Be unique and different this year, serve up a double smoked rum turkey for the family’s Thanksgiving holiday dinner. Adapted from a Steven Raichlen Project Smoke recipe.
Smoked turkeys are 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 smoked rum turkey!
Each year, J and I do a turducken (or a turchicken) but this Thanksgiving, we wanted to do something a little different. One quick look in my copy of Steven Raichlen’s latest cookbook Project Smoke and I knew I had a new recipe I could make for the blog and we could test out for Thanksgiving.
Deliciously Juicy Double Smoked Rum Turkey
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.
By the way, I was lucky enough to win the Project Smoke 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.
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 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.
Hope you try this deliciously different double smoked rum turkey for dinner this Thanksgiving. Serve it with these savory green beans and these light-as-air cheddar angel biscuits. Perfect for a Christmas holiday dinner too.
- FOR THE TURKEY:
- 1 12-14 pound whole turkey, organic pasture raised if possible
- 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
Using a fresh or thawed turkey, clean out the cavity, and rinse thoroughly inside and out with cold water. Set aside.
Make the brine by placing a medium saucepan over medium heat and adding 2 quarts water, bay leaves, onion powder, ground cloves, sea salt, and maple syrup. Heat for about 5 minutes or until everything is combined 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, and up to 24 hours.
Remove the turkey the next day from the brine and discard the liquid. Place the turkey on a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet for at least 30 minutes to drain and dry. If desired, truss the bird.
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 of the breast, thighs, and drumsticks of the turkey.
Set up your smoker and preheat to 275F degrees. Use your favorite wood; I like to use fruit woods when smoking poultry and used apple for this turkey.
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 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!
Can place the turkey on a preheated grill to crisp up the skin.