Looking for Smoked Turkey with Crispy Skin? Try Adding a Torch
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.
In the end, it
was better, but it still didn't result in a crispy skin like you
get from baking the bird.
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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