CHAPTER 10 "SMOFRIED TURKEY"
By Wyndell "Fergy" Ferguson
This complete Turkey article was about to go to the printers
when we felt we owed to each of you to include the greatest
new idea currently being embraced by some of America's TOP
PitMasters. Perfected by Fergy, this is considered by many to
be The ULTIMATE !
We hope you enjoy this inclusion.
For many years, I have been experimenting and trying to
develop the Ultimate Holiday Turkey. It seems that every few
years there is a "new and improved" way to fix the family's
holiday bird! Breast down, cheesecloth, stuff, don't stuff,
baste, don't baste, foil etc. Even the fancy schmancy chefs
with the white coats and funny hats cannot seem to agree how
to cook the ever-popular turkey.
I discovered at an early age that cooking a turkey in the oven is
asking for disaster. Most people have grown up thinking that
an over cooked, dried out bird was what turkey was supposed
to be. Then one fateful Thanksgiving, my father had a local
barbecue joint smoke our holiday feast. Since that date back in
1975, I have only eaten two oven-roasted turkeys !
The first step in creating the Ultimate Multi-Orgasmatic Holiday
Turkey is to brine the turkey! I won't go into many details on
this, since all the information you will need is contained herein.
But then something really interesting happened.
Back after Danny Gaulden's QFest in Carlsbad, NM, and before
Thanksgiving, several of us got into a discussion about fried
turkeys. Wiley Mixon made a comment about 'smoking then
I was on deck to do a few turkeys the next day (one smoked,
one fried and an extra). So I did one smoked, one fried, and
one Smoked and Fried.
I smoked the bird till the internal temperature was about 130
and then pulled it off. I drained the fluids from the inside,
recoated it with cajun spice, and injected it with my spicy
Then it went right into the fryer! After I posted the results,
several others tried it and loved the results. Judge Dave added
it to his catering menu (as did I) and he started calling this
type bird SMOFRIED - and it stuck (with me anyway).
How does it turn out, you ask ? SUPER MOIST and lots of flavor.
Some even think it intensifies the smoke flavor!
I hope you agree after you try YOUR SMOFRIED Turkey !
MY ORIGINAL PROCEDURE
I smoked a 22lb turkey today. It and the smaller bird had been
brining since Late Thursday night till early this am. They were
still frozen (right from the store) when I put them in the brine
and every day added some ice to keep the temp down. They
were being brined in a medium sized ice chest and held a temp
just about 34 most of the time.
This morning I took them out and rinsed them real well and
dried them thoroughly inside and out. Both were injected with
a mixture of butter, chicken broth, Texas Pete, garlic powder
and pepper. See my injection recipe in Section 7 above.
The large bird was then rubbed with a light coat of oil, and then
dusted with lemon pepper and white pepper. The smaller bird
was rubbed with oil, and then dusted with lemon pepper, white
pepper and Cajun Seasoning.
The small bird went back to the fridge. The large bird went to
the smoker. When the large bird had about 2.5 hours left, I
put the small bird in the smoker. It smoked for about 2 hours.
I drained all the juice from the inside and added another heavy
dusting of Cajun Seasoning. When the oil was up to temp, it
went into the fryer. I had check to get the oil level earlier by
placing the turkey in the fry pot and filling with water and
taking the bird out and marking the level of the water. I still
got some runover, but it wasn't too bad. (Ed Note: Please see
TIP Number 16 in CHAPTER 1 Above).
I had a hard time figuring out when it was done, since the "3
min per lb" was shot because the internal temp was already
pretty high when I took it off the smoker. I just judged by
when the meat and skin started to pull up the leg bone.
First slice was in the leg. There was a nice smoke ring, and it
was full of nice juice. The flavor was outrageous!!!
I kept the meat from the two separated and served separately
so the gang could see which they liked best.
It was a tie for the most part. The flavor from the fried turkey
was just unbelievable!!! The smoked was great too, but I think
I liked the combo better.
To repeat: How did it turn out ? SUPER MOIST and lots of
flavor. Some even think SMOFRYING intensifies the smoke
I just need to work on the timing part of it, and the amount of
oil (I think an almost 14lb bird is just too big for 24qt pot).
TEMPERATURE OF COOKING OIL
Most recommend 350. If it is too much higher, you risk burning
the oil. If it lower than that, you risk the bird being greasy.
TIMING IN OIL
You have to estimate it. The normal fry is 3 - 3.5 min per lb.
But since your bird is already pretty hot, from the smoking, you
just have to 'wing it.' There are just too many variables to give
a "fry for 10.389 min for a 12 lb turkey" type answer.
Very rough guess would be to around 1 min per lb. Then check
the internal temperature of the bird just like you normally do
for smoking <165 internal.
My ranking of preference for Turkey now is: