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Smoked Wild Turkey

Yield 10 to 12 servings


  • 1 (12- to 14-pound) wild turkey, dressed
  • 3 quarts cool water
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and split
  • 2 teaspoons whole black pepper
  • 4 bay leaves

How to Make It

  1. Rinse turkey thoroughly. Combine remaining ingredients in a large stainless steel, enamel, or plastic container, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Add turkey to brine solution; cover and let stand at room temperature 2 hours, turning every 30 minutes.

  2. Remove turkey from brine solution; rinse thoroughly with cold water. Set on wire rack over a shallow pan, and let dry. Tie ends of legs with string. Lift wingtips up and over bird, tucking under bird.

  3. Prepare fire in smoker, using 10 to 12 pounds of charcoal. Add 2 to 4 hickory chips that have been soaked in water. Place water pan in smoker; fill with warm water. Place turkey on food rack; cover with smoker lid. Cook 6 to 8 hours or until drumsticks move easily, refilling water pan, if necessary. Cover and chill thoroughly. Carve into thin slices.

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