Cider Brined Barbecue Turkey

How to make Cider Brined Barbecue Turkey on the smoker

Chef Tom fires up the Yoder Smokers Loaded Wichita Offset Smoker for a Cider Brined Barbecue Turkey that is the perfect combination of Thanksgiving and classic barbecue flavors!

Cider Brined Barbecue Turkey

Yield: About 16 servings




Spatchcock the turkey. To take the backbone out, place the bird breast side down. Cut along both sides of the backbone with kitchen shears, from one opening of the cavity to the other. Release the skin of the turkey from the flesh, leaving it attached at the edges, but exposing the meat for seasoning.


To prepare the brine, combine the apple cider and Sweetwater Spice Smoked Apple Spice Brine Concentrate in a 22 quart Briner Bucket. Whisk well to dissolve the brine. Add the turkey to the brine. Lock the Briner Bucket’s plastic plate in place to keep the bird submerged. Transfer the bucket to the refrigerator. Brine the turkey for one hour for every pound of the turkey’s weight.


Remove from the turkey from the brine. Pat dry with paper towels. Place on a wire rack over a sheet pan. Place the turkey in the refrigerator uncovered and allow the skin to dry out overnight.


The day of the cook, start a chimney of lump charcoal in the fire box of the Yoder Smokers Loaded Wichita Offset Smoker. When the coals are hot, dump them out in the back half of the fire box. Add two splits of wood (we used apple and pecan). Place a third split against the front side of the fire box to preheat. It should not be close enough to the fire to touch or catch fire.


Stabilize the temperature at 275ºF-300ºF, using the butterfly opening on the fire box and chimney cap. Continue feeding the fire with split wood to maintain the temperature, while burning a small hot fire.


Season the turkey both under and over the skin with Plowboys BBQ Yardbird.

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Leaving the bird on the wire rack over the pan, transfer to the smoker. Cook until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 155ºF in the breasts and 170ºF+ in the thighs, about 4-5 hours, turning as needed to brown evenly.


Remove the turkey from the smoker. Cover with foil, loosely. Let rest about 30 minutes before serving.


Combine the pomegranate juice and Firebug Mild Grillin Sauce in a small cast iron skillet, Reduce to desired consistency. Serve the turkey with the Pomegranate Barbecue Sauce, for dipping.


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