Smoking a Turkey

November 2003

This year my mother asked if I could make a smoked turkey and smoked brisket for Thanksgiving.
Previously, I made a smoker from a trashcan.  This would require modification to the smoker to fit the bird.

I had to mod the existing smoker to handle the size of the bird.
Above is my plan for making a second smoking chamber.

Buying a second trash can cost $12.

The complexity of cooking both meats in the smoker and having them ready
required some serious planning.

I bought a new trash can and cut holes in the lid top and can bottom with a jigsaw.

When I stack them, the smoke generation is in the bottom and the turkey goes in the top.

During a test run of this setup, I found the temperature wasn't as high as I
wanted, so I had to figure out how to retain more heat.  After a few bad ideas,
the idea of insulation came to me.  After a trip to the hardware store,
I wrapped the setup in water heater insulation to try to keep more heat in.

Looking inside to see the grill the turkey will rest on.

Before cooking the turkey, I also wanted to cook two briskets. These are raw with the BBQ rub on them

The briskets after 3 hours in smoker.

The brined turkey in the smoker. It spent 4 hours in the smoker.

They both slow cook in the oven at 225
for long time.

While made the meat, my wife made a Jack Daniels Apple Pie.
She also made a Sweet Potato Pie, but I forgot to get a picture.

The briskets came apart easily with a fork.
The smell was heavenly.

The smoked turkey.
The last hour of high heat to brown the turkey split the skin.

Me with the wishbone after carving.

Overall, the effort was a success, but a lot of work.
I suggest having a drinking partner for the nighttime smoking session.

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