DSC_0089 (2)This recipe is simply amazing. There will be no “dry wild turkey” comments I promise you that. Thankfully Wisconsin changed the rules so I can just phone in a turkey kill as opposed to taking it to a registration station. The feathers are much easier to pluck when the bird is still warm soon after killing it. I had a small rope in my pack and just after I took a nice photo I started plucking. Start to finish it took less than 20 minutes to get it plucked and gutted. A good video on plucking turkey can be seen here.

Leaving the skin on helps too keep the meat juicy during the smoking process. After hosing the plucked and cleaned turkey out good the first thing I did was put it in a brine.

For the brine you will need;DSC_0126 (2)

1 gallon hot water
1 pound kosher salt
2 quarts vegetable broth
1 pound honey
1 (7-pound) bag of ice
1 turkey
I put the hot water, salt, honey, and broth into a 5 gallon pale and mixed it up well. Then add the bag of ice to cool the mixture down and put in the turkey. Set something heavy on the turkey to keep it submerged and let it soak for about 24 hours. This brining process really helps make it juicy.

DSC_0180 (2)After 24 or so hours take the turkey out, pat it dry, rub on a thin layer of olive oil and put it in the smoker. I turned up the smoker to 275 and then reduced it to 225 as it was cooking. Cook the turkey until an internal temp of 150 degrees. This turkey was done in under 3 hours. When you take the turkey out cover it with aluminum foil and let it sit for an hour. The turkey will continue cooking and get over a 160 degree internal temp. Letting the bird sit under the foil for an hour will also help hold the juices. If you cut any meat too soon you lose a lot of juice and flavor. Hickory wood chips work great and I’d bet apple or other wood chips would work just fine. e20150501_104819 (2)I picked up a digital smoker with an internal temperature gauge so the smoking process is super easy. I have an older version of this one. Make sure and fill the drip pan with water in the smoker to help keep the moisture level high. I didn’t smoke anything for a lot of years because it seemed like it would be a time consuming pain in the butt. It is actually very easy and well worth it. Smoked wild turkey breast is without question the best turkey breast I’ve every had. It is right there with my favorite turkey leg and thigh recipe. Let me know how it goes for you and if there are any improvement I can try. Enjoy!

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