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4 Rivers Smokehouse Turkey with Bourbon Glaze

Turkey Brine

  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 6 fresh sprigs thyme (or 3 tsp. dried)
  • 6 fresh sprigs of sage (or 3 tsp. dried)
  • 6 fresh sprigs of rosemary (or 3 tsp. dried)
  • 2 apples, quartered
  • 2 oranges, quartered
  • 3 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 gallons (6 quarts) apple juice or apple cider (non-alcoholic)

Combine all ingredients except fruit and herbs in a non-reactive pot and stir until mixed completely. Add fruit and herbs and keep cold. Can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance.


Smoked Turkey

  • 1 18-22 lb. turkey, thawed and cleaned (smaller turkeys will also work)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup black pepper
  • tsp. ground sage
  • tsp. ground thyme
  • 3 cups apple juice in a squirt bottle
  • Charcoal, lump recommended
  • Hickory chips or chunks- soaked in water for 1 hour

Submerge turkey completely in brine and allow it to soak overnight in a refrigerator, as to not let the temperature of water to rise above 41 degrees.

Light charcoal in smoker, cover and allow temperature to reach and rest at 225 degrees.

Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towel. Reserve vegetables and herbs from brine. Coat outside of turkey with oil and rub it entirely with salt, pepper, ground sage and a pinch of ground thyme. Note to also coat and season the inside cavity. Once rubbed, stuff cavity with vegetables and herbs from brine.

Add wood directly on top of hot coals to create a heavy smoke. Place turkey in smoker, cover tightly and allow it to smoke until the internal temperature of turkey thigh reaches 155 (roughly 4-6 hours).  After first hour then every hour following, spray turkey with apple juice. Note to not allow the smoker to remain open for any extended duration.

Cook the 4R Bourbon Glaze while turkey is smoking.

Monitor temperature of smoker to maintain a constant 225 degrees, more coal might be needed. Continue to monitor and add wood when initial chunks are burnt so a constant stream of smoke is maintained.

Remove turkey from smoker place in a shallow roasting pan and cover with foil or saran wrap. Allow meat to rest for 30 minutes or up to an hour. Slice, serve with 4R Bourbon Glaze and enjoy!


4R Bourbon Glaze

  • Bones from 3 smoked chicken or one large smoked turkey picked free of meat
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 pieces of celery, halved
  • 1 gallon of water
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ½ cup 4 Rivers Smokehouse BBQ sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add poultry bones, vegetables and spices to water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer uncovered for 3 hours. Pour broth through a strainer to remove all ingredients using care to capture all the liquid.  Pour broth back into pot, bring to boil and reduce by another 1/3 (approximately 4 cups).

In a separate pan, add bourbon and bring to a fast boil. Lower heat to medium and allow bourbon to reduce to a ¼ cup (about 5 minutes). Add 4R Smokehouse BBQ sauce and 1½ cups of the both and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low heat and continue cooking for 45 minutes until glaze is thick enough to stick to the back of your spoon. Serve warm on top Smoked Turkey.

Makes approximately 1½ cups.




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