Thursday, November 6, 2008

Oven Smoked Turkey - Our Family Tradition

I don't have a picture to go with this one. Because a huge turkey isn't normally in our everyday budget, we won't be cooking this until Thanksgiving. Just picture in your mind a roast turkey.

Besides, with this recipe, what it looks like doesn't matter - everyone knows what a turkey looks like. What's important is that this is the most tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth delicious turkey I've ever eaten, with a wonderfully smoky flavor that stirs up memories for me of the Thanksgivings of my childhood. This is the turkey we've had almost every year since I was young. Give it a try this year and see what you think!

Oven Smoked Turkey
1 10-12 pound turkey, thawed (we usually use larger, even 15 to 20 pounds works, depending on your bucket and your oven)
8 tbsp. liquid smoke (look for it in the grocery store next to the barbecue sauce)
1/4 cup rock salt
1 cup tender quick salt (this helps to make this tender turkey even more tender. But if you can't find it, it's okay to omit it. My mom hasn't been able to find any for years)
1 gallon hot water

Put salts and liquid smoke in the bottom of a large plastic bucket (3 gallon) that has a lid. Then pour gallon of hot water in to dissolve. Put the turkey in and place a bowl right side up on top of the turkey. When you put the lid on tight, the bowl pushes the turkey under the brine. Put the bucket with the turkey and brine outside so it will stay cold, and let it soak for 15 hours. Drain and bake at 200 degrees for 15 hours (start it cooking the night before Thanksgiving - this step ensures a very tender texture). Carve and serve.

Sample schedule, to clarify: If you want to eat at about 1:00 on Thanksgiving, start the turkey soaking at 7:00 the morning before. Put it in the oven at 10:00 that night before you go to bed. It will be done at 1:00, and you can eat!

Yes, this turkey takes a very very long time. And yes, it is very much worth it.

18 comments:

Jeni said...

Huh, I've never tried liquid smoke. It sounds easy though. And, yes, I CAN smell those juicy flavors of Thanksgiving turkey! Can't wait!!

Rebekah said...

I would never have thought of doing a turkey this way. Interesting. I may try it for Christmas as my hubbie has requested ham for Thanksgiving. Any good ham recipes?

Michelle said...

One of these days you'll have to try my maple brined turkey. Other than the brine flavor, you cook it all slow like the smoked turkey. Mild maple flavor, but oh so yummy!

This one is seriously yummy though too, I am so glad Mom and Dad found this recipe years ago!

quiltkeemosabe said...

Should I assume the turkey was thawed before putting into the brine??? Sounds very interesting. Thanks!

Adam said...

This recipe sounds great, and I'm thinking about doing it for my Thanksgiving dinner this year.

My one question, is that I was thinking about adding some more flavors to the brine. Do you think this is a good or bad idea?

Stephanie said...

Adam, I guess it depends on the flavors. We've never added anything else. But I think that this brine, being so simple, would probably lend itself just fine to adding other flavors if you want to.

Anonymous said...

I have never roasted a turkey. Do you just put it in the pan with no liquid for the fifteen hours? I am planning on doing this recipe in a few days. Do you need to check the temperature after 15 hours, or is it safe to assume that it has reached the appropriate temperature?

Stephanie said...

Yup, no liquid. Just place it breast up on the rack of a roasting pan, and bake it. I don't recall if it's supposed to be covered with foil or not. I've actually never made this myself, it's the family recipe that my mom or grandma or one of my aunts always makes. I would go ahead and check the temperature after it's done; after being in the oven for that long it should be hot enough but it's best to be safe.

Shauntell said...

I am excited to try this recipe. I am making a Thanksgiving dinner for some friends who had some misfourtune on Thanksgiving and missed out on all the good food. I love smoked turkey. THanks for sharing your family recipe!

Rizwan said...

I shall try this sometime if it help me i shall keep doing it

Pegasos World

Amy S. said...

Would it be weird to put some seasoning under the skin when roasting it? I'm thinking some pepper and sage mixed in with some butter. I can't decide if that would be weird with the smoky flavor.

Stephanie said...

Amy, I bet that would actually be pretty good. I think it would complement the smoky flavor..

anandhi said...

Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!

Smoking Oven

sangeee said...

Love that dry rub bowl! That is fun, fun, fun. Wish we could eat this for lunch right now.


Smoking Oven

Anonymous said...

I have a 23lb turkey so I got a 5 gallon bucket. Should my turkey be fully submerged in the brine or do I have to up the ingredients?

Stephanie said...

The turkey needs to be fully submerged, so if the amount of ingredients isn't enough, add enough to cover the bird.

Anonymous said...

If my oven is full of other goodies, can i use a countertop roaster for the turkey?

Sher said...

okay so did anyone try the receipe and how did it turn out. I am making the dinner and really nervous if there are tips you learnt that could help me from making them please comment.