Maple Marinated Smoked Turkey

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What You Need:

  • 1 (12 lb.) whole turkey, thawed
  • 1 qt. hot water
  • 1 C kosher salt
  • 4 qt. cold water
  • 1 C maple syrup
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 4 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 cloves, whole
  • 6 tbsp. butter, melted

How to Make It:

  1. Clean the turkey by removing the giblets and neck and rinsing the turkey inside and out with cold water.
  2. Place the hot water into a large soup pot.
  3. Add the salt and whisk until the salt is completely dissolved.
  4. When the salt has dissolved whisk in the cold water and the syrup.
  5. Place the onion, garlic cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, lemon zest and cloves into the pot.
  6. Place the pot in the refrigerator until the temperature reaches 40 degrees.
  7. Fill a large zip lock freezer bag with ice.
  8. Place the turkey into the cold mixture and lay the ice on top of the turkey to keep it submerged under the water.
  9. Allow the turkey to marinate over night.
  10. Set up and light the smoker as indicated by the manufacturer on the box.
  11. Preheat the smoker to 275 degrees.
  12. Remove the turkey from the marinade, pat dry and discard the marinade.
  13. Baste the turkey with the melted butter.
  14. Smoke the turkey 3 hours 30 minutes or until the thigh temperature reaches 180 degrees.
  15. Allow the turkey to stand on a cutting board 45 minutes before carving.

Serves 15

Brining a turkey helps keep the turkey moist. When smoking a turkey it can become quite dry but by marinating it over night the meat stays juicy and tender. Don't have a pot big enough, line a crisper drawer with a large garbage bag instead.