlic, thyme leaves, rosemary, black pepper, and salt for the rub. However, you can choose any rub that you like.
Smoked Turkey In Traeger
Step 1: Prepare The Turkey
After selecting the best turkey, leave it on the counter at room temperature until it thaws.
Never smoke a turkey while it is frozen, as it will create pockets of cold spots inside the meat itself.
Once thawed, prepare the rub and then create a pocket between the breast and the turkey’s skin. Make sure not to rip the skin off all the way to keep the turkey juicy and tender.
Place the rub inside the skin and get it up to the point where you can reach it. Fill it up with a total of 1/4-inch thick rub and then spread the rest of the rub inside the turkey.
As for the outer parts or the skin part, season the whole turkey with salt and pepper. You can also use the rub to have some extra, but salt and pepper produce a crispier skin.
Step 2: Preheat The Traeger Grill
Get your wood pellets ready and then fill the pellet hopper all the way. There are many types of wood pellets that you can get and I suggest using something that matches the turkey flavor.
For example, you can get apple or cherry wood pellets. Some hardwood pellets like hickory go well with this meat, but it can be a bit strong to some palates, so go with the safe ones.
Preheat the Traeger grill at 300 degrees Fahrenheit and then close the lid. Let it preheat for 15 minutes to ensure that the heat is evenly distributed within the grill before you cook in it.
Step 3: Smoke Turkey
Place the turkey on the grill directly on the grates and then close the lid again. Leave it to smoke for 3 to 4 hours without disturbing it so the smoke and the heat inside the grill will not escape.
Prepare two meat probes for the turkey and measure the temperature at the 3-hour mark. One meat probe goes into the part where there is bone and the other on the breast part of the turkey.
For the part where there is a bone inside, the temperature should be at least 175 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that the turkey cooks through the bone inside it.
The breast part would be much cooler since it is a thicker part. The temperature that you aim for on this part is 160 degrees Fahrenheit before removing it from the Traeger grill to let it rest.
Step 4: Let The Turkey Rest
Once the meat probe indicates that the turkey has reached the desired internal temperature, remove the turkey from the grill. Place it on a cutting board and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Letting the turkey rest will allow the juices to come back in between the meat fibers to create a juicy finish. It will also continue cooking while you let it rest resulting in a more tender finish.
For the breast part, it will reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit after you let it rest. So make sure to give the turkey enough time to rest before you slice into the meat and serve it to your guests!
Unless you have many guests to feed, chances are you will have leftovers from the large turkey that you have just cooked. That is why you need to know how to store the leftovers for later.
There are two ways to store leftover food. However, the first thing you need to remember is to never leave the leftovers at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
That long can allow bacteria to grow and even enter the insides of the meat. So if you are planning to store the leftovers, prepare them right after eating and then store them properly.
First, you can place the leftovers in a ziplock bag and then place them in the fridge. The fridge will preserve the meat for up to four days, beyond that and it will not be safe to eat.
If you want the leftovers to last longer, wrap them with aluminum foil before placing them in a ziplock bag. Put them in the freezer and the leftovers will last for months without contamination.
The aluminum foil will help prevent freezer burns to use it if you choose to store the leftovers in the freezer. From there, you can enjoy turkey leftovers any time you want to.
When you have a huge party or your relatives are over and you want a nice meal, then turkey is one of the best choices with the large and healthy white meat you get from it.
It is very easy to roast turkey but I still think smoking turkey is a better way to cook it. You get all nutrients from the meat while releasing all the unnecessary fats in the meat of the turkey.
The recipe above is relatively easy and it will not be hard for beginners, especially if you have a Traeger grill that can help you get the best type of smoke that you can use to add flavors to the food!
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