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More often than not, we closely associate turkeys with Thanksgiving. I’m sure you would agree that with all the buzz and fuzz that come with the season, one essential and ever-constant part of the tradition is a plate of nicely roasted or smoked turkey with some great stuffing. I know that there is no Thanksgiving without Turkey.
While this is true, it is also true that preparing a turkey can be a lot of hard work, and you can easily chalk it up to some rigorous unavoidable annual task. Well, here’s some good news. Having adequately cooked and well seasoned turkey to share with your friends or family doesn’t have to be such a chore, and you do not have to wait till you get help during Thanksgiving to have a great meal. It has been made easy and fun by an electric smoker.
SMOKING WITH AN ELECTRIC SMOKER
It is a delightful way to cook turkey not only because it lends amazing flavors but because it is an easy way to enjoy tender and flavorful turkey. With electric smoker such as Masterbuilt, you can have a great time making turkey for family dinners or the holidays.
If you are new to it, there are various things to consider, such as the brand of the smoker, its size, and your choice of wood. I recommend a Masterbuilt electric smoker as they are quite easy to use and give fantastic, great results.
Before you start to smoke your turkey, you have to prep your smoker. This is very important and should not be overlooked or done in a rush, especially if you are using a new smoker or new to it. Here are some things you should bear in mind while prepping your electric smoker:
1.Break-in, your smoker
This step is essential before the first use of a smoker. You must heat and burn away the dust and oil that are in your smoker. Here is how you break in a Masterbuilt smoker;
a)Put in the water pan and chip box. Ensure that you keep them empty then, turn on your smoker.
b)Set the temperature of your smoker to 275°F for about 3 hours. During the last 1/2 hours, open the door of your smoker and add a handful of wood chips to the chip box.
c)Allow it to complete the duration and turn off the smoker. Be sure to let it cool down before you start smoking your turkey.
There are different kinds of wood chips, and they are better matched with certain types of meat. For poultry, alder wood, pecan, and apple wood are great choices. They also lend great flavors to turkeys.
3. Do not reuse wood
If you just followed step one then, you should clear out the chip box and put in fresh wood chips. If you are reusing a smoker, on the other hand, be sure also to use only new wood chips. Reusing old ones will affect the temperature as the wood will not burn as it ought to. It will either be too fast or too slow.
COMMON SMOKING ERRORS
1. Not giving your turkey room to thaw
If you are using frozen chicken, then you have to wait it out. This process can take up to 2-3 days in a refrigerator. It is essential because failing to allow the turkey thaw properly will affect its cooking and texture. Some parts of the turkey will get cooked before they others and eventually become overcooked before the other regions catch up. To prevent this, you have to ensure that your turkey is thoroughly thawed out before you begin.
You have to dry out your bird completely before smoking it to ensure a crispy texture.
3. Failing to preheat
Preheating the smoker ensures that the smoked turkey smarts as soon as it gets into the smoker. Failing to do this will affect the overall cooking time of the meat and may cause it to be unevenly cooked. So, it is better and faster to preheat your smoker so that your turkey starts to melt almost immediately.
4.Relying only on the plastic thermometer
You need to use a proper meat thermometer. It is essential because it is the best way to determine the readiness of smoked turkey.
5.Too high temperature.
There’s usually a considerable rush if your guests have already arrived, and the smoked turkey isn’t ready. However, do not, under any circumstances, turn up the heat. It can be very disastrous.
If you want your smoked turkey to be finely done, you have to stick to the recommended duration of smoking, as raising the heat will not make it cook any better. Some parts will come out overcooked, and others undercooked because you were trying to avoid getting the cooked parts burnt.
6. Opening the smoker too often
It is alright to check your turkey once in a while, but if you do that, often you will ruin all the hard work you have put in so far. Constant opening the smoker’s door will upset the temperature and cause the wood to emit unpleasant smoke into the smoked turkey.
Apart from the risk of breeding bacteria, stuffing creates an overcooking or undercooking problem. Usually, stuffed turkeys take longer to cook, and the length of time may vary depending on what the stuffing is. The interior will cook very slowly, and other parts will be done ahead of it, causing them to become overcooked. If you take out the smoked turkey based on the readiness of those parts, the interior will be undercooked. It is, therefore, safer and better to cook the stuffing separately.
8.Too much wood
Too much wood equals too much smoke, and while you want the meat to have a smoky and crisp texture, you don’t want to taste the wood. Just a handful is enough, and you can add more if you don’t see enough smoke.
9.The wrong type of wood
As you already know, smoke comes from the wood, and the smell of the smoke, which is determined by the kind of wood, will settle in the turkey. Usually, certain woods suit particular types of meat better. For turkey, fruit trees are best. Apple, maple, cherry, and alder and are such kinds.
10. Allow the turkey to cool before carving
Allowing the turkey to sit awhile before carving gives time to have all the juices and seasoning evenly distributed. After smoking, cover your turkey with some aluminum foil and let it rest for about thirty minutes. You can make your giblet gravy while waiting. Carving your turkey will not only be easier if you give it time to cool, but you will also be cutting into an incredibly moist bird.
There is no hard and fast rule here. You must wait if you want your turkey to be kind and tender.
HOW TO SMOKE A TURKEY WITH A MASTERBUILT ELECTRIC SMOKER
Prepping your turkey
Now that you have a smoker, what’s missing? Yes, of course, the answer is ‘a turkey,’ but you are not going to put it in just like that, are you? Here are some things to consider while prepping your smoked turkey for the smoker:
1. Compare sizes
You must measure up the size of the pound whole turkey you intend to smoke and the smoker you have. There won’t be any smoking if your turkey doesn’t fit in the smoker so, this is important. You may cut the wings, legs, and breasts to help provide in all the pieces correctly.
2.Frozen or Fresh?
This is mostly a matter of convenience and perhaps cost. If you would rather have the whole turkey that’s ready to go rather than waiting to thaw it out, then a fresh turkey is the better option. They also have a lot of meaty flavors since they are new. Great textures too. However, frozen turkeys are just as great if not better and are cheaper too! If you decide to go with this option, remember to thaw out your chicken slowly. Doing this in a refrigerator rather than a tabletop helps to preserve the freshness of the meat. It may take a day or two to have it completely thawed out.
In my experience, I find tastier and meatier textures in frozen turkey. You may try out both fresh and frozen turkeys and see which one you like better.
3. Remove the neck and giblets
Sometimes turkey bird comes with these previously removed, but if your turkey still has its neck on, get it off. You should remove the giblets too and set them aside for cooking. They make for great gravy.
4.Washing and brining
It is recommended that it is safer not to wash your turkey bird as this will only spread germs into your sink and kitchen. The heat from the cooking will naturally kill off the bacteria in the turkey, so it is entirely safe and healthy. If you are bringing, however, you definitely should rinse off the turkey.
Again, brining is not a necessity. Although it helps to make the meat tender, proper smoke, great flavoring, and seasoning do a good enough job.
5.Dry out the turkey
Dry out the turkey thoroughly after rinsing it out and ensure that it is scorched. It makes for a crispier skin.
Now that you have prepped your turkey bird, its time to spice it up. Here is a Smoked turkey recipe Herb flavored.
v A 10-12lbs turkey, bird prepped accordingly
v 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
v 2 teaspoons powdered sage
v 1½ teaspoons paprika
v 1½ teaspoons salt 1
v 1 teaspoon ginger
v 1 teaspoon rosemary
v 3 crushed garlic cloves
v 1 tablespoon lemon zest
v ½ cup water
v ½ cup apple cider
v ¼ cup extra virgin oil
v Apple or alder wood chips
For a more straightforward smoked turkey recipe, all you need is some salt 1, pepper, garlic (crushed or powdered), and chopped onions. You can also replace the fresh spices in the above-smoked turkey recipe with dried versions that were unavailable. You can leave your name, email, or your name, email address, and telephone for more recipes. We are updating our recipe every week. A new recipe is released every week. You can follow our page to get your favorite recipe. The recipe will be sent to your email. You will get an original recipe by recipe. Wait for your recipe!
1. Preheat your smoker to 225⁰F. This should be done before you start seasoning your turkey, except you opted for a marinade, which will have to sit in longer.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients and herbs in a small bowl and rub this on the inside of the turkey bird. You should use no more than one-third of the seasonings to do this.
3. Add in the olive oil and lemon zest to the rest of the mixture and rub this all over the outside of the turkey bird. Be sure to cover all skin.
4. Mix the water and apple cider into the water pan at the bottom of your smoker. Ensure than it is only filled halfway. At this point, you should also place a pan to collect drippings while the turkey is smoking. It is very flavorful and will enhance whatever gravy you intend to make alongside the turkey bird.
5. Use a toothpick to tuck in the wings of the turkey bird and secure them. Then place the turkey bird in the smoker, preferably the middle rack, and shut the door of the smoker.
6. Open the vents halfway and set a timer for 6 hours to 7 hours until the internal temperature is 165⁰F.
7. Check once every hour for the smoke. If you do not see any, add some more wood chips. Be sure not to overdo this, and most smokers come with glass doors so you can check without opening it.
8. After being smoked for 4 hours, check your turkey with a meat thermometer. And do that every other hour to monitor the progress. You can do this while adding the wood chips.
9. Remove the turkey bird when the inner temperature is 165F.
10. Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for at least 1/3 hours before you begin carving.
Smoked turkey goes very nicely with classic potato casseroles, giblet gravy, corn casseroles, and lots of other side dishes, and whatever you do, be sure to balance out the spices between your smoked turkey and the side dish.
I hope these tips and suggestions have simplified turkey smoking for you. They will also help to give you a fantastic smoked turkey adventure, hopefully, one that you will find irresistible and try out often. You definitely should check the best grill for information on the available types of Masterbuilt electric smokers and which one is best suited to your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does it take smoking a turkey in an electric smoker?
To smoke a turkey, you will need about 1/2 to 2/3 hours per pound. This means that the size of your turkey will determine how long it cooks. It is, however, essential to ensure that your turkey is completely thawed out so that it does not come out undercooked or with some parts overcooked.
It helps to use a probe thermometer that will stay permanently in the turkey so that you can monitor its progress while it is smoking.
What temperature do you smoke a turkey in an electric smoker?
Depending on how good your smoker is, It should be done between 225-250 F degrees.
How do I get crispy smoke on my turkey skin?
i. Ensure that your chicken is properly dried out before you season it.
ii. Keep the temperature at the recommended level.
iii. Do not over smoke.
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