Nov 22 at 5:57 AM
ESOs Ultimate Smoked Turkey Recipe for Fire and EMS Stations For crews working on Thanksgiving, nothings better than having a turkey dinner magically show up at the station around mealtime. Heres how to create the moistest, most ridiculously delicious smoked turkey an on-duty crew has ever had and deliver it to the station piping hot. As for stuffing, gravy, side dishes and pie think like an incident commander and assign them to someone else. We recommend using brine only for turkeys that arent pre-basted. The Butterball website says go ahead and brine, but we havent tried it. Use a smoker youre familiar with (we use a Traeger Texas Elite). For wood, we suggest oak, pecan or apple. Feeds 6. To feed more or particularly hungry first responders use multiple turkeys, not bigger ones. Read on to learn why. Ingredients 1 12- to 14-pound turkey(s), thawed if frozen 2 gallons warm water 1 cup kosher salt (not regular salt) 1-1/2 cups light brown sugar, tightly packed 1-2 tablespoons black peppercorns bagged ice 3 tangerines, quartered, skin left on cup fresh sage leaves 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs 2 celery stalks, chopped into -inch pieces 2 sticks melted butter Sea salt and pepper to taste Instructions: In a large food-grade bucket, mix the water, kosher salt, and light brown sugar until ingredients are completely dissolved. Add the peppercorns and set aside. Remove giblets, neck, gravy packets and everything else that doesnt belong inside the bird. Rinse the turkey with cold running water, inside and out. Put the turkey in the brine (starting to see why a huge turkey wouldnt work?) and weight the bird down with the ice bag. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight, replacing ice bag as needed. After brining, remove the bird, rinse inside and out, drain, and pat dry with paper towels. Fold wingtips behind back (unless you want them to posthumously rise and stick out during cooking, which most people find creepy but some might find amusing, so suit yourself). Toss chopped celery, tangerines, sage and thyme inside cavity. Tie legs together with twine and brush melted butter on skin. Season with sea salt and pepper. When ready to cook, bring smoker temperature to 250 degrees. Put the bird on a sturdy rack over a drip pan and place inside smoker. Plan on smoking for 25 to 30 minutes per pound, but know that cooking times can vary substantially, so start checking the temperature using an instant-read thermometer beginning at halfway through your expected cooking time. Baste if desired. When the temperature reads 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh, remove bird, double-wrap in foil, and place breast-side down in a camping/hunting-type cooler (such as a Yeti or Arctic brand), packed in plenty of crumpled newspaper and/or dish towels. This method allows the meat to rest and reabsorb juices, and while the skin wont be particularly crispy, the meat will be the juiciest youve ever had. Transport in the cooler to the lucky station, remove, carve and serve. (The smoke can give the meat a pinkish color, but its done if the thermometer says so.) If the crew is out on a call, leave the turkey in the cooler until just before theyre back. Note: The meat temperature must not dip below 140 after cooking; if it does, reheat in oven before serving. Weve let cooked turkey rest, packed as described above, for 1-2 hours with only a few degrees drop in temperature, but check yours closely.