I love smoking meat, and part of my families tradition is me spending Thanksgiving out in the back with my smoking cabinet. It’s my lab, and I did this variation on a brine that is now on deck for this year’s feast.
Michigan Cherry Smoked Turkey
Humanzees have a tradition of gathering around the fire pit while papa Mighty Humanzee smokes the feast. I started smoking meat a few years ago, and part of our rebellion against the COVID lockdowns was to have family and friends over for brunch while we prepped for the afternoon meal. Smoking the turkey became my task, and always wanting to be the rebel, in 2020 we had brunch outside by the fire pit while I tended the smoker. BIG CARBON FOOTPRINT. Fire kept us warm, smoker kept me busy. I’ll let you in on a secret: being the one who delivers a delicious turkey makes you the hero, and keeps you out of the Thanksgiving political spats.
Smoking turkeys can take some time, the duration based on the weight, temperature you can get in the cabinet on a cold day. And yeah, it’s very steam punk as you can see the side-car has to be feed every hour with you wood chips and charcoal. By the end of the day you smell like a smoke pit grease ball, but the result is so worth it. It’s my outdoor lab with only one rule “Meat Is Truth”.
The most important component to you meat fest is how you prep the flesh. In that past I just used hickory wood chips and a salt brine combination. Tasted good but I learned to branch out. As I said, this is my lab, I love to experiment, mostly because I hate following formulas. I have a good friend who also smokes meat, and he comments that “I can’t follow your madness”. So it dawned on me that we needed alcohol to flavor the bird. Michigan is famous for cherry wine, and this is my brand of Michigan Cherry Smoke Turkey. I don’t do things in a small way, so we have two turkeys that we sacrifice, and I’ll throw in brats or boneless prime rib for a snack until turkey time. 6-8 hours of work and The Mighty Humanzee needs to feast along the way.
2 Bottles of Cherry Win
3/4 Cup Salt
1/3 CupBrown Sugar
2 Apples, quartered
2 Onions, quartered
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled & smashed
3/4 ounce (or one small bunch) Rosemary
3/4 ounce (or one small bunch) Thyme
3/4 ounce (or one small bunch) Sage
1 Tablespoon PeppercornS