Honey BBQ Whole Turkey
1 8-10 pound turkey
10 cups of water, approximately
3/4 cup salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons pickling spice, optional
1 teaspoon saltpetre (optional, from drugstore)
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning or Mrs. Dash
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
3/4 cup kosher maple syrup or maple flavored table syrup
1/4 cup honey
2 large apples, quartered
Pre-soaked maple wood chips, about 2 cups
A day before, brine the turkey.
To do this, fill a large, non-reactive container such as a large stockpot or stainless steel bowl, with 10 cups of water (or enough water to submerge turkey in). Add in salt and sugar and let dissolve and then stir in onion powder, garlic powder, pickling spice and saltpetre (if using). Immerse turkey in salted, spiced water and weigh down to keep turkey submerged (with something heavy (I used a brick wrapped inside a ziplock bag). Refrigerate overnight or at least 6-8 hours. Once in awhile, swish turkey around.
In a medium bowl, cover the maple hardwood chips in water and let soak overnight.
Next day, remove turkey from brine and dry very well with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix the dry rub seasonings together and then rub onto turkey, all over. Smear on the barbecue sauce, and then drizzle on honey and maple syrup. Place the apple pieces inside the turkey cavity. Have a foil roasting pan at the ready.
Have the gas grill at a medium low setting. On the side of the grill, place soaked maple chips you have prepared in a wood smoker box. If using a charcoal grill, use 1/3 charcoal and hardwood chunks, and 2/3 thirds briquettes. Have the coals medium hot and scatter wood chips on coals. Then place turkey in the roasting pan on the grill. Once in awhile, you will have to remove turkey, and add more charcoal, as required to complete cooking. Cook the turkey over low heat, about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, with cover of grill closed until the turkey temperature reads 160 -165 F, basting every so often with a bit of honey, maple syrup and barbecue sauce. Then remove it from the roasting pan and grill, breast side down, for 5-10 minutes, to brown breast.
Technically, turkey is thoroughly done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads l80 F. (I found if you actually keep it on the grill until that point it will dry out. At 160 -165 F, the temperature continues to climb rather quickly - even as you remove the turkey. Taking it off at l60 F ensures it will not be over done and dry. Do note that most home economists are emphatic about the l80 F standard).
Remove turkey and drain inside cavity. Cool to warm before placing in fridge to "mature" overnight (24 hours is best; overnight is okay).
Recipe by: Marcy Goldman - Marcy's Kosher Cuisine
No smoker required. This turkey should be made a day before or allowed to chill at least four hours for flavors to develop. It makes a great all-week dish. Make it Saturday night for Sunday late lunch sandwiches or a picnic. On Monday, it is a great brown bag baguette and turkey submarine. Mid week, slivers of smoked turkey are the focal point of a turkey Caesar salad. For extra maple smoked taste, scatter maple chips on the coals or use a smoker box (available at BBQ stores) on your gas grill.