Smoked Turkey Memphis Style
Smoked Turkey Memphis Style
This year we wanted to do something a little different with our bird. I think there are 7 or 8 turkey recipes on our web site. I have wrapped them in bacon, dusted them with chipotle and smoked every one of them. Truth is we just don’t really care for turkey. Patti was suggesting a good stuffed cheese burger instead this year.
Talking with folks and reading a bit I thought I would try and brine one. I always thought the hardest part of brining was coming up with a container big enough for the turkey in the brine and trying to fit it into the refrigerator.
I scare myself sometimes, why not just put it in an ice chest? Too easy I know but I did it anyway.
Let me tell you this was the best turkey we have ever had. It was packed with flavor, tender and juicy. We did 5 legs with it and they were like a good ham. Patti is already planning one for next week. One of the things I learned about brining is that you can add tons of flavor profiles with different fruits and juices, peppers and spices just about anything you can dream. I did this one with brown sugar, peppers, garlic and onions with some good maple pellet smoke on our Memphis Elite.
Prep Time: 1 hour, then let brine overnight
Cook Time: 5 hours @ 225 degrees
Grill: Memphis Elite Wood Fire Pellet Grill/Smoker
Pellets: Natures Way Maple
1 Turkey, ours was 13 lbs.
5 turkey legs, (well worth the time)
Olive oil, (I used Calivirgin Hot Virgin Jalapeno Olive Oil)
2 gallons of water
2 cups of kosher salt
2 cups dark brown sugar (light will work)
1 cup dried crushed garlic
1 cup dried chopped onion
½ cup red pepper flakes
½ cup Pete’s Firehouse Steak Seasoning
1 cup hot sauce, optional (Tabasco, Frank’s or anything like that)
Take an ice chest your bird will fit in and line the bottom of it with ice packs. For easy clean up put a large trash bag over the ice packs in your ice chest.
Place your turkey in the trash bag in the ice chest and go put your brine together.
Heat Your Seasonings until Blended
Add all your brine seasonings with about a quart of water into a sauce pan. Heat to a low boil. You are melting the sugar and salt while the heat releases the oils from the rest of your spices. When smooth pour your brine solution into the trash bag with your turkey, add cold water to make about two gallons of brine to completely cover your bird.
Bird in a Bag
I tied the bag shut and put the lid on the ice chest overnight.
The next day I pulled it out rinsed the turkey and put a light coat of olive oil on it and sprinkled with our rub.
Ready to Smoke
Cooking Directions: Memphis Wood Fire Pellet Grill/Smoker
Open the lid and set the ITC (Intelligent Temperature Control) to “225” degrees (110c). After about five minutes you can shut the lid. Give it a few minutes to heat up.
Place everything directly onto the grill and just let it hang out in the smoke and get happy for 5 hours or so. When the meat reaches an internal temp around 165 (74c) pull it off, cover it and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
In the Smoke on the Memphis Elite
Note: I get a lot of questions about the kind of pellets you can use with a recipe. Keep in mind that a recipe is just an outline. Some you need follow closely like when you are making bread, but most you can do anything you can dream, our favorite way to cook. Feel free to mix and match the pellets until you find a combination you really like. Also you are only smoking at temps less than 250 degrees, anything higher is cooking and there will not be much if any smoke so it does not matter what kind of pellet you are using.
About our Recipes
We do our recipes on our patio where we have a lineup of grills, including Memphis Elite Wood Fire Pellet Grill/Smoker, Royall, Traeger, Char Griller side box smoker, Charmglow, Char-Broil, The Big Easy, Brinkman and Weber. I call it our “Wall of Grill”. Our grilling styles are healthy and low fat and will fit pellet heads, gas, natural wood and even charcoal purists. Almost any of our recipes can be done on any kind of good BBQ.
The important thing to keep in mind is TIME & TEMPERATURE. You can even do some of them in the oven or crock pot, but, then you lose all the flavors you get from cooking outdoors. But sometimes it does rain.
Remember that a recipe is simply an outline; it is not written in stone. Don’t be afraid to make changes to suit your taste.
Take it and run with it….
Live your Passion,
Ken & Patti