Superlicious Vertically Smoked Turkey
Superlicious Vertically Smoked Turkey - How many turkeys have I smoked over the years in my MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker-grill? A bunch!! Too many to count because we simply love smoked turkey and the leftover uses are endless. As I've mentioned before I stock up the freezer during the holidays cause supermarkets and big box stores practically give the turkeys away just to get you in the door. As such, we enjoy the benefits of a smoked turkey every few months year round.
I have always laid my turkeys breast side up or spatchcocked them for smoking and/or roasting but until yesterday I never cooked a vertically mounted turkey using a non-stick vertical poultry roaster. Why? Not sure ... I've owned my non-stick vertical poultry roaster for years but never used it. I have however used smaller roasters for chickens with wonderful results.
I found that my MAK 2 Star easily accommodated a vertically mounted 14 lb Turkey. Placed the vertically mounted turkey in a 16"x12"x3" Aluminum Non-Stick Roaster Pan to catch the drippings for gravy.
Any gobbler large than 14 lbs would need to be smoked with the breast side up or spatchcocked. But that's not an issue cause I prefer the 14 pounders. The largest turkey I've smoked/cooked in my pellet grill was 22 pounds. Takes a long time and a lot of patience to smoke a bird that size. Besides, we have an empty nest and the 14 lb size is perfect for us.
Defrosted a Foster Farms 14 lb Fresh Young Turkey I bought at Costco around last Christmas when the prices were really reasonable. Make sure you defrost your poultry in the refrigerator. All it takes is a little planning.
- Rinsed an patted dry with paper towels
- Rubbed roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil on and under the skin
- Seasoned on and under the skin with a combination of McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning and Smoker Pete's Western Rub which can be found in my Cookbook - The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook.
- Mounted the seasoned turkey on a Non-Stick Vertical Poultry Roaster
- Placed the vertically mounted turkey in a roaster pan to catch the drippings for gravy and to help keep the grill clean
Preheated my MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker-grill to 200ºF with cookinpellets.com Premium Perfect Mix (Hickory, Cheery, Maple, Apple) pellets. Smoked the turkey for 3 hours at 200ºF before bumping the pit temperature to 330ºF until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the breast reaches 170ºF. Rested the smoked turkey loosely under a foil tent for 20 minutes before carving. For planning purposes only it took about 5 hours from the time I turned the grill on to the end of the resting process. But remember to always cook to internal temperatures!
Gotta love the temperature control that the MAK Pellet Boss provides. The graph below (one of many features of the MAK Grills Mobile) illustrates the lack of temperature swings. The only slight glitches you might see is when I opened the pit to take a few pictures.