Smoking a whole turkey for guests

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by hoffmaba, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. hoffmaba

    hoffmaba Fire Starter

    So, this is far in advance, but I'm thinking about Thanksgiving.  My plan is to smoke a whole turkey. 

    Yesterday, I smoked some chicken thighs and made pulled chicken sandwiches. They were very good, but today after they sat overnight in the fridge, the chicken is "sneak over to the fridge at the commercial break and sneak another piece" good!  

    This made me think about Thanksgiving. If I smoke the turkey the day of, I'll get to have the oohs and aahs of putting a big beautiful brown smoked turkey on the table.  If I smoke it the day before and reheat it (probably in pieces in a pan of broth/drippings), it'll be much tastier, but I lose some presentation/tradition value.  

    Any experience/thoughts?  I know that no matter what I do, we'll have great leftovers for sandwiches! (I'm a traditionalist - turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce on the sandwich).  
  2. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Do it day of. The presentation value is worth the slightly diminished flavor. Plus, the white meat really will be at its peak within an hour so of coming off the smoker. In my experience it tends to dry a little after spending the night in the fridge.

    The dark meat really does improve after a night in the fridge though, so you can save most of that for Black Friday.
  3. We are going away for a weekend near thanksgiving and have thought about smoking a turkey. I have been reading a lot in here looking at what works for most and try it for our friends. Parents want to do the cooking day of, so we don't get that fun but gives us time to practice and get it right!
  4. I do a turkey the day of and save the dark meat for the day after.

  5. Do one both days , never hurts to hsve a lot of turkey.

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