Is the smoke detector working?

Nibbles Recommends: Thanksgiving Edition

This out-of-band edition of Nibbles Recommends is posted because Thanksgiving is coming up soon and I want to put this out there: to all you butts who stick your turkey in an oven and call it a day; you’re doing it wrong. Deep fry? Nah. Sous-Vide? Nopesauce. I’m talking SMOKE.

This is a turkey that will have people traveling from miles around just to freeload and sleep on your couch sample your wares! Your meat will be juicier, your skin will be crispy and you’ll beat uncle Eddie - no matter how many cans of PBR he shoves up that bird’s asshole - at the annual cookoff every time. This is not for the faint of heart though; only attempt this if you want to become a real boy chef extraordinairé.


Things you’ll need:

3.5 quart or more roasting pan (drip/water tray)
Something that will cut through boners
1 THAWED Kosher turkey (or regular if you want to brine. Plz no wet brine though)
A bunch of Applewood (I’ll go through half a bag on this smoke)
2 red onions, quartered.
2 carrots, sliced 3mm
1 celery stalk w leaves, sliced 3mm
Dried (not powdered) sage
Dried thyme leaves
Cheap white wine
Wet/Dry rub:

  • 2 tablespoons dried crushed sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried crushed rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried crushed thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried crushed oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried crushed basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried crushed bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

The day before cooking - that would be Wednesday, you moron - take your wet/dry rub (it’s good for many things!) and add an equal amount of olive oil. Mix thoroughly and let sit overnight. At the same time pull your THAWED turkey. Empty all its juices into the drip pan. Pull out all the naughty tossable bits but do not toss. Also remove the pop-up-kerjigger and the leg holder. Get some poultry shears, a bone saw, or other bone-breaking implement and take it to the spine. You want to cut the ribs right near the spine, don’t leave too much room. Remove spine, rinse off the brown nastyshit, and set aside.

Take your drip pan and throw in everything that you don’t want from the turkey. Giblets, heart, throat, and the penispenispenis pygostyle or Pope’s Nose. Just don’t throw the liver in plzkthx. Trim the excess from the turkey, slice the wing tips off at the first joint, throw that all into the mix. That spine you mercilessly removed from the poor, hapless fowl? INTO THE SOUP YOU GO! Quarter your two onions, slice the carrots and celery, and put them in the pan too. Pour in the cheap white wine you bought. If you bought a Magnum, which you did because you’re a pro, then about 1/2 the bottle. If you’re a little boy who can’t handle heavy objects, then the whole 750ml will have to do. Top it off with water (about 2 qts), a couple sage and thyme leaves, and put it in the fridge.


Drink the rest of that wine like a badass. Then hit the sauce but do not hit any family members. Do you know what the Bible says about hitting family members? Huh? It’s again’nit.


Remove kebab turkey from fridge when you wake up. Take some Excedrin for the mild hangover. Fire up your smoker about 5 hours before you want to eat. While it’s warming up, pull out your bird and your wet/dry vac rub. Gingerly, slowly yet earnestly, pull some of the skin away from the meat by pressing your fingers in between and caressing. once you’re in, load your hands up with that rub and continue through, releasing the skin from the meat and coating said meat with your rub. Get it as even as possible through as much bird as possible. You only want to use about 1/2 of your rub for this. Pat the skin dry and rub the rest of the rub on the top. Be sure to get the creases and don’t forget to CUP THE GONADS.

Once your smoker** is at 300°, clean off the cooking surface. Remove surface and place drip pan underneath. Reinstall and place bird on top, skin up. Place some smoke wood - a good three chunks - into the smoke box. Close lids and walk away.


Don’t touch it.

Seriously, stay the fuck away. Go play Parcheesi with the cousins or something. Waste an hour of your time.


One_hour_later.jpg, grab some tin foil and some olive oil. First, check your temperature. You should be hovering around 250°. Keep it that way. Cut the foil in small pieces to cover the wingtips and drumsticks, lightly coat with oil and place on said bird parts. Check your drip pan. Is it running low on petrol fluid? Top it off with BOILING water. You want it to stay pretty much filled the whole time. Cold water will fuck up the rotation, the carrots will Bogart and nobody will be happy. Add some more coal and a couple more chunks of Applewood to keep it at or near 250°.

Check regularly for temperature inconsistencies and add water to your pan as necessary. If you experience cooking for more than three hours, consult your doctor. Check breast firmness temperature with a gentle swirling motion thermometer. If you’re not near 160° after 2.5 hours, have trouble keeping temps up or you need to feed soon, go ahead and heat your oven to 325° and finish there. You’ve already got the smoke, it’s no biggie now.


Once cooked or moved ovenside, carefully remove your drip tray. Take all that delicious soup in the house and run it through a strainer or colander. Discard the chaff. Let the liquid sit for 10-15 minutes then scoop off what fat you can. Don’t worry about getting all of it. After all, there’s an off-color joke about larger people here but I will not tell it. Taste the liquid. Is it awesome, or is it a bit watery? If watery, boil and reduce it until it tastes like liquified motherofgod.jpg. If you need to, add salt, but only as a last step after you reduce. THIS IS YOUR GRAVY. Do you want that thick, goopy, starchy bullshit you used to get from your aunt Stella? GO BUY A FUCKING CAN OF SHIT GRAVY THEN YOU PLEBE. While you’re at it, throw that awesome turkey you just spent all morning on in the trash. Because you deserve better. You deserve


Seriously why did you make me write this whole damn thing if you were just going to fucker it up with some shit-ass gravy? Come on. I’m done. Nibbles Recommends: Die in a Fire.


Nah, you’re done! Whether you finished it on the smoker or the oven, once it’s reached 160° internal give it a slice up and serve. Don’t let it rest, that will damage the bird’s precious sensibilities. Lather it with that gravy - you’ll thank me later - and enjoy the fruits of your labor!


**If anyone wants to smoke this but doesn’t own a smoker, post below. I’ll include instructions - to the best of my abilities - for smoking on Webers or propane grills.

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