Cindy Lou's Maple Smoked Turkey
Cindy Lou’s Maple Smoked Turkey
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Brine Time: 12-18 hours
- Cook Time: 3-6 hours (depends on size of turkey)
- Smoker Temp: 240°F
- Meat Finish Temp: 165°F
- Recommended Wood: Pecan
- Maple syrup
- Cindy Lou’s Veggie Delight Dry Rub and Cindy Lou’s Voodoo Dry Rub
- 2-4 whole yellow onions, quartered (depending on size of turkey)
When the turkey is finished brining (see brine recipe), rinse well with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Place the turkey on a baking sheet to catch the mess. Pour the maple syrup covering the entire exterior of the bird. Next sprinkle Cindy Lou’s Veggie Delight Dry Rub all over the bird. For maximum flavor, work your hands down under the skin of the turkey to get some maple syrup and rub it in. When done sprinkle a light dusting of Cindy Lou’s Voodoo Dry Rub for that extra POP
Stuff the cavity with quartered yellow onions. At this point the turkey is ready to go in the smoker.
You can use practically any smoker (even the grill) to cook your Thanksgiving turkey as long as you can maintain a range between about 220° – 250°F using indirect heat. Preheat the smoker/grill and once it is maintaining about 240°F, you are ready to smoke!
Place your smoking wood of choice onto the coals. Place the turkey directly on the grate breast side up, or if you want to keep the smoker a little cleaner, you can leave the turkey on the baking sheet.
If you are using a smoker that has multiple levels, you can place the bird on a rack to make it easy to transport it to the smoker and then back into the house once it’s finished. We recommend you place a pan on a lower rack to catch the syrup and turkey juices, as they will burn once they hit the diverter plate.
Pecan wood is best for this turkey but almost any fruit wood or a mix of pecan and fruit wood such as apple or cherry, would be great.
Let the turkey smoke for about 2 hours without touching it. At the 2-hour mark, begin mopping the bird with the Maple Barbecue Mop Sauce hourly (see recipe below).
Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the bird and the temperature of the smoker. For a 25 pound turkey, smoking time will take approximately 5 to 6 hours. For a 15 pounder, the cooking time is about 3 hours. Monitor the thickest part of the turkey breast but also check the turkey legs before bringing the turkey in the house. It is recommended that you use a good digital probe meat thermometer, checking the temperature every hour once you start mopping the bird.
Turkey breast, which is white meat, cooks a little differently than the darker meat found in the legs and wings. It is important to find the happy medium between getting the two meats perfectly done. We usually go with the breast temperature and as long as both the white and dark meats are at least 165°F. At this point, the turkey is done.
Remember, the temperature is going to increase some after it is pulled off the smoker. We recommend a finish temperature of 165°F simply because we believe that’s the optimum temperature based on our experience.
Allow the turkey to rest. During this time, the juices settle back down in the meat making it moist and are less prone to spurt out when you cut it. When removing the turkey from the smoker, use a large roasting pan lined with foil and a lid. The turkey goes from the smoker into the roasting pan and the lid is quickly placed on top to preserve the heat. You can also use aluminum foil.
Allow the bird to rest for about 20-30 minutes before carving.
Maple Barbecue Mop Sauce
- 6 oz maple syrup
- 2 heaping Tablespoons of Cindy Lou’s Veggie Delight
Heat the maple syrup in the microwave for 1 minute then add the Cindy Lou’s Veggie Delight . Mix well and continuously stir while using. Simple yet so amazing! Use a silicon brush or basting mop to apply the mop sauce to the top, sides, legs and wings of the turkey.