Smokin’ Turkey Pieces

PREP: 45 minutes | COOK: 1.5 - 3 hours (depending on size of turkey pieces) | SERVES: 6-10 people

SMOKIN’ TURKEY PIECES

(The Common Man’s Kitchen with Chef Nick)

PREP: ~45 minutes

COOK: ~ 1.5 – 3 hours (depending on size of turkey pieces)

SERVES: ~ 6-10 people

 

Brine Ingredients:

  • 3 quarts cold water
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup white sugar

Turkey Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Turkey Breasts
  • 2 Turkey Thighs
  • 1-2 Turkey Legs (optional)
  • Brine (see above)

Grilling Supplies:

  • Lump Hardwood Charcoal
  • Wood Smoking Chips* (Soak the wood chunks or chips in water for 30 minutes while waiting for the coals to heat)
  • Aluminum Drip Pan
  • Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice + Water
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper

Notes: *For this recipe, I used Mesquite wood chips.

 

BRINING INSTRUCTIONS (optional):

  1. In a very large container, combine water, salt and sugar. Whisk until the salt & sugar dissolve. Set the turkey pieces in the water (add more water, if needed, to completely submerge and refrigerate 8-12 hours.
  2. Remove the turkey from the fridge 45 minutes before cooking and pat dry with paper towels.

 

GRILLING INSTRUCTIONS:

Big Green Egg Instructions:

  1. Open the bottom vent all the way. Light the coals using 2 paraffin wax cubes set in a good, level base of lump charcoal. Leave the lid open until the fire is burning and the coals get hot.
  2. Close the bottom vent to about a 1-inch opening and close the top vent almost all the way. The top vent will need additional adjustments to keep the temperature at 225°F.
  3. Set the wood chunks on top of the coals and place the heat deflector plate, feet-side up, over the coals.
  4. Set the aluminum foil pan in the middle of the deflector plate and add 2 cups water and 2 cups apple cider or lemon juice.
  5. Set the cooking grate in-place and close the lid.
  6. Bring the internal temperature to 225°F, open the lid and clean and oil the grate.
  7. Using meat fork, set the turkey pieces on the grate, close the lid and cook the turkey at 225°F for ~ 2 hours. (Adjust the top vent as needed to keep the temperature at 225°F.)
  8. After 2 hours, check the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast and continue cooking, adjusting the top vent as needed.
  9. As the internal temperature of the turkey breast and thighs get close to 163°F, check its internal temperature more often.
  10. Turkey breast takes about 35-45 minutes per pound when cooking at 225°F, so a 6-pound breast could take 2-3½ hours to cook at 225°F.
  11. The turkey is done when its internal temperature registers 162°F-163°F on an instant-read thermometer for thighs and breast. Turkey legs are done at 1855°F. The skin should be amber/caramel colored and beautiful.
  12. Remove turkey pieces from the grill and let rest ~15-20 minutes in a tin foil tent.
  13. Carve it up with a smile, and serve to those you love.
  14. Tag @wyldjoy in photos and videos!

 

Charcoal Grill Instructions:

***Soaked Wood Chips MUST Be Placed in Aluminum Foil Packet***

  1. Thirty minutes before cooking the turkey, open the bottom vent of the grill halfway and place the foil pan in the center of the bottom grill and pour in 2 cups water and 2 cups apple juice or cider.
  2. Fill a charcoal chimney with charcoal and light it from the bottom. The coals are ready when the top coals are partially covered with ash, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Pour half the coals along one side of the foil pan and the other half along the other side.
  4. Place the wood chunks/or foil packet of wood chips on top of one side of the coals.
  5. Set the cooking grate in place, close the lid and open the lid vent halfway. Heat the grill for 5 minutes, then clean and oil the grate.
  6. Place the turkey pieces, skin side up, over the foil pan in the center of the grill.
  7. Cover the grill (with the lid vent positioned over the turkey and cook 1½-2½ hours (keep the internal temperature of the grill between 325°F-350°F). Turkey pieces are done when the internal temperature of the turkey breast and thighs registers 162°F-163°F on an instant-read thermometer (Turkey legs are done at 185°F). The skin should be amber colored and beautiful.
  8. Remove turkey pieces from the grill and let rest ~15-20 minutes in a tin foil tent.
  9. Carve it up with a smile, and serve to those you love.
  10. Tag @wyldjoy in photos and videos!

 

Gas Grill Instructions:

***Soaked Wood Chips MUST Be Placed in Aluminum Foil Packet***

  1. Remove the top cooking grate and place the foil packet of wood chips on the primary burner. Replace the cooking grate and turn all burners to high. Cover the grill and heat until hot and the wood chips are smoking. This should take about 15 minutes. Turn off one side of the grill’s burners (opposite to the aluminum foil packet). Reduce the heat to medium-low and adjust burners, as needed, to keep the grill’s internal temperature between 325°F-350° throughout the cooking process.
  2. Place the turkey pieces, skin side up, on the grill opposite of the burner’s with the wood chips.
  3. The total cooking time could be 1½-2½ hours.
  4. Turkey pieces are done when the internal temperature of the turkey breast and thighs registers 162°F-163°F on an instant-read thermometer (Turkey legs are done at 185°F). The skin should be amber colored and beautiful.
  5. Remove turkey pieces from the grill and let rest ~15-20 minutes in a tin foil tent.
  6. Carve it up with a smile, and serve to those you love.
  7. Tag @wyldjoy in photos and videos!