2 cups kosher salt
6 cups hot water
6 quarts cold water
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
8-10 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
18 black peppercorns
8 bay leaves
6 strips lemon zest (about 1 1/2 inches x 1/2 inch)
6 strips orange zest (about 1 1/2 inches x 1/2 inch)
5 whole cloves
Pour the salt and
hot water into a large deep nonreactive pot and stir until the
salt dissolves. Mix in 6 quarts of cold water and the maple syrup.
Add onion, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, lemon zest, orange
zest and cloves. Let the brine cool until it’s at room temperature.
When the brine is cool, place turkey in 5 gallon food-safe bucket
and pour brine over it, making sure to submerge it completely.
Take a gallon ziploc and fill with ice cubes. Lay the filled ziploc
bag on top of the turkey to weigh it down. Cover with lid and
place in refrigerator overnight.
Set up the egg
for indirect cooking (platesetter, firebricks, whatever you use).
Stabilize the cooker at 325°. I usually don’t add any
extra smoking wood, as poultry takes on smoke very easily, but
if you prefer a smoky bird, add wood now.
For the drip pan and the bird……
6 tbsp. butter, melted.
2-3 sliced onions
4 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
2-3 quartered oranges
2-3 quartered onions
Remove the bird from the brine and rinse
well. Rub well with melted butter and sprinkle with salt, pepper
and parsley flakes. Place the bird in a v-rack breast side up
and put in a drip pan filled with chicken broth, water, more melted
butter and sliced onions. Stuff the cavity with quartered oranges
(do not peel) and onions. Place polder probe in thickest part
of the breast and put in cooker. If the wing tips start to brown
too much, cover with aluminum foil. Baste with liquid from drip
pan every 30-45 minutes (I use one of those long tubular things
with the bulb at one end that sucks liquids into it rather than
a brush). As liquid accumulates in the cavity area, use the baster
to remove them from there and add to the drippings in the drip
pan. Cook until the breast reads 162° (the little pop-up thingy
may not have popped yet, but that’s ok). Remove from cooker,
cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.
20 lb bird took 5 hrs at 325°.