These are great tips to hold on to and bring out at Thanksgiving.
Tips to Smoking a Turkey:
Butterfly the bird
This will help it cook more evenly and develop crisper skin.
Rub the bird with salt (or a spice rub that includes salt) and let it sit in the fridge for a few nights in order to allow the salt to work its way into the meat and loosen up its muscle structure, thus keeping it juicy as it cooks.
Add baking powder to the dry rub
This causes it to form tiny micro-bubbles on the surface of the turkey as it roasts, adding surface area and enhancing the crispness of the skin. It also slightly raises the pH of the surface, enhancing Maillard browning. *What is Maillard browning? Maillard browning (or Maillard reaction creates flavor and changes the color of food. Maillard reactions generally only begin to occur above 285°F. Until the Maillard reaction occurs meat will have less flavor.
Slow-cook over indirect heat
With the legs pointed toward the heat source (legs can handle higher heat than delicate breast meat can), slow-cook your turkey.
Monitor internal temperature
Carefully monitoring the turkey’s internal temperature to ensure that the breast meat never gets above 150°F. Any higher than that, and it becomes chalky and dry. (Despite government warnings to cook turkey to 165°F, turkey is perfectly safe to eat at 150°F so long as it is properly checked with a thermometer and allowed to rest for at least four minutes before serving.)
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