- Look for a 10-pound turkey. If you have more people than a 10-pounder feeds, cook multiple turkeys. This size eats the best.
- Buy it fresh, not frozen.
- Get it from a local farm or quality producer.
- Once you get it home, pat the turkey dry, don’t wash.
- Season liberally with salt and/or your favorite dry rub, and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. I don’t brine.
- Give the turkey to my Dad and have him smoke it to perfection.
- What? Don’t have my Dad (who isn’t letting go of any of his secrets)? Ok then, Pat Martin, Pit Master and a damn good looking man, says smoke at 250 degrees for about 3 hours.
Remember: Smoking a turkey is not roasting. Smoking is a moist heat cooking process, like braising with smoke and steam. That means you are not cooking it until it’s just barely done — the meat should be moist and tender.