Alright, here’s the turkey. First time ever cooking a turkey and first time ever eating a whole turkey (its not a common meat here, usually store bought breast is purchased as opposed to the full bird). But who cares. This thing turned out AMAZING!! It doesn’t look like much but it tasted like nothing ive ever had before. It was tender, juicy, slightly salty, and insanely good when dipped in that butter.
I followed Aaron Franklin’s recipe, but halved the amount of salt and sugar for the brine. I read online that people often pat dry the brine before doing the rub, or else the bird turns out too salty. So I used only 1 cup of kosher salt. Soaked the bird in the brine for about 36 hours, then made a rub of half/half salt and 16 mesh black pepper.
Got the smoker temp to a steady 350 for about an hour before putting in the turkey and water pan. At first I had used too much lump charcoal (pictured) and them temp would not dip below 400. It’s high quality stuff I use that is supposed to burn hot, so at least now I know for next time. I took out half of the charcoal after adding the chimney’s worth. The temp steadied between 300-350 for the entire 3.5 hours. I had to add some extra hickory for the last 30 mins because I wanted to ensure the birds temp was at the safe 165.
About 1.5-2 hours in, I took the bird off and temp’d it. Was at 135. I then put it in the foil pan, added a pound of butter, and wrapped it in foil. Put it back in the smoker for another 90 mins, at which point it was cooked perfectly.
This was a very successful cook for me! Everything went to plan. The fire held steady and the meat was cooked perfectly.