The tangy-sweet Cranberry Syrup contrasts nicely with the rich smokiness of the bird. Smoking a turkey takes some of the burden off your stove, but you need to keep a few important points in mind. First, the turkey has to marinate for eight hours, so start it a day before serving. Next, while the turkey is smoking, you must closely monitor the grill to make sure the coals burn steadily, with continuous smoke. Finally, you should never stuff a turkey before smoking it, because the temperature inside the grill is less stable than in an oven.
To prepare turkey, remove and discard giblets and neck. Rinse turkey with cold water, and pat dry. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Lift wing tips up and over back, and tuck under turkey. Place turkey on a jelly-roll pan. Combine the brown sugar and the next 7 ingredients (brown sugar through coriander). Rub seasoning mixture over and under skin. Cover turkey with plastic wrap; refrigerate 8 hours.
Soak wood chunks in water 1 hour, and drain well. Place a large, disposable aluminum-foil pan in center of bottom grill rack. Place 25 charcoal briquettes on each side of the pan; ignite briquettes. Place wood chunks over hot coals. Coat top grill rack with cooking spray; place over foil pan and hot coals. Uncover the turkey; remove from jelly-roll pan. Place on top rack over aluminum-foil pan. Insert a meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Cover and smoke turkey 2 1/2 hours or until meat thermometer registers 180°, adding 8 additional briquettes to each side of drip pan every hour. (Cover the turkey loosely with foil if it becomes too brown. Turkey will be a deep mahogany brown when done.) Discard skin. Serve with Roasted-Pear Stuffing and Cranberry Syrup.
NOTE: Try to resist checking the turkey too often. Lifting the grill lid decreases the temperature significantly.
My review is limited to the turkey, without the stuffing and syrup. I have been smoking the turkey with this spice rub for years, and it is so flavorful and moist, I don't worry about the other additions. My preferred technique when grilling/smoking turkey is to butterfly it so it is flat; it cooks more evenly and is easier to handle and slice. I lift the skin and cover the bird very thoroughly with the spice blend. It's a really tasty way to serve turkey in the summer months, too. The flavor is not for those craving a traditional Thanksgiving feast.
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