I fired up the smoker today and cooked a turkey and two chickens. I brined the turkey overnight using a modified Alton Brown recipe. Kosher salt is very expensive, though, and I used coarse ice cream salt in a previous brining experiment (which worked just fine), so I stuck with my cheap alternative.
Also, without a gas grill, I don’t really have a way to maintain a set temperature. I do love the smell of a wood-burning grill, though! My smoker is just somewhat hit-or-miss with target temperature, since I’m still learning how to balance the charcoal and wood amounts over time.
I rely on visual cues (clear juices, browning skin and no pink interior) and a meat thermometer, for the most part. I could have left this one in a bit longer to brown the skin some more, but the temp was perfect, and the meat was so juicy & tender that I didn’t want to risk it drying out.
After I brought the bird into the kitchen to de-bone it (my least favorite part of cooking any poultry), one of the boys walked in and said, “Oh, wow! It smells like Thanksgiving!” Then, he tried a bite and declared it “awesome.” 🙂 I’ll take that compliment!