The famous Flaming Rooster Turkey recipe has grown to over 500k+ views on YouTube and has become many families 'go to' recipe for Thanksgiving.
Smoking the Turkey is a 2 part process - BRINING the turkey and SMOKING the turkey. You want to start with a Turkey ranging from 10 - 16 pounds (any Turkey over 16 pounds is not recommended to smoke - it's too large to get the internal temperature where you need it without drying out other parts of the bird).
Add 2 gallons of water to a pot and add the brine recipe ingredients. Bring the water to a boil and simmer until all the ingredients are dissolved.
After the simmer, get the water to room temperature by cooling the pot in the refrigerator or adding ice. After the water is cool, insert the turkey into a food safe container or bucket and make sure it's fully submerged.
Cover the top of the container with a lid or foil and put in the refrigerator for 12+ hours (I wouldn't let it brine more than 18 hours). At this point, you just let it sit and no need to do anything.
WHAT TYPE OF WOOD SHOULD I USE TO SMOKE A TURKEY? Flaming Rooster recommends Hickory Wood. Another great option is Maple Wood. You want to avoid heavy smoking woods like Mesquite and Oak for a turkey.
WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD I SMOKE MY TURKEY AT? Low and slow is the goal for smoking turkey and any poultry for that matter. 225 degrees is the ideal smoking temperature for Turkey.
At 225 Degrees, smoking time will range from 6 - 8 hours depending on the size Turkey you have.
Remove the Turkey from the Brine and rinse thoroughly with water, making sure all sediment is removed from the Turkey. Remember, Brine is not like a Rub where the flavor is on the outside of the meat. The Brining process infuses the flavor into the meat through the liquid.
Pat the Turkey dry with paper towels and place on a baking sheet.
Cut up even parts a White Onion and an Apple. Jam into the cavity of the Turkey until it's full. This add some extra flavor and moisture during the smoking process.
Melt a 1/2 stick of butter in the microwave or on the stove. Mix 1 Tablespoon Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning into the Butter.
Baste the Turkey generously with this mixture.
Heat the ceramic cooker or smoker to 225 degrees, getting a nice steady smoke stream going.
If you are using a Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe, you will have the place setter in the smoking configuration with feet up. Take a foil pan and place 1 stick of butter in the pan. Fill the pan with 1 inch of water and place this between the place setter and underneath the grill surface.
This will add a nice butter moisture throughout the smoking process, creating additional flavor and moisture to the turkey.
Place the Turkey on the Smoker breast side UP (uncovered).
Smoke at 225 Degrees for 6 - 8 hours, depending on the size Turkey you have.
The internal temperature of the Turkey needs to get to 165 degrees. Be sure to put your meat thermometer in the thickest part of the Turkey Breast away from the bone. When this reading is 165 degrees, your Turkey is done!
Resting the Turkey is a critical part to the process that is often overlooked.
If you are serving the Turkey right after taking it off the smoker, put it on a baking pan and leave it uncovered on the counter for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, slice and serve - it will still be plenty hot!
If you have some time (an hour or more) before you need to serve it: Keep it wrapped in the towel and put it in a cooler. It will stay piping hot for many hours. Once you are ready to serve it, take it out, unwrap it and let it rest uncovered for 15 minutes.