Spiced Smoker Turkey with Pomegranate Butter

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Smoker Turkey

In Partnership with Turkey Farmers of Canada – All opinions are my own

There’s nothing quite like a traditional turkey dinner for the holidays, but I must admit it’s nice to shake it up every once and awhile with a little something different. This year, I’ve partnered with Turkey Farmers of Canada to bring you this Spiced Smoker Turkey with Pomegranate Butter. Dry rubbed with savoury spices and basted with a slightly sweet pomegranate butter and smoked to juicy turkey perfection on your outdoor smoker grill. Leaving extra room for delicious side dishes in the oven! This smoker turkey is just the right amount of non traditional but will still give your family that delicious holiday experience they’ve been waiting for all year!

Smoker Turkey
Smoker Turkey

How-To Prep

I like to start with giving my turkey an overnight brine. This is totally optional and usually used to help keep the turkey moist but the smoker helps keep it so as well. If you do want to brine your turkey you’ll need at the very least:

  • A large pot that fits your turkey
  • Roughly 6 quarts of water
  • 1/2 Cup of Kosher Salt
  • You can also add a couple bay leaves, peppercorns

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Whether you brine your turkey or not, you’ll want to pat  it dry, making sure to remove the neck, and organs (set aside if you’d like to make a gravy).

Place your turkey on a safe prep space. Using your hands, gently separate the skin from the body to make a pocket starting at the top of the cavity and also the top where the neck was removed, being very careful not to break the skin. Using 1/3 cup of butter cut into pieces and tuck under the skin as much as you can. Use your hands to massage the butter in over top of the turkey and then apply dry rub generously to entire turkey, seasoning the inside as well.

I like to bind the leg tips with damp twine. It’s not necessary but I find it help keep the shape of the turkey. The nice thing about the smoker grill is you don’t have to worry about burnt wing tips!

All you have to do next is to prep your pomegranate butter and have it ready to go!

Smoker Turkey

Smoker Tips

Choosing what pellets to burn might be the ticket to a well rounded holiday dinner in this case. If you chose to go with a bold pellet, your smoker turkey may end up over powering your accompaniment dishes and we want to aim for flavours that all compliment and elevate each other. I used a competition blend for my pellets. It’s subtle compared to most and the mixture gives that nice smoked smell and flavour without really standing out too much. A nice applewood would work as well.

There’s are lots of ways to achieve a super juicy turkey with that crisp skin that everyone seems to fight over but for this recipe. I left it pretty simple. Low and slow at 250F. Though the temp seems low it really didn’t take too long. I had roughly an 11 lb turkey in for just over 3 hours. Which brings me to my next tip.

You can choose to place your turkey right on the grill (which I did) or place it on a grill proof pan, it’s completely preference!

When using a smoker grill, I always suggest using a digital thermometer to read temperature.  It is going to give you the most accurate idea of temperature and you’ll take the guessing game right out of it. You should be looking for an internal temperature taken from the breast of 170F (77C) for an unstuffed breast and the juices run clear. Insert meat thermometer in the thickest part of the inner thigh, but not touching the bone..

Another tip since this recipe calls for basting with your pomegranate butter; you’ll want to make sure you are quick and efficient with your basting. The longer you have your smoker open to baste, the more the heat and smoke is released and you’ll lose your temperature as well. In and out! You can start basting after the first hour and half and every 30-45 minutes or so afterwards but make sure the dry rubbed has settled on the turkey first so in doesn’t disappear once you start basting the turkey.

Smoker Turkey

Serve it up!

Once your turkey is finished cooking you’ll want to transfer it to a pan or dish that you can cover or wrap with aluminum foil to let it sit for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Place it on a serving platter with some fresh herbs and some quartered pomegranates for that wow factor and keep your fingers crossed there are leftovers! ENJOY and HAPPY HOLIDAY COOKING!

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Spiced Smoked Turkey with Pomegranate Butter

This smoker turkey is the perfect non traditional way to serve up a delicious, juicy turkey dinner to your guests that’s anything short of flavour. Dry rubbed with savoury spices and basted with a subtly sweet pomegranate butter on your smoker.

  • Author: Tanya Bates
  • Prep Time: 12 Hrs
  • Cook Time: 3-4 Hours
  • Total Time: Approx 16 Hrs
  • Yield: 8-10 Servings
  • Method: Smoker Grill

Ingredients

SALT BRINE

  • 1/2 Cup of kosher Salt
  • 6 Quarts of Water
  • Spices (Optional) Bay Leaves, Peppercorns

DRY RUB

  • 1 Tbsp of kosher salt
  • 1 Tsp of Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Dried Sage
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Dried Thyme
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp of Chili Powder
  • 1/3 Cup of Butter Cut into Pieces

Pomegranate Butter

  • 1/4 Cup of Pomegranate Juice
  • 1/3 Cup of Butter Melted
  • 1 Tbsp of Orange Juice
  • One turkey roughly 11-15 lbs, rinsed, neck and organs removed

Instructions

  1. For the salt brine (optional) add salt and water to a large pan with turkey, add spices if desired and cover and place in the fridge overnight.
  2. Set smoker grill to preheat to 250F
  3. Add all of the dry rub ingredients (butter excluded) to a medium bowl to combine
  4. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry, place on a safe surface
  5. Using your hands, gently separate skin from the body creating pockets for butter. Start at the top of the cavity and also where the neck was removed being careful not to rip the skin. Place pieces of butter throughout under the skin and use your hands to massage the butter pieces in over top of the skin.
  6. Using your hands, generously coat the outside of the turkey with the dry rub and season the inside as well.
  7. Using some damp twine (run twine under water) and tie the leg ends together. This will help keep the shape of the turkey. No need to wrap the wing tips.
  8. Place the turkey directly or on a grill safe pan (optional but not required, I placed mine directly on the grill) and place on the preheated smoker grill.
  9. Meanwhile, melt butter in microwave until melted, roughly 40 seconds and stir in juices
  10. Allow to cook for roughly an hour and half before opening lid to baste
  11. Brush the pomegranate butter on quickly and efficiently in order to keep too much heat and smoke from escaping. Repeat every 40 minutes or so.
  12. After the first hour and a half. check every hour with a digital thermometer for an internal temperature of 170F (77C) for an unstuffed breast and the juices run clear. Insert meat thermometer in the thickest part of the inner thigh, but not touching the bone. Then remove from grill and cover with aluminum foil for 20-30 minutes before serving

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