I wanted to call this post “An almost 4-year-old and a 40 something year old tackle a turkey”, but I thought that might be a little too long, so I just went with “Gobble Gobble.” Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so I thought this would be an appropriate time to show you how we smoke a turkey. And to get this damn thing out of my freezer.
Last year after celebrating Thanksgiving at the ranch, we stopped at HEB on our way home and scored a free turkey with the purchase of a ham. The ham was cooked right away, but the turkey sat in our freezer taking up way too much space until earlier this week when I pulled it out to thaw it. The plan was to smoke it Sunday afternoon, and Mrs. G was going to help whip up some sides. I think. I might not have told her that part. Doesn’t matter. Mrs. G came down with a bug Saturday night, and Sunday became a “Duke and Daddy Day.” That’s what we call it when we get to spend all day together without Mom.
So, we rode scooters to the playground and played (well he rode his scooter, I walked). He tagged along with me on my Sunday grocery trip and got a new Matchbox car for being good. We dropped Mrs. G off at the doctor and went and had lunch and I let him play on the playground at a place I’m ashamed to say I went to. We went to the pharmacy and got soup and medicine for Mrs. G.
And then I got the Egg going to smoke the turkey. I’ve gotten really good results smoking them at 350 indirect with cherry wood. And even though I have and Adjustable Rig from the Ceramic Grill Store, for some reason on this cook I always go back to the plate setter, legs up, with the original grate resting on top. No idea why, just the way I’ve always done it and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I’ve found that for smoking turkeys at 350F, about 15 minutes a pound generally works out pretty well. This was about an 11.5lb bird, so about 3 hours should do it. Accounting for a 20 minute rest after pulling the bird and wanting to eat at 6, that meant the turkey would need to go on at 2:30ish.
Things do not always go as planned, however. I had my Flame Boss hooked up to the Egg, and as I checked it a few times, I realized that it was not holding at 350. And it wasn’t kicking the fan on to bring it up to temp because for some reason, it was registering that the Egg was OPEN. So now we were behind schedule! I bumped it to 375 and later 400 to get this cook done on time as I didn’t want to feed Duke a bologna sandwich. Or chicken nuggets. Or some other such food he’ll actually eat.
400 did the trick and got the Egg going and all was saved. The turkey hit 160 in the breast and came off the Egg at 5:30 as planned. Due to Mrs. G being sick, and my total lack of motivation to really do anything about sides, and playing Matchbox cars and watching the Cowboys game, I’m almost embarrassed to say that the sides were canned green beans, Stove Top cornbread stuffing, Pioneer turkey gravy (yeah…from an envelope) and store-bought dinner rolls. I’ve never had the dressing or gravy and they weren’t that bad and only took 5 minutes so I’ll call that a win win situation. But would Duke eat the dressing? Oh HELL NO!!
He did like the turkey, though. We gave it a good shot but we barely put a dent in it. But that’s ok. I knew we would have leftovers even if Mrs. G had been well and had dinner with us. We have two legs, two wings and a whole breast left untouched. I’m planning on getting my slicer out tonight and making lunch meat out of the untouched breast. One night this week, I think we’ll make fettucine Alfredo with turkey. I took some for lunch today and I guess the rest will probably get vacuum sealed and saved for casseroles down the road. What do you like to do with your leftover turkey?