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Friday, November 5, 2010



2 gal water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup ground coffee
1 large onion, cut in half
12 large thyme sprigs, tied together
1/4 cup Kosher salt
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
2 cups light brown sugar
1 (11 lb) turkey
3 lbs hickory chips
vegetable oil, for basting


1. In a large saucepan bring 1 gallon of water to a boil; keep warm. In a large stockpot, combine the cider vinegar, coffee, onion, thyme, salt and peppercorns with 1 3/4 cups of the brown sugar and the remaining gallon of water. Bring to a boil.

2. Holding turkey by the legs, carefully ease it into the hot brine, neck end down. Add enough hot water to the stockpot to cover the turkey and bring it to a simmer. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

3. Carefully remove turkey from stockpot.
Strain 2 cups of braising liquid into a heatproof bowl
and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar.
Discard the remaining braising liquid.

4. Meanwhile, light a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill. A few minutes before the turkey has finished simmering, add 2 cups of the hickory chips to the coals. When the chips start smoking, brush the turkey breast with oil.
Set the turkey, breast side down, on the grill.
Cover and smoke over a low fire or flame 15 minutes. Baste turkey with the reserved braising liquid; turn it breast side up and baste again.
Cover the grill and continue smoking turkey for about
40 minutes longer, basting occasionally with the braising liquid and adding more coals or hickory chips to the grill as necessary.

5. The turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 165°.
Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest 20 minutes before carving.