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The BlueSmoke Gazette, Issue #019 -- November 14, 2007
November 14, 2007

Smoke a Turkey Breast or Drumsticks

If you'd rather not smoke a whole turkey, smoke a few turkey thighs or drumsticks, or a whole bone-in turkey breast. The pieces of turkey are much easier to work with than dealing with a whole turkey. They take less time to brine and to smoke, and can be cooked in the smallest of grills and smokers.

Most of the turkey you'll find at the grocers has been injected with a "basting" solution containing salt, flavorings and preservatives. When brining pre-basted turkey, cut the brining time in half so it doesn't become too salty. If you can find turkey labeled "Natural" or "Minimally Processed", it contains no artificial flavorings or chemical preservatives. With this type of turkey, brine for the full amount of time. Using natural turkey also offers the added benefit of giving you full control over the final taste of the meat. Who knows what type of "flavorings" have been added to that processed turkey?

Smoked Turkey Legs and Breasts

Smoked Turkey Breast
Fruit juices can add nice flavor to turkey breast meat when used in the brine. You can brine this one overnight, start smoking it in the morning, and have it done and ready to eat by lunchtime.

Smoked Turkey Legs
The turkey drumsticks are spicy and full of flavor. I usually brine a half-dozen of them along with the whole turkey I'm preparing, but they can be just as easily be prepared and brined as the main course. And who doesn't love smoked turkey legs? I mean, they're just fun to eat!

Cooking Thermometers

Infrared Cooking Thermometers
With these thermometers you can check surface temperature of your turkey breasts as they smoke. A few models have a built-in probe for checking internal temperatures, too. Since IR (infra-red) thermometers don't touch the food, there is no chance of cross contamination.

Maverick Remote Thermometer
The remote receiver included with this neat thermometer allows you to travel up to 100 feet away from your smoking turkey while still being able to monitor its temperature. Comes in handy when in the kitchen making the stuffing!

Recipes and Info

Making Turkey Brine

Turkey Brine Recipes

The Smoked Turkey Tutorial

Wet or Dry Turkey Rub

Grill Smoked Turkey

Other Topics

Food Safety Tips For Outdoor Cooking

All About Salt

What Temperature is "Done"?

Types of Woods Suitable for Smoking

Gas Grill Smoking

Try a Pellet Smoker

Charcoal Grills

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