Smoked Wild Turkey For Thanksgiving 2013

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Y’all can consider this to be part two to Our Family Thanksgiving Tradition which was published on 25 November 2013. I provide the link only if y’all need to catch up, refresh, or both. Whichever y’all decide to do, just hurry up, we have allot to discuss. When I left off last time I mentioned that we dressed out our wild turkey and set it to soak in a magic recipe. But, before I give y’all those details so y’all might try it out some day for yourselves, y’all must make sure you have one very specific item, and that is a 5 gallon bucket with a tight sealing lid. I prefer to get mine from Home Depot because, to date, they have yet to ever, and I mean ever, fail me for having a leak proof tight lid. But, y’all make that call when I’m not looking. Also, for the meat haters who love to hate it when I write about meat I just want you to know, specifically you, yes, a wild turkey was harmed (killed) to complete this recipe. There, I said it, now get over yourselves and either turn tail and leave or read on. Now, wash the 5 gallon bucket and lid real well, scrub it good. When it is clean and dry place it on a chair and make sure it isn’t going to fall off of it. Place one dressed wild turkey in the bucket, neck up and tail down. Pour two 750ml bottles of Wild Turkey into the bucket with the turkey. Y’all can use the basic run of the mill Wild Turkey if you please, I had a case of Rare Breed leftover from a party when I worked at the club, so I used it, well, two bottles of it anyway.

Open two large cans of whole berry cranberry sauce and pour those in as well. Wash 4 good sized oranges and slice them into 1/4″ thick slices leaving the peels on. Take all of the slices and slice them in half then put them in the bucket. Wash and cut 1 each red, yellow, and green bell pepper. Put those in the bucket now. Wash and cut 4 jalapeno peppers and place those in the bucket. I also added 1/4 cub Tabasco Sauce, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce,  1 cup (packed) brown sugar, and 1/2 cup (finely chopped) mint leaves. Whatever space remains in the bucked fill with cool water until the liquid level is about 1 1/2″ from the top. Securely put the lid on and I mean make sure it’s on tight or you will have a mess to clean up. Carefully remove the handle from the bucket and set it aside for now. Lay the bucket on the floor on it’s side and roll it back and forth until you think everything has blended well. As tempting as it may be do not, under any circumstances, take that lid off until you are ready to smoke it. Now, I happen to have a refrigerator that I have taken the bottom shelf out of so my bucket fits just fine, you’ll have to see what works for you as it needs to sit this way for a few days. Mine sat like this for 96 hours (4 days).

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After you get your smoker up to temperature it will be time for the turkey. I began my fire with red oak until the smoker would maintain about 500F, then I added some hickory and mesquite which had been soaking in a bigger bucket for a few days that was filled with water. When you are ready for the turkey just pry the lid off the bucket, reach in there barehanded, grab the turkey, and slap it on the smoker. Do not discard the remaining contents in the bucket, some of it will get smoked and some of it will be used in a bit. The remaining contents need to be strained so all of the liquid is removed. One can also “dip” everything out as well. Split the solids in to equal portions. Take one portion and put it in a blender or food processor and puree the snot out it. If it is really thick, add a little Coke. It should come out the consistency of ketchup. Set that mixture back in the fridge. The remaining portion can be placed on a cookie sheet, covered with something, and placed into the fridge. Those will be put on the smoker when there is only about 2 hours remaining. Now, do not open your smoker to look at the turkey because it is doing just fine without you looking at letting the heat and smoke out. Mine cooked for 12 hours. At the 6 hour mark I took the puree mixture and slathered it all over the turkey. Close the smoker. Discard all remaining puree.

Now that you have around 2 hours remaining of cook time, put that cookie sheet of peppers and orange slices on the smoker uncovered. They will be removed when you remove the turkey from the smoker. When the time is up, carefully remove your smoked turkey. Use “hot gloves” so you can grab the whole turkey and keep it together. Place the turkey on your selected platter, leave uncovered, and let it “rest” for around 1 hour. The peppers and oranges can be used as garnish, ground up and put into something, or just eaten, the choice is yours. We cut ours up and make a salsa concoction out of it. Your turkey will slice very easily and should have a deep smoke ring as well as a nice crust on the outside. Now has come the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Making a turkey this way is time consuming and requires quite a bit of patience. Unfortunately there are no short cuts if you want it to come out right. I hope everyone enjoyed this information provided here today. Feel free to share it with family and friends. The more people smoking means the more opportunities there are to explore the best ways to come up with great creations.

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Now, I feel inclined to add some things for the meat haters and the anti-alcohol people. First, this isn’t the only way to make a turkey, it is however, my personal way, one that works for me. First, a note about alcohol content in the meat. Since the meat is smoked at a temperature well over 172F (the boiling point of alcohol) for pretty close to 12 hours the remaining alcohol contained in the meat is way less than 5% if any at all. You will be, however, left with all the flavor that the Wild Turkey provides when used in smoking. Don’t believe me, just look it up and the answer will be revealed to you. As mentioned, yes, a turkey was killed, in fact it was killed by my 12 y/o son using a compound bow. You may not think so, but bow hunting has become a lost art with very few in the next generation being taught the skills and techniques. It’s a way of life in my family, we are not city folks, we live in the outskirts of society where being able to provide meat for the table is a gift not a curse. I’m sorry that so many people are against killing animals to eat because it makes it hard for people like myself and my family to enjoy a passion which we have all grown up loving. Unfortunately, you bastards attacked me when I published a post about the hunt, and unfortunately some of y’all will feel inclined to bitch at me and lecture me once again. Well, make sure what you say is worth a shit so I have something worthy of writing about, because if it’s not than you’ve just wasted both of our time. I’m not writing here to offend anybody, I’m just writing about a big aspect of my life, hunting and smoking meats. I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a safe holiday and had an enjoyable time, I know we did. Until Next time, remember to eat it every day.

Observations In Weekend Ramblings

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I spend quite a bit of my time in my shop doing different things that need to be done. I don’t think I have ever shown any pictures of where I do so much. I had run to the hardware store to get a few things I thought I would be using Saturday. When I came back my attention was drawn to my driveway. I wondered to myself when it started looking so bad. Why it looks so bad I can answer because I drive allot of heavy stuff across it on a regular basis. I never thought I would be needing to re-do the driveway anytime soon. I have had repairs to it done earlier this year because my truck was wider than the drive in spots. I made the mistake of getting by with what I needed versus spending the money and getting what I wanted. Why do we do that? I actually took the picture to send to my wife to let her know I was going to get quotes to have the drive redone. She replied with whatever I want to do is fine with her and she doesn’t see any problem with the way it is. But, when it was a gravel road she hated it and now that the asphalt is getting tore up she is fine with it. This is an area where we always disagree and probably always will. Sadly I let this conversation with my wife distract me from what I was actually on my way to do. It happens on occasion, I see things I want to get done, they get put on the “list” and sooner or later might get done. I try to keep my list in check but there are times it gets blown out of proportion. The purpose of this particular weekend was to just relax, stay off my foot, and continue to recover. But, eventhough my wife and kids were out-of-town I just couldn’t sit still and do absolutely nothing, it’s not who I am and it’s pretty much impossible for me to be still.

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When I got out to my shop I was reminded again that I need some kind of pad around the building because it gets a little messy getting in and out at times. Trust me, it’s on the list. This weekend was no different, we got a fair share of rain. Luckily for me, the ground around the building drains pretty well and really fast. Maybe that is why it is always on the back burner. I figure I will probably take the time to grade it out and do it all in gravel sometime this winter. I could do it now but my clutch foot is still full of stitches. I found it was sort of a mistake to drive something with a clutch when I took my truck in for an oil change before running errands to get what I needed. I never knew how much I depended on being able to use my left foot. It’s a challenge to drive but also a challenge to walk. Forget picking anything up heavier than a pillow as I found out. Maybe I should have just planted my but on the couch in front of the television this weekend. There’s time for that later. I’m here now. I’ve returned from the hardware store. I have what I need now and it is time to focus and get it done.

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At the beginning of the summer I was given some re-claimed cypress planks from an old house that was torn down a few miles from here. I accepted the wood as payment for helping out doing a bit of tractor work for the guy doing the demolition. He got his truck stuck and he had walked to the back of my property and noticed I was down by the creek and asked me to help him out. There wasn’t much of the cypress wood to salvage but there was enough, I found, after cleaning it all up, to make two doors. This picture does no justice to the size of them since each one of them are 36″ x 84″. They were actually purpose-built, I had the full intention of using them here on my building to replace both of the single person entrance doors which are metal. However, as I get them done I wonder if it is what I really want to do with them. Do they deserve to be more than just shop entrance doors? I took the picture and sent it to my wife for her opinion and she asked me what in the hell I was doing working and why I wasn’t resting. That wasn’t the answer I was looking for but it was the answer I received. So, there they sat for the remainder of the day, staring at me in a way that I could feel the doors asking me if I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do then why did I do it. Valid question I guess, even if it was from the doors. Perhaps the fumes were getting to me. They aren’t finished yet anyway because I don’t want to completely finish them until I know what they will be used for. Maybe I can just cut my losses of indecision and just sell them, I’ve done it before, made things for the house and decided that it wasn’t what I was looking for. I have began to ask myself why I do it in the first place. Still waiting on the answer by the way.

I spent the rest of the day straightening up my shop, putting things away, and sweeping the floor for the most part. I tried not to move anything because I really don’t want to muck up my foot after 2 1/2 weeks of nursing it back to health. All I know is the sutures come out Wednesday morning if the surgeon “feels” they are ready to come out.  Anyway, I happened across some boxes I had put out in the shop over a year ago that should have made it into the attic but ended up in the corner instead. It goes to show I get sidetracked very easily. There was no need to look into the boxes because I knew what was in them. Fortunately they weigh about 100 pounds a piece so they get to stay where I found them. I piddled around in the shop for the remainder of the day. Around dark-thirty I get a text from my wife letting me know they where home and that the gate was stuck open again. So, I closed up shop, jumped on my ATV, and headed up to the gate to see what was up. As I suspected, the linkage had become undone again. I guess it is time to go ahead and replace it this time instead of the band-aid repairs I have been giving it over the last year. Quite honestly I had completely forgot about having it fixed since I personally haven’t had problems with it. But, I had to do another band-aid fix this time and will mess with taking it off tomorrow to have a new one made at the place I bought it from originally. On my trek back up to the house I decided to skip going down to the shop to put my tools up. As I rode up the asphalt drive it hit me again that I didn’t put on my list to get a quote for the replacement of it. Pretty soon I think I need to chuck the list in a bucket and set it on fire. I don’t know why I do lists anymore because I don’t follow what I can’t keep up with. Well, I figure that sooner or later it will all be done. When I get to the house I was informed that I need to light the grill, which was good because I was beginning to wonder what was dinner.

And, by the way, I have decided to sell the doors. I decided this while I was cooking and thinking I was not looking forward to doing a swap out. I will put them up on craigslist later. Meanwhile, if anyone is interested just shoot me an e-mail. Price? the price will completely be based on who is wanting to buy them. Amazing how a little smoke can clear the clouded mind!