Not fishing this week as we are planning to have Thanksgiving with my wife's parents who were not able to make it up to our place this year. Therefore I am working on the turkey today that we will take to them tomorrow.
For the past 14 years or so, I have been roasting a turkey on our smoker grill outside. I use a combination of mesquite wood and charcoal. Charcoal to help keep some consistent heat and the mesquite for the wood flavor. Originally, I tried smoking a turkey at the lower temperatures but that took forever. I usually had to start past midnight to ensure it was done for dinner in the evening. I now just roast it at a higher temperature simply for convenience and due to the fact that I brine the turkey for around 12 hours, it does not affect the juiciness of the meat.
As I mentioned, the brine has been the key to maintaining a moist turkey. I basically use the following (for a 12 to 14 pound turkey):
- 2 gallons of water
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cup kosher or non iodized salt
- 1/2 cup dried thyme
- 1/2 cup dried rosmary
The morning I prepare the fire, I remove the turkey from the brine, rinse it off and put in an aluminum pan and cover it tightly with aluminum foil. I then roast it for whatever length of time it needs for the size and towards the last two or three hours, I remove the foil to brown the turkey. If you don't use foil, due to the wood smoke, the turkey will come out almost black and the mesquite flavor will be a bit too strong.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving y'all!