Orange Smoked Turkey

This is an amazing way to cook a turkey. The orange flavor paired with the smokiness is unbelievable. We have smoked a turkey several ways, and the best way is to use a charcoal smoker. These are very inexpensive at discount centers like Walmart or Kmart. You just have to store them inside between uses, they rust out really quickly if left outside. Smoking a turkey does take some time, about 30 minutes per pound at 225 degrees, but it is definitely worth it.

Ingredients

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

Brine

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1 1/2 gallons heavily iced water
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 2 oranges

Aromatics

  • 2 oranges
  • 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, sugar, onion, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, sage, rosemary, and thyme to a large sauce pot. Add 1/2 gallon of the water and bring to a boil. Boil until onions are soft. 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 add onions, garlic, and oranges 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. Keep the heat in the smoker or grill hoovering as close to 225 degrees as you can. 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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2 Responses to “Orange Smoked Turkey”

  1. 1
    redkathy — November 13, 2009 @ 5:32 pm

    Oh man this sounds sooooo good! Too bad I don’t have a grill or a smoker, otherwise this would be on my table this Thanksgiving. Unlessss, you think it would be good in the oven?
    .-= redkathy´s last blog, Awards times three =-.

  2. 2
    Alta — November 14, 2009 @ 5:05 pm

    I’m usually not a huge smoked turkey fan, as it seems like it’s always so strongly smoky. This, however, sounds AMAZING!
    .-= Alta´s last blog, Tomatillo Turkey Chili =-.

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