A Double Rum Smoked Turkey recipe to serve up for this year’s different and unique Thanksgiving holiday dinner. Adapted from a Steven Raichlen Project Smoke recipe.
A smoked turkey recipe is where it’s at for this year’s Thanksgiving. It’s the cool thing to do, so put away the roasting pan and get out your smokers for this double rum smoked turkey!
Each year, J and I do a turducken (or a turchicken) but this Thanksgiving, we wanted to do something a little different. As much as we oven roasted turkey, smoking one is even better.
One quick look in my copy of Steven Raichlen’s latest cookbook Project Smoke and I found the perfect recipe to make for the blog and test for Thanksgiving.
Use rum in the smoked turkey brine
Steven’s recipe in the book is a Double Whiskey Smoked Turkey but, since J and I don’t drink a lot of whiskey, we decided to use something we do drink, RUM! I followed this recipe exactly, only substituting onion powder and ground cloves for a fresh onion and whole cloves…and of course the rum in the brine.
By the way, I was lucky enough to win the Steven’s cookbook in a giveaway on Instagram. YAY social media!! I’ve made quite a few recipes from it and let me tell you, every single one has been insanely delicious.
Steve uses a rack for the turkey in the original recipe, but I used my Pit Barrel Cooker (a vertical smoker) and this was the result.
Well, hello there gorgeous!
How to pick out a great bird for this smoked turkey recipe:
Seriously who knew rum could make a turkey look so good? Leftovers make the “best-day-after-Thanksgiving” sandwich too and don’t forget to save the turkey carcass to make a fantastically tasty smoky turkey soup!
This turkey was from a local farm so it’s smaller and was perfect to hang in my smoker. Buying products from local farms, especially meats, is so important for our health, and it’s always best to get a free-range turkey.
If buying from a grocery store, look for a turkey from a high-quality company/brand that is all natural, antibiotic free, and organic.
Here are some side suggestions for your holiday dinner:
- fresh ginger and shallot savory green beans
- homemade herb cranberry sauce
- light-as-air cheddar angel biscuits
- easy 7 layer salad
Hope you try this deliciously different double rum smoked turkey recipe for dinner this Thanksgiving. Let me know in the comments below how you liked it!
Deliciously Juicy Double Rum Smoked Turkey
FOR THE BRINE:
- 1 (12-14) pound whole turkey , organic pasture raised preferred
- 2 quarts water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 1/2 cups sea salt
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 6 quarts cold water
- 1 cup dark rum
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
FOR THE INJECTION SAUCE:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons chicken stock (homemade or high quality store bought)
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
FOR BASTING THE TURKEY:
- 3 tablespoons butter , melted
- Serve with: homemade cranberry sauce
- Using a fresh or thawed turkey, clean out the cavity, and rinse thoroughly inside and out with cold water. Set aside.
To make the turkey brine:
- Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add 2 quarts water, bay leaves, onion powder, ground cloves, sea salt, and maple syrup. Heat for about 5 minutes or until heated through and salt is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Place the cooled brine in a covered container large enough to hold the turkey (a small cooler works well and is what I use). Whisk in the cold water, dark rum, and whole peppercorns. Add the turkey and make sure it's completely covered by the brine. Allow to brine overnight (for at least for 12 hours but no more than 24 hours).
- Remove the turkey the next day from the brine and discard the brining liquid. Place the turkey on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet for at least 30 minutes to drain and dry. If desired, truss the bird.
To make the injection sauce:
- While the turkey is drying, prepare the injection sauce by melting the unsalted butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the stock and rum, remove from heat, and allow to completely cool.
- After the turkey is finished drying, fill an injector with the sauce and inject it in numerous places in the breast, thighs, and drumstick areas.
Smoking the turkey:
- Set up your smoker and preheat to 275F/135C degrees. Use your favorite wood in the smoker (I like to use fruit woods when smoking poultry and used apple wood chunks for this recipe)
- Place the turkey on a rack in the smoker. Start basting the turkey with the melted butter after 2 hours of smoking and continue to baste every hour. Smoke the turkey until browned and when temperature registers 165F/74C degrees in the deepest part of the thigh.
- Remove turkey from the smoker, place on a cutting board or serving tray, and tent with a large piece of foil. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes & Tips:
- Put the turkey on a preheated grill or under a broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the skin after smoking.
- Serve with Homemade Cranberry Sauce.
- Save the turkey bones to make a wonderfully tasty smoky soup.
- Adapted from Steven Raichlen's Double Whiskey-Smoked Turkey recipe.