Succulent Turkey – all hail the bird!

Thanksgiving is upon us. Families have frantically been preparing for this day for the past few weeks, but it is months in the making for some. It is a day we enjoy spending with family and close relatives, eating, drinking, board games, and watching football.

Ever since moving to the US, we have adopted this feast of delicious food and gluttony. We have no family or relatives in the US, so it is just us, but that’s ok and does not make the day any less valuable.

It is part of our family tradition as new Americans, and our kids need to experience and participate in these traditions, old and new traditions. Traditions are important to establish family values and strengthen family bonds.

I have attempted to roast the turkey in the oven in previous years, with no frills or other advanced preparations. I didn’t know any better. The turkey turned out, OK. Nothing fancy and perhaps a little flavorless. It was trial and error cooking at its finest.

My confidence and kitchen skills have increased significantly in the past 12 months, especially since I bought the Traeger grill.

This year, I’m going all out to prepare and cook the turkey, which is a 24-hour process. Nothing is overly complicated. It is just a matter of time and patience.

This recipe does not really require much in regards to ingredients. It’s only assuming you have a good family-sized turkey, some dry rub of your liking, and that the turkey has spent at least 18 hours in a cool brine.

Using some of the brine and an injector, inject some of the brine into the meat—a few injections in the chest and legs.

  1. Preheat your Traeger grill to 300F
  2. After the brine, wash the turkey to remove excess salt from the brine, and pad it dry.
  3. Cover and massage the turkey with the dry rub
  4. Insert a grill proof thermometer in the breast area
  5. Set the alarm to around 165-170F for the internal temperature
  6. Place the turkey on the grill, close the lid, and get ready to wait.

Smoking a turkey will take 3-4 hours, depending on the size of the turkey. Mine took about 3 hours for a 12 lbs (small) turkey.

You need to time the smoking fairly well with the rest of the side dishes for thanksgiving; otherwise, you will be eating dishes at different times.

While I wait for the turkey, I prepare the other dishes; sweet potato mash with marshmallow topping, oven-roasted green beans and carrots, stuffing, and of course, the gravy.

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