When it’s cooking day, you first need to prepare the turkey for the smoke and make the glaze. Bring the turkey out of the cooler 45-60 minutes before you plan to start smoking. It is also a clever idea to make sure your smoker is up and running during this time. Using the most accurate meat thermometers, we have found that 260°F (127°C) is the best temperature for juicy white meat and tender cooked dark meat. A
Tuck the wing tips behind the breast to protect them from burning and create a better-looking final bird. When it comes to stuffing, we are not talking about cornbread or sausage. You want to avoid filling the cavity with dense stuffing due to the lower temperatures in the smoker, you will never have safely cooked stuffing before the bird is completely overcooked. We prefer aromatics and fruit; apples, onions, lemons, oranges, sage, and garlic make wonderful additions, and they impart flavor over the long slow smoke. After stuffing, tie the legs together with butcher’s twine, this will create a better-looking cooked turkey and help slow the cooking of the white meat.
Finally, we need to make our glaze. We are using a mixture of bourbon, apricot jam, and butter. This will glaze the turkey during the last hour of the cooking process, creating a beautiful sheen, capturing the additional smoky flavor, and creating a unique sweet and smokey bite.