Smoking and grilling birds and animals are art. Not every time it comes out as desired. It can be done if you read the instructions carefully and follow them without fail. A good meal is a prize for patience. Hence, you need lots of time, hard work and patience to bring the best to your plate.
How to Smoke a Turkey on a Pellet Grill?
The thanksgiving dinner reminds us of a wholesome supper with a trimmed turkey on the plate. However, as long as you have a pellet grill, you wouldn’t have to wait for any particular day; instead, you can make the lip-smacking smoked turkey anytime with ease. The wooden pellets of the grills transmit a smokey and exquisite taste to the meat. The following steps mentioned below would assist you in making the best possible bird super precision.
1. To Brine or Not to Brine
Many are bewildered with the question of whether to brine or not. Well, you can avoid the brine if you are using the kitchen oven. If you are utilizing a smoker, then the brine is a must. It keeps the bird's meat moisturized and prevents from drying while cooking. You would need a waterproof vessel and 3 gallons of water.
Before you place the turkey, make sure that the interior space is clean so that it doesn’t pick up other flavors and odors. Cayenne and garlic are important spices uses, but, you can add any other spices of your choice. When you have your brine whipped up to perfection, just add the turkey to the container. Your next move is to keep the container in a cool place for a night. If it’s snowing outside, you may keep it outside, else inside the refrigerator. Remember to pat down all the traces of the brine before using the grill to smoke up the turkey.
2. Using a Pellet Grill
The minimum temperature required for your pellet grill is at least degrees Fahrenheit. You can increase it to a maximum of 325 degrees so that the meat becomes tender from inside. Now, place the turkey inside a disposable aluminum pan and place it with the breast side facing up. Aluminum would keep all the juices intact, maintaining the moisture level of the meat.
Set the timer for a duration of 90 minutes. After the timer goes off, increase the heat level up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let the turkey cook for another 90 minutes so that it can grab the smoky flavor and it is cooked thoroughly. It is necessary to use two different temperatures to cook the bird because it imparts a crispy skin, which would be loved by your guests.
It is a wise move to check the internal temperature of the bird with a meat thermometer before taking it out. If the temperature reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit, it ensures that the meat is cooked nicely and is ready to come off the grill. The thermometer should be inserted on the thickest part of the bird to confirm in-depth cooking.
3. Choosing Your Pellets
Any type of wooden pellet can be used while smoking a turkey inside the smoker. When you use woods like pecan, it gives a piquant flavor to the turkey. On the other hand, if your taste bud yearns for a sweet taste, you can make use of sweeter fruity wood like the cherry. When the sweet flavor is dominant, it tones down the taste of the spices added to your brine. You can combine the usage of your wood pellets to create a subtle taste.
4. Using Other Flavors
To relish a unique taste of the bird, you might consider adding some different flavors before putting the turkey on the pellet grill. A spice rub can be put to use where you can rub your favorite spices on the breast of the turkey. The other option is, you may also sue a flavor injection. Many liquid products are available in the market with an injection kit. This liquid also keeps the bird hydrated as it smokes nicely and you get to enjoy the same taste on all parts of the smoked bird. Once you have set the turkey on the grill, just forget that it is even happening. If you excitedly keep opening the door of the grill often, the heat gets cold inside and it increases the cooking time. At certain intervals, do use a brine to add moisture to the dish.
Turkey Breast on a Pellet Grill
Turkey is considered to be a healthy protein that can be consumed without a doubt. The best way to relish a turkey is by smoking it. No other way of cooking would get you the luscious texture and juicy flavor. If you are ignorant about how to smoke a turkey, we are here to present you with the detailed recipe so that you can cook the best turkey every time. Once you get the hang of making a smoked turkey you would love to make it more often and enjoy it with sandwiches and salads. The wooden pellets and cider plays an important role in the smoking process and makes the cooking fast track and foolproof.
1. Buy Turkey
Buying a turkey is the first and crucial step that needs enough precision. When Thanksgiving is around the corner, many of the stores provide great discounts on turkey. However, getting a heritage breed turkey that has minimum processing would be a clever idea. The reason behind this is when the turkey isn’t injected you have exact control over the salt level of the meat and it gets easier for you to cook. You should go for the turkey which ranges between 12-16 pounds as it is the apt weight for smoking. If you have guests, increase the number of turkeys of the same weight.
2. What You Should Do
First of all, get a deboned turkey breast and brush the breast adequately with olive oil. After that, season it with salt, pepper and sufficient amount of all-purpose seasoning. Season it with light hands so that it reached every part of the turkey breast. Once this is done, wrap the turkey with the bacon slices. The kinds of bacon should be so arranged that the kinds of bacon are covering each side of the turkey. Preheat the smoker for 250 degrees Fahrenheit and keep your preferred choice of wood pellets inside. Now position the turkey breast onto the grill grate and set the desired temperature. Keep smoking the turkey non-stop for around 4 years and that would let the internal temperature to reach the optimal degree. Make sure the turkey breast is nicely covered with the foil. When the smoking completes, cool it down by placing it in a warm area of the room.
3. Trim Turkey
Trimming is an equally important step in the whole process. Firstly remove any type of packagings like leg tie or giblet bag to clean the turkey. Then, cut off the tip of the wing and trim the skin of the neck. Remember to keep enough skin to cover the meat.
4. How Long Does It Take to Smoke Turkey Breast?
Well, there is no particular answer to this question through this question haunts the mind of many. The duration of cooking depends on various factors. The best way out is to insert a meat thermometer at the center of the turkey breast.
This will confirm that the grill is set at the exact temperature. A 3 bound deboned turkey should be set at a temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 hours. On the other hand, a bone-in turkey breast would require an extra 1 hour to get smoked evenly.
5. Brine Turkey
Brining is essential when you are cooking a minimally processes turkey bought from the local butcher. When you brine the turkey, it makes the meat tender and juicy. For dry brining the turkey, sprinkle kosher salt decently on the surface of the skin. Use 1 teaspoon of salt for each pound.
6. Spatchcock Turkey
If you cook a turkey spatchcocked, it means before cooking, you are removing the backbone of the bird and flattening the meat on a flat surface. When you cook in this style, it would cut down your cooking time and make the meat very juicy. The spatchcocking style of cooking has other benefits as well. You would be able to easily remove the leg quarters from the breast if it gets done before the breast part. For cooking in this method, place the turkey on a pan with the spine facing upward and cut the entry backbone on both sides.
- 3 pound of deboned turkey breast
- 3 tablespoons of Olive oil
- 9-10 slices of fresh bacon
- 2-3 teaspoons of all-purpose herb seasoning which should be salt-free
- Salt and pepper as required
Take a food brush and dip in olive oil. Use the brush to spread the oil sufficiently on the turkey breast. Next, sprinkle a generous amount of seasoning along with some salt and pepper.
The second step is to cover the entire turkey with 3-4 strips of raw bacon. Remember, that the bacon should cover all the sides of the turkey nicely. None of the pieces of the turkey breast should be left uncovered.
Now, switch on the smoker grill and set the temperature. The optimum temperature is 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not forget to put the wood pellets inside the smoker that would emit the succulent taste into the meat.
Place the seasoned and covered turkey breast inside the grill grate and adjust the temperature probe to the center. The breast should be left to smoke for around 3 hours or till the time the internal temperature becomes 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the cooking is done, take out the smoked turkey breast and put it on the baking dish. Then, take it to a warm place and cover it with silver foil. Leave it for 1 hour to rest so that the warm internal temperature is maintained well.
Strip out the turkey from the bacon with precision and serve it on the dish.
Smoking a turkey breast is not rocket science. Anyone can do it if they have the required ingredients and amenities. We hope our article would help you smoke your turkey quite efficiently.