Smoked turkey with BBQ gravy

Smoked turkey with barbecue gravy

  • Preparation Time35 mins
  • Cooking Time480 mins
  • Serves12
  • DifficultyMedium

For the turkey brine

4L water
2 cups salt
720ml apple juice
240ml bourbon
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 (10kg) turkey
Olive oil
4 cups hickory wood chips, soaked in water for 60 minutes
BBQ gravy, recipe follows

For the rub

2 tbsps salt
1 1/2 tbsps ground sage
1 1/2 tbsps thyme
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp Neelys Seasoning, recipe follows

For the Neelys seasoning

3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups paprika
3 3/4 tbsps onion powder

For the BBQ gravy

1 tbsp vegetable oil
Drumstick, from turkey
Neck, from turkey
1 large onion, sliced
1920ml turkey stock or chicken stock
60ml BBQ sauce (recommended: Neelys BBQ Sauce)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1) To make the brine, mix the water, salt, apple juice, bourbon, peppercorns and sugar into an 18 1/2-litre bucket lined with a resealable bag. Stir until the salt and sugar is dissolved.

2) Place the turkey into the bag with the brine. Place the bucket in a bin liner and place everything into an ice chest, so the bucket is surrounded with ice. Keep in a cool place for 6 hours or overnight. Turn the turkey after 3 hours. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.

3) For the rub, place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Rub the turkey with olive oil and then massage the rub onto the turkey.

4) Soak the wood chips for 1 hour prior to cooking the turkey and drain well. Use a covered barbecue (charcoal, gas or electric) and preheat to about 95C. Place a layer of wood chips on top of the heated coals. Line a standard size loaf pan with aluminium foil and fill two-thirds with water. Place in the barbecue opposite the coals.

5) Place the turkey on the barbecue grill over the pan of water. Insert a probe thermometer in the thigh to keep a check on the temperature as it cooks. Place the lid on the barbecue with the vent open. The temperature should remain constant at 105C. You may need to add more coals and chips every few hours.

6) After 1 hour check the turkey. If the skin is golden brown, cover with foil. Continue cooking for 4-6 more hours or until the probe thermometer reaches 70C.

7) Remove the turkey and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before you carve. Serve with BBQ gravy.

BBQ gravy:
1) Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the drumstick and neck and sear until brown. Remove from the pan and reserve.

2) Lower the heat and saute the onions. Add the stock, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Put the drumstick and neck back into the saucepan. Cover and simmer until it comes to a boil; about 1 hour. The sauce will reduce down greatly.

3) Remove the turkey parts. Add the BBQ sauce to the pan and whisk together. The gravy will thicken; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Neelys seasoning:
Mix all the ingredients together and store in an air-tight container for up to 6 months.

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