One of the best ways to cook your food is by smoking it. For the highlight of the next thanksgiving, you can learn how to smoke a turkey in an electric smoker for the best results.
There are many ways to cook your favorite food, but smoking will give it a unique flavor and a softer or more tender texture. This technique goes well with white meat as well.
Turkey is one of the best foods that you can cook at low temperatures. The relatively dry and lean turkey meat can be turned into juicy and tender cuts when you smoke it.
While most people will recommend cooking or smoking the turkey most authentically, you can still perfect this recipe using the best electric smoker you have available.
Every step of this process is crucial to making the turkey meat more flavorful. That is why you need to practice the recipe on a relatively easy appliance to perfect it.
This guide, however, is easy, so you will not need a lot of practice. With the step-by-step guide, you will be cooking the best-smoked turkey so you can enjoy a large and healthy meal.
Choosing Your Turkey
The first step, of course, is to select the best turkey available so you can make the best out of it. This might seem like a very simple part of the process, but it is crucial.
It is pretty essential to look at the turkey and see which one is fresh and not. The color should have a nice pink overall color even outside to know that the meat is fresh.
In general, go to the butcher shop and get a turkey that has not been frozen or processed. Do not get turkeys that already have added flavors, as you need to do that later on.
Do not go for added artificial flavors as you can add the flavors you need later on the brine, seasoning, or rub. Get the freshest one but do not hesitate to get frozen turkey if it is available.
Choose The Fuel
If you are going to smoke the best turkey with your electric smoker, it is essential to choose the right type of smoke by selecting the best type of wood that would release it.
Even though it is not that big of a deal or if the smoke does not necessarily add too much flavor to the food, you must get the wood that matches your use.
It is great to find the best wood with turkey as it absorbs more flavor compared to harder cuts that you usually smoke. For this, I recommend picking mild hardwood or hardwood as fuel.
Apple, cherry, and other fruity types of wood are perfect for this recipe. It will add more flavor to the turkey with a hint of sweetness, so you do not have to worry about the flavors that much.
Smoking Turkey On An Electric Smoker
Step 1: Clean Turkey
Once you get the turkey you think is the best, thaw it if you have selected a frozen one. Let it rest at room temperature, or place it under running water until it becomes soft and thawed.
Never smoke a frozen turkey as it will leave uneven hot and cold spots or even leave some parts of the turkey raw. Clean the turkey by removing all the internal parts of the meat.
Use your hands and pull the intestines and gizzards from the bottom part of the turkey. All of the organs would naturally come out together as they are enclosed in a thin sac together.
Remove the neck as well by pulling it out while you guide the cut with a knife. Remove the extra bits of feathers, especially on the wing part, as it usually leaves thick feathers.
Step 2: Brine And Rinse
First, rinse off any internal parts left inside the turkey and clean the outer regions by running the turkey over cold water. Prepare your brine and then start the seasoning process.
You do not need too many ingredients here, and you can select your favorite ones. For a more traditional or natural way of brining, salt is the most important ingredient here.
The point of brining the turkey is to prevent it from drying out when it cooks. So you do not have to add many seasonings here, but you can put your favorite spices with the brine.
After brining the turkey for at least an hour, remove it from the brine and rinse it with cold water. Get into the body cavity and crevice in the body of the turkey to remove the brine.
Let the salt and other herbs spread throughout the turkey. Place the turkey in a large zip lock bag and leave it in the fridge overnight or at least 12 hours up to a whole day to rest.
Step 3: Season The Turkey
By using two types of rub, you will be seasoning the turkey in the best way possible. You need to use a dry rub inside the turkey’s body and then a wet rub on the outer parts of it.
The reason for this is because wet rub will stick better to the outer parts of the turkey. Be generous with it as well since it will likely cook in the long smoking process.
Spread the rub with your hands all over the turkey. Get the rub into the skin by separating the skin from the body lightly and then spreading the rub between them.
Step 4: Smoke The Turkey
Preheat the Electric smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit while the turkey is resting with the rub on it. Brush a thin layer of olive oil on the grates of the smoker to prevent the turkey from sticking to it.
Once the electric smoker reaches the set temperature, place the turkey directly on the grates and close the lid immediately. Make sure that you get all the smoke that you need in it.
As a rule of thumb, smoking turkey takes 40 minutes for each pound of turkey that you have. This has been proven effective, so you can adjust the timer according to the weight of the turkey.
To keep the turkey juicy on the outside, use either BBQ sauce or an oil-based sauce and brush it lightly on the turkey’s skin every hour or so while you are smoking it.
After about an hour of smoking the turkey, insert the meat probe into the thickest part of the bird to start measuring the internal temperature. You need to aim for at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the turkey reaches that temperature, remove it from the electric smoker and let it rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. This is to allow the juices to come back into the meat.
Slice the turkey, carve it, and then serve!
Using an electric smoker can be challenging as it does not cook like the regular smoker you get used to. However, you can still make the best food with the right guide.
You just need to know what the turkey needs to get a flavorful finish without allowing it to dry out. With the recipe above, you will be making the best-smoked turkeys for thanksgiving.
Always remember to allow the turkey to rest before slicing it so that the juices can spread evenly into the meat, making it more tender and flavorful before serving it.
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