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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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