I did not roast a turkey for Thanksgiving this year because my brother-in-law offered to do it. So what we did was take a turkey out of the freezer on Thanksgiving day that I had purchased last year when it was on sale before the holiday. I let it defrost for 4 days, and then brined it in the orange cooler for 3 days in a solution of 2 cups kosher salt, 1 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup Montreal Steak Seasoning. Boil the seasonings in enough water to dissolve into the water and add it to the cooler with enough additional water to submerge the bird and cool the solution down. Then add ice on top of it all to keep it cooled down so the meat does not go bad. You need to make sure it is iced during the three day process, but we only needed to add a little bit of additional ice once a day.
After three days, we brought out our smoker that I got for FREE when we lived in an apartment complex for a short time in-between houses. Yes, that's right, this was left in the trash next to the dumpster after somebody moved out of the complex. We fired up some charcoal briquettes, threw on some Mesquite wood chips I purchased on clearance a couple of years ago. We put the turkey in the smoker at 11:00 a.m. and took it off at 4:30 p.m. We added additional charcoal and wood chips once during this process.
The finished bird awaiting consumption. It was DELICIOUS! The turkey was the BEST we had ever had, bar none. It was moist with just the right amount of smokiness. If you can get your hands on a smoker, I highly recommend it! Even if you don't have a smoker, the turkey tastes almost as good roasted in the oven after you brine it. As I've mentioned previously in another post, turkeys are a great value for your money pound for pound. If you have room in your freezer, buy some extra birds and roast them once every couple of months. The meat can then be worked into other recipes like casseroles or the pot stickers I made the other day to enjoy another day when you are short on time.