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Holiday Smoked Turkey



  • 1 (8-10 lb) bone-in raw turkey breast
  • 1/2 C ground black pepper
  • 1/2 C kosher salt
  • 1/2 C Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 C ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsps Frank's hot sauce
  • 2 Tbsps liquid hickory seasoning/liquid smoke
  • 2 Tbsps salad oil
  • 1/2 lb margarine, cut into large chunks
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 C apple cider


Soak turkey in cold salt water for about 2 hours; drain and rinse in cold water, then let dry. Make thick paste with pepper, salt, Cajun seasoning, cumin, hot sauce, liquid smoke, and salad oil. Rub on turkey, inside and out. Stuff chest cavity with garlic cloves and margarine. Wrap in pan; marinate in refrigerator 12-24 hours.
Allow 5 hours cook time over medium charcoal fire in smoker. Cooking method is indirect–do not put turkey directly over fire. Place a drip pan under the turkey. Place turkey on cooking grate with the open cavity upward so cooking juices marinate the meat.
When coals are ready, put turkey on and add seasoned sassafras or hickory chunks to produce smoke. Close smoker lid and adjust airflow for maximum smoke and cook at approximately 325 degrees. After about an hour, pour apple cider into chest cavity. Turn turkey and baste it from the drip pan about six times during 4 to 5 hours of slow smoking. Cook to internal temperature of 165 degrees.

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