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Hickory Turkey

 Hickory Turkey
With a delicious hickory-smoked flavor, this grilled turkey brings a southern twist to the Thanksgiving table—Kim Russell, North Wales, Pennsylvania
12 ServingsPrep: 45 min. + marinating Grill: 2 hours + standing


  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 1 jar (6 ounces) pickled ginger slices, drained
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 whole garlic bulbs, halved
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh marjoram or 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1-1/2 cups reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 turkey (12 to 14 pounds)
  • 4 cups soaked hickory wood chips
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 large navel orange, cut into wedges
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil


  • In a stockpot, bring the first 12 ingredients to a boil. Cook and
  • stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from the heat; cool

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Hickory Turkey (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • to room temperature.
  • Remove giblets from turkey; discard. Place a turkey-size oven
  • roasting bag inside a second roasting bag; add turkey. Carefully
  • pour cooled brine into bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible;
  • seal bags and turn to coat. Place in a roasting pan. Refrigerate for
  • 18-24 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan. Add wood chips to
  • grill according to manufacturer’s directions. Drain turkey and
  • discard brine. Rinse turkey under cold water; pat dry. Place the
  • onion, orange and garlic inside cavity. Tuck wings under turkey; tie
  • drumsticks together. Combine oils; rub over skin.
  • Place turkey over the drip pan. Grill, covered, over indirect medium
  • heat for 1 hour. Tent turkey with foil; grill 1-2 hours longer or
  • until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads
  • 170°-175°. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes before
  • carving. Yield: 12 servings.
Editor’s Note: It is best not to use a prebasted turkey for this recipe.
Nutritional Facts: 10 ounces cooked turkey equals 607 calories, 31 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 245 mg cholesterol, 235 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 73 g protein.
Wine: Medium-Bodied White Wine: Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied white wine such as Riesling or Gewürtztraminer