Food, Winter

Smoked Turkey

February 9, 2016

Smoke Turkey.

Eating locally doesn’t mean that all I eat are vegetables. Vegetables are a large part of our diet, but the carnivore in us does come out now and then. When we do buy meat we look for local, humanely raised animals. When we visited the Chestnut Hill Farmer’s Market a couple of weeks ago we came across some folks from Canter Hill Farm. This farm is located in Malvern, PA and they have everything from chickens to lamb. Their animals are pasture raised with no chemicals. At Canter Hill they raise what are called heritage breeds. Unlike modern industrial farming that breed animals for traits like bigger breasted chickens or pigs that bulk up faster so they can get to market sooner, heritage breeds are the breeds that were raised by generations of farmers long before modern agriculture. You do pay more for animals that are raised this way, which is why we don’t eat that much meat, but it’s definitely worth it.

We purchased a turkey breast with plans on smoking it in the new electric smoker that Dan got me for Christmas. It came out delicious. Here’s how we did it:

Everything we read said that brining is the way to go. The brine recipe and the recipe for the rub that goes on prior to smoking is adapted from a book called Real BBQ: The Ultimate Step-By-Step Smoker Cookbook by Will Budiaman.

Ingredients for the brine

  • ¼ cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons white peppercorns (I used black)
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup kosher salt


  • In a dry saucepan toast the seeds until fragrant, 1-2 minutes
  • Bring the juice, water and salt to a boil to dissolve salt
  • Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate to chill

We brined it overnight in a Ziploc bag, but any container will work, just make sure the turkey is submerged.

After it comes out of the brine pat it dry and put on the dry rub. The rub has 1 teaspoon each of toasted and then crushed peppercorns, coriander seeds and mustard seeds, 2 teaspoons toasted and crushed cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon sweet paprika, 1 tablespoon ancho chili, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 teaspoons sugar.

Let this sit on the meat for an hour or two and then smoke at 225 F for 4-5 hours until the internal temp is 155 F. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes and then dig in.

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