We had a birthday this month. I took the opportunity to smoke my first turkey dinner. I posted my efforts in Smoking Meat Forums. The link is:
Smoking a turkey was a fun project. It is definitely a different way to prepare the bird and took longer. However, it is nice to have a different way to prepare it.
The turkey came out moister than regular roasting and the skin was wonderful. I really liked the texture and taste of the turkey. I tried an experiment using some of the rendered fat to make a roux for the gravy. It had a nice smoky flavour but She Who Must Be Obeyed prefers regular gravy. The problem with that is that there are way less drippings so any gravy would have to be made from stock.
In total, smoking makes a great turkey but not as nice a gravy as regular roasting.
I will likely use this method in the summer to avoid heating the house up.
I suggest you give it a try if you have a smoker!
The Old Fat Guy
I am rapidly learning that something you make yourself tastes better and has the advantage of you controlling the ingredients. I made bratwurst but I used chicken and pork to lighten it up a bit. You need a grinder and something to stuff the sausage casings to make this.
I do have a KitchenAid mixer with a grinder attachment and stuffing tubes. In my early attempt to make sausage, I found the KitchenAid does a decent job of grinding meat. However, trying to use it to stuff casings is like getting a root canal from a proctologist. If you are going to make sausage, get a dedicated sausage stuffer.
I posted the details of making the sausage on Smoking Meat Forums. The link is:
Because of the nature of the forum, I didn’t go into the use of casings. If you are going to make bratwurst, get some hog casings. You may be able to buy some from your local butcher or you can order them on line. They usually come packed in salt and can be kept for months in the refrigerator.
When you want to use them, rinse them inside and out with water and then put them in a bowl of water in the refrigerator overnight. Rinse them again and then force them over the medium stuffing tube. Tie the end off and start forcing the meat through. Don’t overstuff the casings and let them come off the stuffing tube naturally. Then poke any air bubble with a needle. To cook the bratwurst, poach it in water or beer for 10 to 15 minutes. Brown on a grill or in a frying pan. Serve in a hoagie or hot dog bun with sautéed onions and peppers.
The Old Fat Guy