The concept of Smofried Turkey makes up a very sacred portion of the heart and soul of Smofried.com. Thats due to the fact that the Smofried Turkey was the initial foundation for our brand. Our inception occurred on a day in mid November 2015 when a couple of us were sitting in a conference room trying to decide how we would prep the office Thanksgiving Turkey. We got stuck between the options of smoking or frying the turkey. That’s when Patrick recommended that we do both… Smoke then Fry the turkey. Without giving it second thought that’s exactly what we did. The results were so phenomenal that we decided to build an entire brand around the name and concept even though we knew it wouldn’t necessarily apply to everything that we’d end up doing. At the end of the day we just knew that it sounded like a kick-ass name!
Initial preparation includes thawing out your bird if you purchased a frozen turkey. Ideally you’ll want a fresh turkey sans any prepackaged brine solution. Otherwise, if you do pick a pre-brined turkey just be sure to dial back the sodium levels in the brine.
While it is not advised to brine your turkey outdoors it is sometimes necessary. If this is the case make certain that the ambient temperature is be below 40F. Otherwise you’ll run the risk of bacteria growth which could result in sick guest.
Allow the turkey to brine for no more less than 12 hours but no more than 72 hours. Adjust the amount of brine time in accordance to the amount of salt used. Allow for less brine time if you end up needing more salt.
1. For the brine solution you’ll need to start with two grapefruits, two navel oranges and two limes. Half each of the citrus fruits then set them aside.
2. Prior to removing your turkey from its packaging place it into a large food safe container.
3. Add water to the container until the turkey is fully submerged. Remove the turkey then measure the amount of water remaining in the container.
4. Pour the water out then refill the container with the same amount of water that remained after you removed the turkey.
5. Add one cup of Kosher Salt for each gallon of water in the container.
6. Stir the Kosher Salt into the water until it is completely dissolved.
7. Add about a quarter of a cup of whole black peppercorns to the container.
8. Squeeze some of the juice from the halved citrus fruit then add the remaining pieces to the container.
9. Once all of the brine ingredients are in place, remove the turkey from its packaging. Remove the innards of the turkey from the cavity then discard them. Also be sure to remove the temperature probe then place the turkey into the brine container.
When constructing the flavor scheme for our Smofried Turkey we wanted to involve as few ingredients as possible. Instead of going for an all inclusive flavor approach we went with something that would allow each flavor component to shine through at the exact right moment. Since brine solutions have the propensity to penetrate deeper into the proteins that make up poultry we allowed there citrus juices from the grapefruit, orange, and lime to go to work first. That way once you get to the areas closest to the bone you can reap some of the most flavorful and refreshing rewards. Then, several hours prior to smoking the turkey we like to apply the fresh herbs, EVOO and Smofried SPG BBQ Rub combination. This will allow the Turkey to soak in more of the flavor aspects more traditionally associated with poultry. Once the fresh herbs and oil are introduced to smoke a deep and divine flavor layer is unleashed. Lastly, a simplistic helping of our Smofried SPG BBQ Rub adds just the right amount of coarse grain Kosher Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to give the skin the perfect amount of crunch once it’s removed from the hot peanut oil.
Inside The Cavity:
–On The Skin:
Smofried SPG BBQ Rub
1. Once you’ve completed the brine process remove the turkey from the container and pat dry using a paper towel.
2. Using a large chef knife proceed to chop the fresh herb ingredients then place them into a medium sized bowl.
3. Add EVOO to the bowl then add Smofried SPG BBQ Rub to the same bowl.
4. Begin to prep the turkey for smoking by rubbing the combination of Smofried SPG BBQ Rub, Fresh Thyme, Fresh Rosemary Fresh Sage and EVOO all over and under the skin.
5. Quarter one orange as well as one white onion then place them inside of the cavity of the turkey.
6. Place the seasoned turkey inside of the refrigerator as you prep the smoker for a two to three hour cook.
Smoking + Frying = Smofried
A simple Smoked Turkey all on its own is already some of the most delectable poultry you’ll ever taste. Prior to our Smofried.com days we came across a very effective smoked turkey recipe that changed the way we looked at turkey in general. The blog post introduced us to the simple approach of herbs, oil and smoke.
The amount and type of wood that you’ll ultimately use will depend on the strength of the smoke flavor that you’re going for. If you want a stronger smoke flavor use pecan or hickory. If you’re looking for a more subdued smoke flavor use a fruitwood such as apple, cherry or peach. Woods such as Oak and Mesquite will impart an especially sharp smoke flavor that will likely overpower the flavor of the turkey.
1. Fill a charcoal chimney with lump charcoal then light it using newspaper.
2. Once the charcoal is completely ignited add the charcoal to the firebox of your smoker.
3. Immediately place two or three logs of either peach, pecan, apple or cherry wood to the bed of charcoal.
4. Once the wood is completely ignited close the door to your firebox then wait until the temperature reaches 300F and the smoke runs clear.
5. Place the seasoned turkey in the smoker and allow it to smoke / roast for two to three hours depending on the weight.
6. While the turkey is in the smoker begin to prepare the turkey fryer by adding peanut oil to a large pot.
7. Reference the amount of water necessary for the brine to determine the correct amount of peanut oil to add to the pot.
8. Give the peanut oil at least 30 minutes to heat up prior to dropping the turkey into it. The temperature of the oil should not exceed 350F.
9. Once the turkey is submerged in the hot oil the temperature may drop slightly. Don’t adjust the flame level as the temperature will eventually level out.
10. Prior to submerging the turkey into the fryer turn off the fire. This will prevent any oil spillage from turning into a major fire.
11. Once the turkey has reached an internal temperature of about 140F remove it from the smoker and immediately drop it into the hot peanut oil.
12. Make sure to probe the deepest part of the thigh near the hip joint when the time comes to check the temperature of the turkey.
13. The remaining 25 to 30F should take between ten and fifteen minutes to reach.
14. At the ten minute mark remove the turkey from the oil and probe the thickest part of the thigh region. If more time is necessary then remove the temperature probe and return the turkey to the fryer.
15. Once the turkey reaches an internal temperature of at 165F remove it from the fryer and place it on a large roasting rack so that all of the additional oil drains off.
16. Once the turkey has cooled enough to handle begin to carve and serve!
Smofried Turkey Tacos
The combination of Turkey and Tacos are everything that embodies the Smofried BBQ co. brand. Thus it was a no brainer to combine the two into a quick meal of sheer excellence. The methods that we’ve used for our tacos presents great opportunity for several layers of flavor and texture. The Bourbon Pickled Ginger, Red Onions, and Carrots provide an explosion of flavor which is leveled out by the smokiness of the turkey and completed by the presence of Cilantro and Queso Fresco.
Bourbon Pickled Ginger
Bourbon Pickled Red Onions
Bourbon Pickled Carrots
1. Begin the Bourbon Pickled Ginger and Carrots by peeling and julienne slicing a large piece of ginger.
2. Peel the outter layer of a Red Onion then slice into thin portions using a mandolin slicer.
3. In a medium stock pot add four cups of Apple Cider Vinegar along with one cup of Bourbon and one cup of honey.
4. Heat the stock pot until the liquid comes to a soft boil.
5. Add the sliced Red Onions and Ginger to two separate mason jars while the liquid is coming up to a boil.
6. Add a handful of Black Peppercorns to the mason jars along with two tablespoons of Kosher Salt.
7. Once the liquid comes to a soft boil pour it over the sliced Red Onions, Carrots and Ginger inside of the mason jars.
8. Place a lid on the jars and set them aside for a few hours prior to consuming.
9. Heat the tortilla shells in a hot skillet for 10 seconds on each side.
10. Break the turkey down using a slicing knife and or meat claws.
11. Mix together some of the dark and white meat in each of the tacos.
12. Top the tacos with the Bourbon Pickled Red Onions Carrots and Ginger.
13. Lastly garnish the tacos with Queso Fresco and Cilantro.