Christmas is the time of year when we gather with family and friends to catch up with our loved ones and share a great meal together. While this year may be a little different, we can keep some of the same traditions! The time-honored tradition of a roasted turkey is one favorite centerpiece of the meal. Here at Americana Grills, we have a tradition of smoking our turkey.
The difference between a roasted turkey and smoked turkey is the flavor. Smoking the turkey allows for a more flavorful and tender bird. The smoked infuses the turkey with an amazing flavor profile while maintaining the tenderness due to longer cooking times. The key to smoking a turkey is low and slow equals tender and juicy.
Some general turkey prep for the best-smoked turkey is you must start with the brine. Brining is the best way to ensure a tender turkey. The seasoning is the fun part because you can season to your tastes and create whatever flavor profile that fits you and your family. The smoke will help enhance whatever seasoning or dry rubs you use.
The general rule of thumb is that the turkey should smoke until the juices run clear and the temperature reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Smoking a turkey is easier and more forgiving than you’d think.
Christmas Menu: Let’s Get Started
Americana Grills has the perfect recipes for Christmas Grilling!
1 (15 to 18 pound) whole turkey
2 onions, halved
2 to 3 lemons, sliced
1 bulb of garlic, top sliced off
1 large bunch of fresh herbs, including sage, thyme, rosemary
8 to 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (enough to cover the entire bird)
freshly cracked black pepper
dried herbs, like sage, thyme and rosemary
2 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed during cook time.
The night before grilling your turkey, remove any giblets and the neck and pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a large baking dish. Stick it in the fridge overnight, uncovered – away from anything that it could touch.
Remove the turkey from the fridge for one hour or so before grilling.
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, about 450 degrees F. Prepare a stack of disposable foil roasting pans (about 2 or 3 pans) stacked together.
Place the turkey in a roasting pan, breast-side up. Fill the cavity with 1 halved onion, 1 lemon, the garlic bulb, and a bunch of fresh herbs. Tie the legs loosely together with kitchen twine. Tuck the wings under the turkey.
Rub the turkey all over with the softened butter. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. I also like to add a sprinkling of dried herbs, like thyme, sage, and rosemary.
Pour 1 to 2 cups chicken stock in the bottom of the roasting pan. Add the other lemon wedges and onions.
Place the roasting pan on the grill. Close the grill. Ideally, you want the temperature to be about 425 to 450 degrees F.
Grill the turkey for 2.5 to 3 hours, checking the bird every 30 minutes or so. You want to be sure you don’t run out of propane and that the grill is holding its temperature. You can baste it with the juices in the bottom of the pan, but only keep the grill open for a minute or so at a time.
Halfway through cook time, rotate the roasting pan and add more stock to the bottom of the pan if needed.
After 2.5 hours, check the turkey – you want to cook it until reaches 180 degrees F.
Once the turkey is finished, let it rest for 30 to 60 minutes before slicing.
Americana Wood Chips:
Wood chips add to the tastiness of outdoor cooking. Adding wood chips and chunks to your smoker grill boosts the flavor of any grilled food. The Wood Chips Blend Sampler Pack has 1 each: Hickory and Mesquite are blended with Cabernet Soaked Wood Chips to enhance and compliment the flavors of beef and lamb; Mesquite and Apple Wood Chips are blended with Chardonnay Soaked Wood Chips to enhance and compliment the taste of Poultry; Mesquite and Apple Wood Chips are blended with Chardonnay Soaked Wood Chips to enhance and compliment the flavor of Poultry.
Americana Stainless Steel Electric Water Smoker:
If you’re smoking a turkey this year, it’s got to be an Americana Smoker! This Americana Stainless Steel Electric Water Smoker, with two 15-1/2-inch diameter grids, built-in heat indicator with two access doors.
351 square inches of cooking space
2 chrome-plated cooking grids and built-in temperature gauge
The stainless steel, chimney-like design with a loose-fitting lid and tight-fitting doors create a constant flow of new smoke for maximum flavor.
With its extra-large 5.5 quart water pan, this smokers perfect the slow-cooking process so food is juicy and tender every time.
The UL-listed 1500-watt, CUL-listed heating element will plug into the standard household outlet. Heat-resistant wooden side and hood handles, as well as sliding access doors on the body, make checking and adding water and wood chips while cooking hassle-free.
Happy Grilling From Americana Grills!
Fellow grill lovers, as you enjoy Christmas with friends and family, you deserve the best-grilled foods available, so make sure your grilled holiday favorites are done on your Americana Grill!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest