Discover the Perfect Timing: How Long to Smoke a Brined Turkey. Uncover the ultimate secret to achieving a succulent and flavorful smoked turkey by mastering the precise smoking duration. Dive into our expert guide, filled with invaluable tips and insights, ensuring your brined turkey emerges from the smoker with mouthwatering perfection every time.
Wet Brined Traeger Smoked Turkey
This wet brined smoked turkey is a simple and delicious way to cook a juicy and flavorful turkey on the Traeger. The turkey is soaked in a brine overnight, allowing it to absorb the flavors and juices from the brine. The added salt in the brine helps to trap in those juices, preventing the turkey from drying out as it cooks.
To prepare the brine, mix together salt, sugar, and hot water until dissolved. Add cold water or ice to cool down the brine. Place the turkey in a large waterproof container and pour the brining liquid over it. If desired, you can also add aromatics such as peppercorns, onions, lemons, and bay leaves. Make sure the turkey is completely submerged in the liquid. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat your Traeger to 225°F and let it smoke for about 1-1/2 to 3 hours until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 110°F. Then increase the temperature to 350°F and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (about 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours for an 18-20 pound bird). Remove the turkey from the grill, cover with foil, and let it rest for 20 minutes before serving.
What you need to brine a turkey
To brine a turkey, you will need the following:
1. A large waterproof container: This can be a produce drawer in your fridge or any other container that is large enough to hold the turkey and enough water to cover it.
2. Salt: You must use salt for the brine. I recommend using kosher salt or table salt.
3. Sugar: Brown sugar can be used for a touch of molasses flavor.
4. Aromatics: Optional but nice to add for extra flavor. These can include oranges, lemons, bay leaves, peppercorns, sliced onions, and fresh herbs.
5. Water: Start with warm water to dissolve the salt and sugar faster, then add cold water or even ice to cool down the brine.
6. Turkey: Make sure to remove any giblets or pop-up thermometers from inside the cavity of the turkey before brining.
7. Butter: Softened butter can be used to cover the turkey and add moisture and flavor.
8. Roasting pan: This is where you will place the turkey during cooking.
9. Leave-in thermometer: It’s important to monitor the temperature of the turkey while it cooks to ensure it reaches a safe internal temperature.
10. Foil: Use foil to cover the turkey after it is done cooking and let it rest for 20 minutes before serving.
11. Additional equipment: If you have a Traeger grill, you will need that as well as wood pellets for smoking the turkey.
Remember to adjust quantities based on the size of your turkey and follow FDA guidelines for cooking temperature and times.
How to brine a turkey
To brine a turkey, you will need a large waterproof container that can hold the turkey and enough water to cover it. Start by removing any plastic or metal cages or pop-up thermometers from inside the cavity of the turkey. Mix salt, sugar, and hot water in a separate container until dissolved. Add cold water or ice to cool down the brine. Place the turkey in the container and pour the brining liquid over it. If desired, you can also add aromatics like peppercorns, sliced onions, lemons, and bay leaves. Make sure the turkey is completely submerged in the brine. Cover the container and refrigerate overnight.
After brining, rinse the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels. Let it sit in the fridge for several hours to fully dry before cooking.
Timetable for a Traeger smoked turkey
When smoking a turkey on the Traeger, it is important to cook it based on temperature rather than time. However, here is a general guideline for how long it will take to finish smoking your turkey:
- Smoke at 225°F until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 110°F (approximately 1-1/2 to 3 hours depending on the size of the bird).
- Increase the temperature to 350°F and continue cooking until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (approximately 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours for an 18-20 pound bird).
Please note that these times are estimates and can vary depending on the size of the turkey and how often you open the grill. It is important to always use a meat thermometer to ensure that the turkey is cooked to the proper temperature.
Cook the Traeger smoked turkey based on temperature, not time
Cooking a Traeger smoked turkey is all about monitoring the temperature, not relying on a specific cooking time. Wet brining the turkey overnight helps to infuse it with flavors and keep it juicy during the smoking process. The turkey is cooked at a lower temperature than traditional oven-roasted turkeys, so it will take longer to reach the desired internal temperature.
To cook the Traeger smoked turkey, start by preparing a brine solution using salt, sugar, and hot water. Make sure the turkey is completely submerged in the brine and refrigerate it overnight. The next day, preheat the Traeger grill to 225°F and smoke the turkey until its internal temperature reaches 110°F. This usually takes about 1-1/2 to 3 hours depending on the size of your bird.
Once it reaches 110°F, increase the temperature on the Traeger to 350°F and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165°F. This usually takes about 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours for an 18-20 pound bird. It’s important to use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast to accurately monitor the temperature.
Once cooked, remove the turkey from the grill, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 20 minutes before serving. It’s important to note that cooking times may vary depending on factors such as grill temperature and turkey size.
Overall, cooking a Traeger smoked turkey based on temperature ensures that it is cooked evenly and prevents it from drying out. By following these guidelines and monitoring the internal temperature of your turkey, you can achieve a juicy and flavorful result every time.
In conclusion, the cooking time for a brined turkey varies based on its weight, but a general guideline is to smoke it for about 30 minutes per pound at an ideal temperature of 225°F. However, using a meat thermometer is crucial to ensure safe and perfectly cooked turkey. Remember to allow ample time for brining before smoking, and enjoy your flavorful and juicy turkey!
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