We have always roasted our Thanksgiving turkey, but we tried smoking it last year. It came out really good and juicy. Even though it wasn’t easy to get a lot of smoke into such a big bird, it turned out tasty. It truthfully wasn’t all that different than the roasted bird, maybe a little juicier. 

Photo by RDNE Stock project: https://www.pexels.com/photo/food-restaurant-holiday-love-5847715/
Photo by RDNE Stock project: https://www.pexels.com/photo/food-restaurant-holiday-love-5847715/

It turns out according to a survey that looked at social media data from each state, that different regions of the country do turkey differently.

Fried Turkey

The south goes with the traditional deep fried bird. Get a big vat of oil and try not to start the garage on fire.

Roasted Turkey

Most of the country, including Utah, prefers to roast their bird. Slather on some butter and pop this baby in the oven. Just don't leave it in too long or it gets really dry. 

Smoked Turkey

Five states bucked the trend and smoked their turkey. These include Idaho, Montana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Virginia. There are some great videos online if you want to go this route. Remember that slow smoking a turkey can make the skin crispy and almost like plastic. There are ways to keep this from happening. 

If you do want a smoked turkey without the hassle of a big bird, a turkey breast is an option. This will give you some prime meat that is moist and infused with smoke flavor. I cook mine at 225 until done and it turns out great. 

If you really want to try something different, some people turn the turkey into jerky. I don’t think that would taste too good with gravy. If you travel to see family, you can always stick the turkey on the top of the engine and let your motor do the work. Or you can do as I’m doing this year and visit your brother and let him do it. 

When to Start Thawing Your Thanksgiving Turkey in the Fridge

Plan ahead! This is when you should start thawing out your Thanksgiving turkey in the fridge in 2023.

Gallery Credit: Travis Sams

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