Celebrate the Thanksgiving feast this year by using a smoker, and expand your cooking options beyond your kitchen. When the stovetop and oven are filled to the max, it’s good to know you can rely on an outdoor smoker for cooking, plus it adds that mouthwatering smoky flavor to your dishes.
Surround your centerpiece with dishes prepared in the smoker. Here are our favorites:
Brined Whole Turkey
Serves 8 to 10
- 1 fresh or frozen turkey (about 10 pounds), thawed if frozen
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Brine turkey using recipe below for 12 hours. If the turkey is not completely covered, turn once during brining. Do not leave the turkey in the brine longer than 12 hours.
- Heat smoker to 225°F.
- Remove turkey from brine and rinse well inside and out to avoid being too salty after cooking. After thoroughly rinsing all salt off, pat dry.
- Baste turkey with olive oil. Cover the wings and drumsticks halfway through smoking so they don’t burn. Place foil over the breasts once they reach 150°F so they’re not overcooked when the rest of the turkey is done.
- Place turkey on middle rack of smoker and smoke for 5 to 6 hours or 30 to 35 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Brine for Smoked Turkey
Yields enough to brine 1 whole turkey.
2 cups water
2 cups kosher salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cracked black peppercorns
3 tablespoons chopped garlic cloves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 gallons ice water
- In a large stockpot, heat 2 cups water with salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, garlic, basil, rosemary, onion powder, ginger, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring well. Let cool.
- When cooled, add 2 gallons ice water, stirring well. Place turkey in a container and pour brining mixture over. Cover and brine in the refrigerator for at least 8 or up to 12 hours.
Smoked Sweet Potatoes
Serves 8 to 16
- 8 large sweet potatoes
- 2 1/3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons sea salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup smoked or toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
- Heat smoker to 275°F.
- Wash and scrub each sweet potato well. Baste each with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle outside of each potato with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
- Place sweet potatoes in smoker and smoke for 1 hour. Remove from smoker, double-wrap each potato securely with heavy-duty aluminum foil and place back in smoker for an additional hour.
- Remove potatoes from smoker and unwrap from foil. Slice potatoes in half and score flesh with a fork. Top each potato half with 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of chopped pecans.
Smoked Mac and Cheese
- 1 (8-ounce) package elbow macaroni
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces processed American cheese, cubed
- 4 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1½ teaspoons onion powder
- ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1½ cups crushed cheese crackers
- Heat smoker to 275°F.
- Cook macaroni according to package directions, adding olive oil to the water before boiling to avoid sticking. Drain and rinse with warm water.
- Add processed and Cheddar cheeses, sour cream, mayonnaise, onion powder and Cajun seasoning, and stir together.
- Place mixture in a greased 11-by7-inch disposable aluminum foil pan and top with crushed cheese crackers. Place in smoker and smoke for 1 hour.
- Add wood chips the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking time (do not over smoke).
SWEET’N’SMOKEY GREEN BEANS
Serves 8 to 10
- 2 pounds cooked green beans
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 3 slices thick-cut bacon, halved
- Heat smoker to 250°F.
- Drain beans and pour into a 12-inch square disposable aluminum foil pan. Cut butter into pieces and stir into the beans. Add garlic salt.
- Sprinkle on brown sugar and cover with bacon slices. Cover with aluminum foil and place on the second rack of smoker and smoke for 1 ½ hours. Remove aluminum foil and smoke for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from smoker and discard bacon. Stir beans well before serving.
And while your feast is cooking in the smoker, decorate your table with the DIY Holiday Centerpiece project, a versatile box that holds flowers, greenery and candles for Thanksgiving dinner and beyond. Get step-by-step instructions in the DIY Centerpiece project guide.
Recipes provided by Masterbuilt.