Apple Mash Smoked Turkey - Enjoyed a wonderful delicious Thanksgiving dinner consisting of turkey, ham, with all the trimmings yesterday with our youngest Son's family and our Daughter-in-law's family. It's an annual tradition that works out for everyone since our Son only lives about 2 miles away from us. It can get plain too crazy on the road these days on holiday weekends!
I always take advantage of the turkey sales around the holidays in order to stock my freezer with a half dozen turkeys in the 14 lb range. We enjoy a smoked turkey every couple of months with all the trimmings but the best part is the variety of delicious leftovers and casserole recipes that we feast and graze on for days - Turkey recipes such as Tetrazzini, Pot Pies, Enchiladas, a la King, Shepherd's Pie, and a slew of different soups.
Turkeys, like all poultry, are virtual sponges when it comes to absorbing different flavors of smoke such as CookinPellets.com 100% Hickory, Premium Perfect Mix (100% Hickory, Cherry, Hard Maple, Apple), Apple Mash, Black Cherry, and/or Sweet Maple Pellets.
Safely defrost your turkey in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days depending on the size of the gobbler. Remove giblet bag(s), neck bones, and trim all access skin & fat. Pat down the turkey with paper towels. Loosen the breast skin and thigh skin in order to rub roasted garlic under and on the skin. Season the turkey on and under the skin with Jan's Dry Rub ( page 168 of my cookbook, The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook ).
Preheat your wood pellet smoker-grill to 230ºF with your favorite poultry wood pellets. For this cook I wisely chose CookinPellets Apple Mash Pellets and my MAK 2 Star. Smoked the 14 lb seasoned turkey for 3 hours at 230ºF before bumping the pit temperature to 330ºF. Finish cooking the turkey until the internal temperature of the turkey at the thickest portion of the breast reaches 170ºF. Rest the turkey under a foil tent for 20 minutes before carving.
Maple Smoked Spatchcock Cornish Hens
Maple Smoked Spatchcock Cornish Hens have a surprising amount of meat on them. I find that half a Cornish Hen is plenty. Served with a side of green salad, Avocado, and hard boiled egg. If you're following a low-carb lifestyle then this meal is ideal since there's no carbs in Poultry - the avocado is loaded with good fats and eggs are your best friend.
Prep Cornish Hens:
- Four (4) Tyson All Natural Premium Cornish Hens (~ 1½ pounds each)
- Spatchcock the Cornish Hens by removing the backbone and then flattening the breast plate
- Carefully pull back the skin from the breast and legs/thighs
- Wrap seasoned Cornish Hens with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours
*Note* - According to USDA you're not supposed to wash your poultry. Rinsing raw poultry doesn't kill off any bacteria but instead spreads it all over your sink, hands, and kitchen. Rinsing raw chicken before cooking can increase your risk of food poisoning from campylobacter bacteria.
- Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking
- Preheat to 225ºF using CookinPellets Sweet Maple wood pellets
- Smoke the spatchcocked Cornish Hens at 225ºF for 1 or more hour
- Increase the pit cooking temperature to 375ºF in order to finish the cook
- The higher cooking temperature will crisp the skin of the Cornish Hens
- Roast the Cornish Hens until they reach an internal temperature of 180ºF
- Note : 180ºF internal temperature is recommended by Tyson Foods
- Rest the smoked Cornish Hens for 10 minutes loosely under a foil tent before serving
For planning purposes only: Total cooking time was about 2½ hours - but remember to always cook to internal temperatures!
Mac-N-Cheese; in all of its variations; has been a staple in kitchens around the world for countless years. Served as a main dish or a side, this comfort food has stood the test of time! Our twist from traditional preparation is to add a variation of cheeses and a little kick with the red pepper flakes.
What you'll need:
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 1 stick butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups Milk
- 1 block cream cheese; cubed
- 1/2 brick Velveeta cheese; cubed
- 4 cups grated extra sharp cheddar
- 1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp Salt & Pepper
- 1 tbsp Crushed red pepper
- 1/2 lb Bacon, cooked and chopped
In a large pot, prepare elbow macaroni per instructions on the package. Strain and return to pot. Add 2 cups shredded cheddar and the cooked/diced bacon; set aside
Cheese Sauce & Preparation
- In a medium sauce pan:
- Melt stick of butter, add flour and whisk until mixed well
- Pour in milk while stirring; bring to a simmer
- Add in crushed pepper, salt/pepper and stir thoroughly; mix in shredded parmesan cheese
- Add cubed cream and Velveeta cheeses and stir until sauce has a creamy consistency
- Pour sauce into pan containing macaroni, cheddar cheese and bacon. Mix well.
- Pour contents into a disposable pan; cover with remaining 2 cups shredded cheese.
- Place on smoke/grill at a temperature of 250-300 and leave until cheese on top is bubbling and slightly browned.
- Serve Mac-N-Cheese with your favorite side of meat!
Smoked New York Strip Loin
Why is it called a 'New York Strip Loin'? ... Delmonico's Restaurant, an operation opened in New York City in 1827, offered as one of its signature dishes a cut from the short loin called a Delmonico steak. Due to its association with the city, it has since been referred to as a New York strip loin. A New York strip loin - sometimes called the top loin, or Kansas City strip - is a succulent, lean, tender, full-flavored roast.
This recipe is extremely easy and the smoked results are mouth watering and succulent. Preheat your wood pellet smoker-grill to 240ºF with CookinPellets Premium Perfect Mix. The 3 pound roast was a perfect size for my Green Mountain Grill Davy Crockett. Smoked the New York Strip Loin for approximately 2 hours until the internal temperature reached 135ºF. Rested the smoked roast loosely under a foil tent for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.
Cut a 3 pound roast from an entire New York Strip Loin, removed the fat cap, and trimmed away any silver skin. Rubbed roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil on all sides and seasoned the roast liberally with Pete's Western Rub (page 169 of my cookbook, The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook). Wrapped the seasoned roast with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.