Cherry Wood Smoked Turkey
|5||sprig||fresh thyme or 2 Tbs dried thyme|
|1||each||16-18 pound turkey, defrosted|
| ||each||Cherry, Apple or Hickory Wood chips as needed|
- Combine the salt, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme with 1 gallon of hot tap water. When the salt and sugar have dissolved, add in one gallon of cold tap water.
- Place a thick garbage bag in a large cooler and pour the cool brine into it. Place the turkey in the brine solution. Tie the bag up. Cover with ice.
- Brine for 2 days. Check to make sure there is always ice covering the bag during the 2 days.
- Remove the turkey from the brine and pat it dry. Allow the turkey to sit in a cool area to let the skin dry.
- Prepare a smoker for smoking according to manufacturer instructions.
- Rub the turkey with olive oil and place in the smoker. Begin adding in wood chips that have been soaked in water or apple juice.
- Continue to smoke, maintaining a 300 degree temperature for approximately 2 hours. Remove from the smoker at that point. The turkey should be evenly brown.
- Check the temperature of the turkey with a meat thermometer for a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If you need to, you can finish the turkey in the oven at 350 degrees.