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Smoke Roasted Holiday Turkey


12 pounds turkey; tom, whole
1 gallon apple cider
24 ounces beer
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
6 whole peppercorns
3 chunks hardwood or fruit wood; soaked in water

You will need a clean five gallon plastic bucket to marinate the bird. Buckets are available at any home building center. For the marinade, mix the wet and dry ingredients in the plastic bucket. Place the turkey in the bucket with the marinade. Place the Rosemary sprigs in the bucket. Cover the bucket and refrigerate for up to 72 hours (you'll have to make room in the fridge but it is worth it!) Remove the bird from the bucket and place on paper towels to pat dry the marinade before lighting the grill. Cover the wing tips with aluminum foil so they will not burn dry. Discard the remaining marinade. Place charcoal in a pyramid shape and light with either lighter fluid, electric starter or chimney starter. When the coals turn gray place them to one side of the grill. Add an additional 12-15 briquettes to the hot coals. The turkey will be cooked using the indirect method. Place an aluminum pan filled with hot water next to the coals. Spray the grid with a non-stick spray and let grid heat over the hot coals. Place the bird breast side up above the water pan on the heated grid. At this time add one of the wood chunks. Cover the grill, place bottom vents 3/4 open and top cover vent 1/2 open. You will need to add lit charcoal to the hot coals, approximately 8-12 briquettes every hour, so using a chimney starter would work best for this. At that time you can also add another chunk of wood. Use wood in moderation, a nice even smoky flavor will enhance the bird and not over power it! Cook for approximately 6 hours or thirty minutes per pound. The cooking temperature should be about 300 degrees. This method of indirect cooking this particular recipe has a purpose. A turkey cooked in this manner will transform the finished product into a very tender, smoky and succulent entree. Insert a thermometer into the meat through the thigh, make sure it is not touching a bone. When it registers 170-175 degrees on the thermometer, and the juices run clear, remove from the grid. Let the bird rest on the cutting board for approximately 20 minutes prior to service so that the natural juices settle back into the turkey and makes for easier and smoother carving. Remove the aluminum foil from the wing tips. Please note: Smoke roasting is not the same as barbeque slow smoking. Smoke roasting is cooking at higher temperatures, for shorter periods of time and still exposing the meat to a smoky environment. Posted to the BBQ List in Nov. 1998 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Suggested Wine: Pinot Noir Blanc Serving Ideas : Makes great sandwiches with the leftovers

Yield: 12 servings

Preparation Time: 6:30

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