Plowboys Apple-Bourbon Smoked Turkey
- 8 cups apple cider
- 4 cups bourbon or another whiskey1 cup coarse salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 6-8 bay leaves
- 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 tablespoons Plowboys BBQ Yardbird Rub
- 2 tablespoons each fresh rosemary, sage and thyme, chopped
- 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
- Zest and juice of 2 lemons
- For the brine: In a stockpot large enough to submerge the turkey, combine cider, bourbon, salt, sugar, onion and bay leaves. Bring brine mixture to a boil then allow to cool completely overnight.
- Wash turkey under running water and remove neck and giblets from the cavity; discard or use for gravy. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Submerge turkey completely in the brine and refrigerate for 12 hours.
- In a small mixing bowl, blend together butter, rub, herbs, garlic, zest and juice of lemons. Loosen the skin of the turkey and gently smear the spice-herb butter mixture evenly under the skin.
- Preheat smoker to 250 degrees F according to manufacturers’ instructions using a mixture of pecan and cherry woods.
- Remove turkey from brine, rinse and pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Place turkey directly on a rack in the preheated smoker. Smoke turkey for about 3 hours, or until turkey registers an internal temperature on a meat thermometer inserted into the breast of 155 degrees.
- Allow the turkey to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. The temperature will continue to climb to 160 degrees as it rests; this is called carryover cooking and keeps the turkey at a food-safe temperature without overcooking. *Do not stuff the turkey; it will take too long to cook and will spend too much time in the food safety danger zone.