Monday, November 27, 2006

Turkey day pictures

For Thanksgiving, we had 3 of our 4 kids with us, as well as our son-in-law Tim. (We missed our daughter-in-law Lindsay and daughter Rebecca and her family.) I smoked a turkey and fried another one for the family. The fried turkey won the popular vote, but the smoked turkey was a close second.

I bought this electric smoker at a yard sale a few years ago. Once you get used to the process, it's a cinch to smoke meats. It took 3 hours to smoke a 14.3 lb. turkey. I had injected a store-bought Cajun marinade into several parts of the turkey to make it moist. I coated the turkey with melted butter and Cajun seasoning. I soaked hickory chunks in water for a couple hours to provide the smoke. In the water pan I poured a mixture of cranberry-apple cider, water, and leftover marinade for flavor. When the turkey reached about 165 degrees, it was done.

Frying a turkey takes less cooking time but more preparation time and expense. I put the turkey in a brine mixture overnight to give it flavor (salt, brown sugar, bay leaves, cloves, & pepper). I heated 4 gallons of peanut oil to 250 degrees, then dropped the turkey in for about 30 minutes until the oil was 350 degrees and the turkey temperature was about 160. Once again, it looked just about perfect! (Thanks for your help, Tim!)

Both turkeys turned out really moist. They both needed a little more cooking time, however. Some of the dark meat was not done and had to be baked some more.

It was a great day to thank God for all His blessings and to enjoy the wonderful family He's given us.

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