Honey Smoked Turkey

Honey smoked turkey is the perfect turkey to celebrate your Thanksgiving. The sweet smoky flavor of this turkey will is a perfect alternative to a traditional roast bird. Using a charcoal smoker will add even more great flavor. These are very inexpensive at discount centers like Walmart or Kmart.

Ingredients

  • 1 14-16 lb turkey, thawed, gizzards and neck removed
  • wood chips of your choice

Brine

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 lb, or 16 oz honey
  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1 1/2 gallons heavily iced water

Additional Ingredients

  • 1 sweet onion
  • canola or peanut oil

Gravy

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups turkey stock

Turkey stock

  • turkey neck
  • giblets
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 5 cups water

Method

  1. Add salt and honey to a large sauce pot. Add 1/2 gallon of the water and bring to a boil. Boil until everything is dissolved. Let the mixture cool, and add to a large pot or container, large enough for your bird. Add the heavily iced water, and make sure the mixture is ice cold before adding the bird. Add the bird and brine for 8-24 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat grill or smoker to 250 degrees. Remove the bird and part of the brine to the water bowl in the smoker, or to a grill safe container beside the bird on the grill. (A couple of cans with the labels removed would be good containers.) Rinse bird very well and pat dry. Rub with oil. Stuff with orange wedges. Add wood chips in a foil packet to the smoker or grill. Smoke the bird over indirect heat. Try to keep the temperature in the smoker as close to 225 degrees as possible. Smoke until internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast is 161 degrees. When the bird has reached temperature, remove from grill or smoker and wrap with aluminum foil for at least 1 hour before carving.
  3. While turkey is cooking, make the stock for the gravy. Add the turkey neck, gizzards, and spices to a saucepan. Add 5 cups of water. Bring to boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 2 hours, while turkey is roasting. Stock is done when meat is coming away from the neck bone. Strain stock before using. Melt butter in skillet. Sprinkle in flour. Cook the roux until it has browned, and is fragrant. Whisk in turkey stock. Bring back to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.
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