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Orona Family Smoked Apple/Brined Turkey

Orona family smoked apple brined turkey

We used a 17 lb turkey. Soaked in an apple brine for 24 hrs.

2 qts cold pressed apple juice
3 large navel oranges, quartered
1 lb brown sugar
1 cup salt
6 bay leaves
15 whole cloves
4 oz fresh ginger, unpeeled and sliced

Boil the juice with brown sugar and salt until dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temp.

In a large non reactive container (or a large turkey bag) combine cold juice mixture with remaining ingredients. When adding the oranges squeeze each piece to release the juice and toss in the remaining peel. Place turkey breast side down in brine. Brine for up to 24 hrs.

Once brine bath is complete. Rinse and pat dry your turkey. Make butter herb rub and apply to entire outside and under the skin of turkeyat the breast. Leave some butter herb rub on the side to rub into a cheese cloth then apply the cloth on top of the breast.

Butter herb rub:
2 tbsp sage
2 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp thyme
Lemon zest
8 oz butter

Stuff your turkey with 2 Arkansas black apples (from Johnston fruit farm, cored and quartered) and one half of a white onion (quartered).

 Place a water pan with 2-4 qts of water under the turkey. Preheat smoker with charcoal briquettes and applewood chunks to about 300'. Place turkey, breast side up, in the smoker. Cooking temp was at 250-275 F. Takes 20-30 min/lb. Our 17 lb bird took 5 1/2 hrs. Remove cheese cloth half way through cooking.

Mop with honey about 60 min before done. We used Dee's Bees raw honey.

Turkey is done when thickest part of breast and thigh, without touching bone, read 165'F on meat thermometer.

Remove turkey and let rest for 30 min wrapped in heavy duty aluminum foil.