Monday, April 15, 2013


As I am want to do most years with the first bought of mild temperatures a couple of weekends ago, I declared it smokin' day. I kicked it off a week earlier by digging out the two turkeys in my freezer that I had bought on sale the week after Thanksgiving. They slowly defrosted in the refrigerator all week long which is a pain in the rear when you are trying to store all your daily food items along side them. But finally the day of smokin' arrived and I was at last able to take them out and prep them for the positions of honor, rack one and rack two in my smoker.

This time around I used mesquite chips for the smoke creatin' part of the day. You can buy them in small bags and for not much money, especially when considering the amount of work I would have to do to create chips of my own. It also allows me to use more exotic woods that I don't have access on a daily basis such as mesquite and my favorite, apple.

I have a gas fired smoker which I like the best of all the smokers I have used in the past. With gas, I can set the temperature I desire and not worry about having to go out every few minutes to make sure it isn't getting too hot or too cold. Pretty much all I have to do is go out about once an hour or so to put some fresh chips into the smoke chamber to ensure enough of that smokin' taste that I like.

Those two turkeys, one for me and one for my parents to supply them with turkey sandwiches during the planting season, took about four and a half hours to smoke. The salmon (not pictured), which I did on the spur of the moment after the turkeys were done and I saw I had another hopper full of chips left, took about an hour with the smoker turned down as low as it would go.

When the turkeys cool, I'll carve them up because smoked turkey is always best cold for some reason. The salmon we may just snack on or make into some sort of dip and eat with crackers or do both.


Bone said...

I hope they taste half as good as they look.

I don't have a smoker, but I've been grilling out every chance I get.

Ed said...

Bone - Smoking meats is way tastier than grilling in my opinion. But it takes a lot longer to do. I typically grill a couple times a year and load up my smoker, freezing the meat I can't eat right away for later consumption. I love to smoke turkey, pork loin, chicken and a new favorite, salmon. But my grill always has a place for my steaks, brats and hamburgers.

sage said...

Looks good--I got rid of my smoker when I left Utah and have missed it. There, I had an apple tree and would save prunings to add to the charcoal.

Oysters are also good smoked--just put them in on the half shell and they don't take too long.

Vince said...

They look magnificent. What's the little ruby jewel.

Ed said...

Sage - If I could get my hands on some oysters, fresh oysters that is, I would have smoked them too. Seafood in this part of the world is more miss than hit. Occasionally you can get some decent salmon but not often.

Vince - Those were temperature indicators that came with the turkeys that tell when they are done. I typically just ignore them and use my own thermometer because they can be pretty far off. I guess it is the processors way of idiot proofing cooking turkey.

warren said...

Holy cow those look good! I love smoked meat much more than I should. We still use charcoal and it is a pain. I am jealous of your gas smoker. I should look into one. I suppose I would use it a lot more if it was less work. Anyhow, good job!

edifice rex said...

MMmmm, smoked salmon!! That is some good stuff! and hey, I have a recipe for some of the best smoked salmon dip you'll ever have. or I think so anyway.!

Ed said...

Warren - You should. I wouldn't use mine near as much if I still has the old charcoal fired one. That was a pain to run and get right.

Edifice Rex - Lay it on me in an email!