Day before Turkey with gravy, ham & Q

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by ameskimo1, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. Hosted the family Christmas dinner on Saturday so I smoked a turkey on Friday. My last turkey was somewhat uncooperative so I didn't want to take the risk.

    Monday - put the frozen, almost 16lb Butterball in the fridge

    Thursday evening - the insides were still frozen but the rest of the bird seemed thawed so I went ahead with the brine. 

    Simple brine of chicken broth (this one was organic), brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder,salt.

    Friday - 10am the bird was on the smoker, breast side up with a lite rub of paprika, salt, pepper, garlic/onion powders. Ran a steady 250-275 on gas to hold basic heat (it was cold so I cheated, lol) with hardwood coals and apple wood. About 2 hrs in I flipped it breast side down. Also ran a tray of onion, carrots, apples and water, brown sugar with the turkey neck as a drip pan. (I'm looking for the thread that suggested this as gravy, will post when I find it again).

    About 330pm we were showing 166 so into the oven and covered in foil (turned off) to rest while we ran into town.

    At 5pm the carving began and meat placed in foil pans with drippings, covered, and placed in fridge

    Saturday - 1pm the trays of meat (covered in foil) were placed back in the smoker at 250 with a half ham. Gas back up, hardwood coals, apple wood

    The turkey and ham were excellent and the turkey very juicy. The gravy was very good but only used a smaller amount than regular gravy.

    Nice piece of apple wood

    2 hrs and flipped the bird

    4 hrs, looking good

    Finished and resting breast side down - isn't that beautiful???

    This became gravy, de-fatted and minus the neck.


    7 1/2 lb ham, in for about 2 hrs while the turkey reheated. Those small hickory chunks came out pretty quickly, they were producing way too much white smoke.

    Sorry no pics of the set up for dinner, the line formed quickly once the food was set out!

    The only changes I may make in the future is adding some celery and maybe some additional spices to the gravy. I'm thinking a touch of cinnamon might make a nice addition for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
  2. An additional note - the skin came out crispy in some spots, somewhat in others. I removed it from the bird and placed over the white meat in the foil covered pans; the intent was when reheating the skin would keep/add moisture during the reheat.

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