Alternative Ways to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey

By: Jordan Price

Tis the season of mashed potatoes and Thanksgiving turkeys. Most people go the traditional way, but here are some alternative ways to cook a turkey. Try cooking a turkey by smoking it, grilling it, or deep frying.

The first way to alternatively cook a turkey is the apple brined smoked turkey:

  • 1. Combine the apple juice, brown sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve. Boil for one minute, remove from heat, let mixture come to room temperature, then refrigerate to 40°F.
  • 2. In a large non-reactive container, combine the apple juice mixture with the remaining brine ingredients. When adding the oranges, squeeze each piece to release the juice into the container, then drop in the peel. Set the turkey in the brine, breast side down, placing a weight on top to keep the turkey submerged if necessary. Place in the refrigerator and let brine for 24 hours.
  • 3. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet and allow to air-dry overnight in the refrigerator. (This step is optional, but will result in a crisper skin.)
  • 4. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator, fold the wings under the body and tie the legs together. Allow the turkey to come to room temperature while you prepare the smoker.
  • 5. Fire up your smoker to 350 degrees. Add the chunks of apple wood and when the wood is burning and producing smoke, place the turkey in the smoker. Smoke until an instant read thermometer reads 165°F in the thickest part of the breast, about 2 to 3 hours.
  1. Remove the turkey from the smoker and allow to rest, uncovered, for 20 to                                                30 minutes. Carve and serve.

The next way to cook a thanksgiving turkey is a honey smoked turkey:

  1. Preheat grill for high heat. If you are using a charcoal grill, use about twice the                              normal amount of charcoal. Soak wood chips in a pan of water, and set next to the       grill.
  1. Remove neck and giblets from turkey. Rinse the bird and pat dry. Place in a large disposable roasting pan.
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together sage, ground black pepper, celery salt, basil, and vegetable oil. Pour mixture evenly over the turkey. Turn the turkey breast side down in the pan, and tent loosely with aluminum foil.
  1. Place the roasting pan on the preheated grill. Throw a handful of the wood chips onto the coals. Close the lid, and cook for 1 hour.
  1. Throw about 2 more handfuls of soaked wood chips on the fire. Drizzle 1/2 the honey over the bird, and replace the foil. Close the lid of the grill, and continue cooking 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C) in the thickest part of the thigh.
  1. Uncover turkey, and carefully turn it breast side up in the roasting pan. Baste with remaining honey. Leave the turkey uncovered, and cook 15 minutes. The cooked honey will be very dark.

The last turkey is the deep fried turkey:

1.Wash bird inside and out, and allow to drain. Rub turkey all over with House           Seasoning Coat turkey with dry rub.

  1. Allow the bird to sit until it reaches room temperature.

3.Heat peanut oil in a turkey fryer or a very, very large stockpot to 350 degrees F. Lower turkey into hot oil, very carefully, making sure it is fully submerged.

  1. Fry turkey for 3 minutes per pound plus 5 minutes per bird. Remove turkey from oil and drain on paper towels.

5.Serve with favorite Thanksgiving sides and salads.img_1641

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