Smoked Apple Cider Turkey is one of the most tender, juicy and flavorful recipes to add to Thanksgiving Dinner. A quick salt water brine makes sure the turkey stays juicy while it is smoked and the apple cider marinade gives it delicious flavor.
Until we tried this Cajun smoked turkey, it was not our favorite. However, when you brine, marinate and smoke turkey it is a whole other thing! This is no ordinary Thanksgiving turkey.
Ingredients for Smoked Apple Cider Turkey:
- 10- 12 pound Turkey
- warm water
- kosher salt
- fresh rosemary
- Apple Cider
- Brown Sugar
- Garlic Powder
- Kosher Salt
- Dry Mustard
How to Smoke Apple Cider Turkey:
- Remove giblets and gravy packet from thawed turkey.
- Add turkey to a large pan or bowl.
- Mix warm water with kosher salt and mix until salt is dissolved. Pour over turkey.
- Add lemon, peppercorns and rosemary. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or up to 8 hours.
- Prepare the apple cider marinade and set aside to cool. Can be made a day in advance and refrigerated.
- Drain turkey well in a colander and discard brine.
- Pat turkey dry with paper towels and truss turkey with butcher twine if desired. (Tie legs together and wrap twine around the middle of the turkey to hold in the wings.)
- Inject apple cider marinade into all parts of the turkey and between the skin and the meat.
- Cook over an indirect grill fire of about 300° using hickory for smoke flavor. Keep the grill closed and check the turkey after about an hour and a half.
If the turkey skin is getting too dark, you can remove the turkey and wrap in peach butcher paper and continue to cook. We maintained the grill between 250° and 300° for the entire cooking time.
- If your turkey is browning nicely, continue to cook until internal temperature reaches 165° in the thick part of the thigh near the bone, about another one and a half hours.
- Remove from grill and allow to rest 15 minutes before slicing.
How to Store and Reheat:
I like to remove the turkey from the bone and save the carcass to make turkey stock. Just toss it in a ziploc baggie and refrigerate or freeze until you are ready.
Sliced turkey will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze cooked turkey in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
Enjoy turkey leftovers as a sandwich, make turkey salad or reheat in a pan on the stovetop with a bit of broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
How Much Turkey To Cook Per Person:
Figure about 1 pound of meat per person if you are cooking a whole turkey. If you are hosting a small dinner, this same recipe will also work with a whole turkey breast.