Serves 12 | Total Time: 19 - 30 hours
This turkey recipe is a sure winner whether it’s for your big Thanksgiving celebration or a dinner any time of the year. It’s sure to leave you with leftovers for those all too important leftover turkey sandwiches too!
- 3 cups Apple Cider
- 2 gallons Cold Water
- 6 Garlic Cloves, crushed
- 6 sprigs of fresh Rosemary
- 3 Tablespoons Peppercorns
- 6 Bay Leaves
- 1 ½ cups Kosher Salt
- 2 cups Light Brown Sugar
- Peel of 2 Oranges
- 1 (18-20 pound) Turkey
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 6 Tablespoons Pork Barrel BBQ All-American Spice Rub
- Pork Barrel BBQ Sauce (Original, Sweet or Mustard)
To prepare the turkey brine combine the apple cider, water, garlic, rosemary, peppercorns, bay leaves, salt, brown sugar and orange peel in a large stock pot. Stir well to make sure salt and sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil then turn off heat and cover. Allow brine to cool completely.
Pour the cooled brine into a large brining bag. Place the turkey into the bag and tie bag shut. Place the brine bag in the middle of an ice chest lined with a garbage bag and fill with ice, surrounding the brine bag with the turkey. Allow the turkey to brine for 12-24 hours.
Remove the turkey from the brine and submerge the turkey in fresh cold water in the sink for 15 minutes to remove excess salt from the turkey. Remove turkey from the water and pat dry with paper towels.
Rub the turkey with olive oil and the Pork Barrel BBQ All-American Spice Rub. Let rest for 30-45 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat smoker to 275°. Place a disposable half aluminum pan with water in the smoker next to the fire box in an offset smoker or on the bottom rack of a bullet smoker.
Place the turkey on the smoker and keep the smoker at a consistent temperature of 275°. We prefer to use hickory, oak and cherry wood, but you may use your favorite woods for smoking.
After 1 ½ hours check the turkey, if the skin is golden brown cover the turkey with aluminum foil. Continue to cook for 3-5 more hours or until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 160°.
Remove the turkey from the grill and let rest, covered in aluminum foil, for 30 minutes before you carve. Serve with Pork Barrel BBQ Sauce.