1.Two days before you are ready to cook, we need to brine the turkey. Brining helps by introducing salt into the fibers of the meat, which helps to retain extra liquid and juices. It also adds additional flavors to the meat, giving it an overall complexity that is amazing!
2. To make the brine, in a large pot, mix all ingredients until we’ll incorporated. Fully submerge turkey and place in the fridge. If you are looking to make a healthier version of this recipe, you can substitute the apple juice for water and omit the sugar in the brine.
3. The night before you are ready to cook, remove turkey from brine, rinse gently and pat dry with a paper towel. Place on a wire rack and leave uncovered in the fridge overnight- this will help to crisp up the skin as it cooks.
4. When you are ready to cook, preheat smoker to 225F and truss the turkey tightly together. Trussing helps to keep the bird together as it cooks, but also allows you to avoid overcooking the wings and legs, as they are closer to the body.
5.Lightly coat the exterior of the turkey with olive oil or water and thoroughly coat the whole turkey with rub. I used my Flabby Phoenix rub (Buy yours HERE). It’s a great mix of earthy spices, fragrant herbs and sweetness that makes poultry really pop.
6. Smoke the turkey until it hits 165F (about 30 minutes per pound. Place a water pan between the heat source and the turkey
7. After the first 2 hours, baste the outside of the turkey gently with butter. Be careful not to disturb the rub. If you are looking for a healthier option, spritz the exterior of the turkey with cold water instead.
8. When the turkey is close to hitting doneness, you may need to help crisp the skin a little more. To do this, gently brush on some olive oil across the full surface of the bird and raise the temp to 300F. Be careful not to burn or darken the skin too much.
9. Once turkey hits 165F, remove turkey from the smoker and allow to rest for 20 minutes, lightly tented in foil.
10. Carve the turkey against the grain and serve!