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This delightful legend adds even more flavor to a spectacular taste of
Smoked turkey can be dressed up or down. It forms the center of an all time
great sandwich and is the beginning of many delicious variations.
Unfortunately, like most things, a good smoked turkey is hard to find. If
you don't have a talented, generous friend, you just about have to do it
Turkey smoking is not for the intense, "Type A" personality. It is the sort
of activity that combines well with a triple-header football Saturday. It
provides the perfect prophylactic to unwanted invitations, "I'd like to, but
I'm smoking turkeys." And it would go well with a re-reading of "War and Peace."
|HOW TO SMOKE A
TURKEY - RIGHT
Get a right turkey. I prefer fresh. Not "sort of" or "semi" but real fresh.
If you use frozen, follow carefully the producers instructions for thawing.
And not a large one. 12-14 pounds is big enough. The heavyweight 20+
pounders create too many problems. It is safe to assume that all poultry has
some little salmonella bacteria lurking about. Poultry, properly prepared
and cooked, is safer than a baby's teething ring. But, large birds and low
temperatures create opportunities whose knock you do not wish to hear.
Prepare the grill for smoking Turkey - temperature 170-190 degrees for
prolonged periods; sweet smoke of fruitwoods (apple, pear) white oak,
hickory; hardwood charcoal.
Trim excess fat and skin flaps and wash thoroughly under running water.
Place directly on the grill. No salt; no seasonings.
Close down the grill. Adjust your air flow to maintain about 170 degrees.
Go taste your favorite beverage or check out your game plan. Check back in
about an hour to assure that you adjustments were what you thought they
were. Adjust if required. Then find something to do for the next 15-18 hours.
How often you need to check the grill depends upon how long your grill will
maintain the proper temperature range without your attention. How long you
carry on, depends on how long it takes the center of the thickest part of
the bird to reach 165 degrees.
The bird should have the same color if he had spent the summer on the
beach. The meat should have a pink ring of smoke penetration. When sliced,
juices should run clear. The meat should be moist and tender.
You may remove it at once to cool or reduce the temperature and lay on a
fresh coating of new smoke. Allow the bird to cool before slicing in your
usual professional manner. Try not to eat it all before everybody gets a taste.
One of the things for which I am always thankful this time of the year is
the good taste our forefathers showed in selecting the centerpiece for the
They could have had armadillo. Or worse still - spinach souffle' or
cauliflower quiche. If they gotten together in California, we might be
celebrating over "a medley of tofu and frangipani blossoms."
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Smoky's 5th basic position for really great barbecue'n.
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