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Saturday, March 2, 2024

The way to Smoke Turkey & Dry Brine (or Poultry)

I’ll admit I’ve been a bit intimidated to even try roasting a complete turkey. However similar to many issues in life, I used to be overcomplicating it and never realizing it’s the very same process for different roasted rooster recipes I’ve made, like this Peruvian-inspired pollo asado, and herb roasted spatchcock.  The identical steps as turkey – cooking is simply (lots) longer because of the measurement.

how to dry brine a turkey

Earlier than I stroll by the steps on the best way to smoke a turkey, I wish to handle 2 essential issues which have been important to my success in roasting poultry – olive oil mayonnaise and dry brining.

Olive Oil Mayonnaise vs Butter for Roasting

Nearly all of recipes you’ll discover on the web and even cookbooks contain utilizing butter as a binder for seasoning rooster or turkey.  The butter is meant to taste and moisten the turkey when rubbed beneath the pores and skin, in addition to assist get the pores and skin crispy and golden brown, like {a magazine} shot.

Do you know that mayonnaise capabilities the identical approach?  Mayonnaise bastes the turkey all through the cooking course of so the turkey maintains it’s pure juices and is seasoned by the continuous basting of the mayonnaise combination.

how long to smoke a turkey

Listed here are 4 Causes Why I Choose to Use Olive Oil Mayonnaise:

Decrease Saturated Fats Content material

Olive oil mayonnaise has a considerably decrease saturated fats content material. As you could know, consuming a number of meals excessive in saturated fat can construct (LDL) ldl cholesterol in blood vessels which ends up in heart-related points.  Alternatively, olive oil mayonnaise comprises heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that assist cardiovascular well being.

Wealthy in Wholesome Fat

Since olive oil is the first ingredient in olive oil mayonnaise, you possibly can reap the well being advantages.  The monounsaturated fatty acid in olive oil can support within the absorption of fat-soluble nutritional vitamins and antioxidants.

(Word: that is NOT to say one ought to eat massive quantities of olive oil mayonnaise; nor am I saying you’re going to get a major quantity of coronary heart wholesome fats simply by consuming.  I’m solely saying that consuming meals which might be extra heart-healthy, you cut back the chance of coronary heart associated ailments.)

Moist Inside and Crispy Exterior

Utilizing olive oil mayonnaise bastes the turkey which boosts the flavour (particularly if you combine with spices) and retains it moist on the within.  And whereas the turkey is of course basting with the mayonnaise, the mayonnaise helps the pores and skin to get crispy due to its excessive smoke level.

It’s Versatile

Utilizing olive oil mayonnaise is appropriate for varied turkey cooking strategies, together with roasting and rotisserie.  The excessive smoke level makes it good to toss on the grill for smoking for lengthy durations of time.

OK, now let’s speak about dry brining turkey

how to smoke a turkey

There’s moist brine if you submerge the poultry in salted water, and dry brine if you rub salt all around the hen, inside (beneath the pores and skin) and out of doors.   Moist brining can take as little as 12 hours, whereas dry brining takes no less than 24 hours, max 48 hours. 

But nonetheless, I strongly choose dry brining.

how long to dry brine turkey

Listed here are my high 3 the reason why I choose to dry brine poultry:

Preserves Pure Juices

Dry brining is coating the turkey with kosher salt (and seasonings, beneficial) and permitting it to sit down within the fridge.  Since no further moisture has been launched, it preserves the pure juices, which is inconceivable with moist brining.

Concentrates Taste

Dry brining enhances and concentrates taste because it attracts out moisture from the turkey, permitting the seasoning to penetrate deeper into the meat. This ends in a extra flavorful and fewer diluted style.

Makes Crispier Pores and skin

Dry-brined turkey and poultry are likely to have crispier pores and skin as a result of the salt attracts out extra moisture from the pores and skin which permits for higher browning throughout roasting or smoking, and even rotisserie cooking.

These are my 2 high suggestions – utilizing olive oil mayonnaise and the dry brining technique – to get flavorful, juicy poultry.  And since turkey has a LOT extra lean chicken, following these steps to get it as moist as potential is vital…in spite of everything, nobody needs dry meat that tastes like loss of life.

Okay, now on to the enjoyable half – my straightforward walkthrough on:

how long does it take to smoke a turkey

The way to Smoke a Turkey That’s Juicy and Tender


Dry the turkey.  That is tremendous vital for not solely the dry brining, but additionally the seasoning afterwards.


Dry brine the turkey.

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To find out how a lot salt to make use of, a normal rule of thumb is to make use of 1 tablespoon of kosher salt for each 4 lbs.

Word: I HIGHLY advocate utilizing kosher salt because it’s crumbly, spreads, and doesn’t clump like effective salt.

I like to combine in dried herbs like rosemary and sage for additional taste.  You need to use recent herbs if desired as properly, simply be sure that they’re finely chopped.

how much salt to dry brine turkey

TIP: bear in mind to softly pull again the pores and skin to get below the pores and skin as properly.  It’s a step lots of people miss.  This may draw out much more moisture from the pores and skin so it will get crispy.

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Enable this to relaxation UNCOVERED within the fridge for no less than 24 hours however as much as 48 hours.

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After dry brining, it ought to look dry and it is best to be capable to see meat by the pores and skin so it seems pink and brown.


Put together the spice mix to combine with olive oil mayonnaise.

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For my 14lb turkey, I used the next:

  • 2 tablespoons dried herbs (oregano)
  • 1.5 tablespoons cumin 
  • 2.5 tablespoons smoked paprika OR chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 hefty cup olive oil mayonnaise

Combine every thing collectively.

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Season the turkey.

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Rub the seasoning mix inside and out of doors, guaranteeing you get beneath the pores and skin as properly.  A rule of thumb for me is to ensure my fingers can contact if I’m seasoning from each ends.

how to dry brine a turkey for smoking

BE GENTLE – attempt to not tear the pores and skin.

Stuff the turkey with veggies like carrots, celery, onions, lemons, and recent herbs like rosemary.

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Let the turkey relaxation for no less than 20 minutes on the counter to come back to room temperature as a lot as potential.  This may significantly help in even cooking.

how long to cook a dry brined turkey

TIP: use a meat thermometer.  Except you’re very properly seasoned in roasting meats, I extremely advocate utilizing a meat thermometer that can assist you hold monitor of the temperature contained in the turkey so when it’s completed.  Insert it into the thickest half, the highest of the breast.

dry brining turkey
how long to dry brine turkey breast


Fireplace up your smoker.  I set mine between 225F and 250F and add alder wooden or hickory chunks for the smoking.

dry brining a turkey

Relying on the scale of the turkey and the way properly you management the temperature, you possibly can anticipate a 14lb turkey to smoke for about 3.5 – 5 hours.  The sluggish cooking and decrease temperature assist make sure the turkey isn’t drying out as a consequence of extra warmth.

how much salt to dry brine a turkey

Take away the turkey when the thermometer reads 155F/68C – 160F/71C.


Let it relaxation on the counter and use a foil to create a tent round it.  Understand that the turkey remains to be cooking on the within so the temperature ought to come to 160F – 165F.

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Take away the thermometer.


Baste the turkey with the pure juices.

how long does it take to smoke a turkey breast

Slice and revel in!


Hey, I am Kevin

My title is Kevin. My life modified once I realized that wholesome dwelling is a lifelong journey, primarily received by having a well-balanced weight loss plan and sustaining an energetic way of life.

By experimenting within the kitchen and sharing my meals on Tumblr, I realized wholesome consuming isn’t boring! By making a couple of changes to my favourite meals, I may design a weight loss plan that would assist me obtain my wellness objectives whereas satisfying my want for BANGIN meals! 😅 Now I attempt to assist individuals world wide notice that very same degree of freedom in consuming no matter funds. Welcome, let’s #DemocratizeWellness collectively!

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