Thanksgiving Smoked Turkey

Once again Thanksgiving has come and gone. It was a beautiful weekend with temperatures in mid-20’s and full-out sun!  While it doesn’t do much for helping the leaves turn colors, the beautiful weather does give us something else on our list of items to be thankful for.

This year we went with a not so traditional turkey dinner – smoked turkey, stuffing and home-made mac & cheese, just to go along with the BBQ theme.

Our turkey is a 9.5 pound, Normandy butter basted President’s Choice bird.  Since it is already basted with butter, I decided to forego brine stage and just go with a straight rub of brown sugar, salt, chili powder, onion, sage, oregano and rosemary.

After prepping the smoker with 2+ chimneys of fully lit coals, the bird went on the top rack and a foil pan on the lower rack to catch the drippings for gravy.  The temperature in the smoker held steady at 320 to 330 degrees Fahrenheit for the entire cook, with minimal adjustments made to the bottom vents.  Two and a half hours later, the turkey was done, 180 degrees in the thigh.  The breast was cooked a bit longer than I would like, but we can adjust that next time.

For the gravy I roasted the neck and giblets with celery, onion and olive oil until caramelized, then added chicken stock and the pan drippings and thickened with a little flour and water.  The gravy was dark, rich and delicious.

Homemade mac & cheese along with bread and potato stuffing completed the meal.

For dessert, we made an apple pie with a recipe from the newspaper – it was pretty much the best pie I had made (I suck at pie crust, usually buying them frozen and then getting ribbed by my mom-in-law!).

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend – I know we did.

Stuffing ready for the oven

Stuffing ready for the oven

Coals ready to smoke

Coals ready to smoke

The Bird Has Landed

The Bird Has Landed

Time to Relax with Alpha%Dog

Time to Relax with Alpha%Dog

The Bird in All Its Smokey Glory

The Bird in All Its Smokey Glory

Apple Pie

Home-made Apple Pie

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