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.