Smoked Turkey ThighsNovember 1, 2011
Smokin’ ThighsI’m not talking about the hot chick down the street; I’m talking a different kind of chick…the turkey. The turkey thigh may be one of the most underappreciated meats we have available to us. It seems to pale in comparison to its partner the turkey leg. Go to any fair or medieval banquet and you’ll see people toting around big ol’ legs and digging into them with delight. It’s probably because the leg shape makes it easy to grip and eat. Personally, I don’t care for the leg; it has all those tendon-y things that make it a nuisance to eat. But I love me some dark meat, especially for smoking. The dark meat is so rich and moist that it lends itself easily to smoking without drying out. The only drawback to smoking poultry is that the skin tends to get, how should I say it? Rubbery, tough, chewy, gross…you get the picture. I’ve developed a method to fend off the chewiness of smoked skin and ensuring that the meat doesn’t dry out. Brining the thigh prior to smoking will give you a nice flavorful and moist thigh and then grilling it over direct heat will add the finishing touch of nice crispy skin. This takes some time but most of it is unattended. Next time, leave the legs behind and pick up some turkey thighs, they’re meatier, tastier and cheaper!
Smoked Turkey Thighs2 turkey thighs 1 quart water ½ cup Kosher Salt ½ cup brown sugar Salt and pepper Olive oil for brushing Woodchips for smoking, grill (or smoker) Favorite BBQ sauce Mix water, salt and sugar in a gallon bag. Add turkey thighs and brine in refrigerator for 2 hours and up to 4 hours. After brining, remove thighs and pat dry. Salt thighs, then place thighs on a wire cooling rack set over a rimmed sheet and let air dry for 4 hours in the refrigerator. This prevents the skin from getting rubbery. Prepare grill for smoking using the indirect heat method. Soak a handful of wood chips in water for 30 minutes, drain and place in a smoker box or an aluminum foil pack with punched holes. Heat grill to 240°F and place smoker box or foil pack on grill rack. Note: I leave the center flame on (for a gas grill) or just the side flame on and place my woodchip container on the grill rack directly over the flames. Brush olive oil over thighs and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Place thighs on grill on the indirect heat side (no flames or coals) and smoke for 3 to 4 hours. This means keeping the lid on and only periodically checking the woodchips to see if they need to be replenished. When the thighs have finished smoking, turn the grill on high heat. Brush smoked thighs you’re your favorite barbeque sauce and grill over high heat, turning and coating with sauce frequently until well coated and slightly charred, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stay tuned, on November 15th, I’ll show you a great way to use some of the left over thigh meat. You can read more recipes and ramblings at The Kitchen Witch, or follow on Facebook and Twitter@TKWblog. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of The Kitchen Witch. All rights reserved by Rhonda Adkins. This entry was posted in BBQ, Main Dishes and tagged bbq turkey, dark meat, smoked barbecue turkey, smoked turkey, turkey, turkey thighs. Bookmark the permalink. ← Make Your Own Oktoberfest Meal Parker House Chunky Beef Stew →
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