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Looking for Smoked Turkey with Crispy Skin? Try Adding a Torch

The smoker makes a mean turkey, but the skin? Not so much.
The smoker makes a mean turkey, but the skin? Not so much.
Photos by Eric Barton

If you smoked a turkey this Thanksgiving, you probably ended up with what's been on my plate in the past: a juicy, flavorful bird with skin as supple as rubber bands. So in an attempt to avoid that this year, I tried a new trick: After the bird hit 165 degrees, I pulled it out of the smoker and hit it with a crème brûlée torch.

The results were, at the least, fun to watch. The skin fissured and split as it

carmelized. Little geysers of juice shot out. And skin the color of

honey darkened to a golden brown, with charred bits here and there.

Looking for Smoked Turkey with Crispy Skin? Try Adding a Torch

In the end, it

was better, but it still didn't result in a crispy skin like you

get from baking the bird.

Looking for Smoked Turkey with Crispy Skin? Try Adding a Torch

 

Next time I'll make two additions to this

first try: Instead of my wimpy kitchen torch, it's time to upgrade to a

full-on welder's torch. Then I'll flame the sucker before putting it in

the smoker. Maybe then the skin won't end up pushed into the corner of

plates with the remnants of the cranberry sauce.





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