Christmas must have
By allyson letal
Combine the warm water with the sugar and salt and stir vigorously until both are completely dissolved. Once the sugar and salt are dissolved, add the garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and the orange zest. Then add the cold water.
Place the lid on your brining bucket or pot, or cover with plastic wrap, then pop it in the fridge for 48 hours.
Carefully lift the bird out of the brine, and rinse it well under cold running water, ensuring to rinse the cavity as well. Remove as much salty brine from the surface of the turkey as possible. At this point, if your turkey is trussed, untruss it.
Prepare your turkey for smoking by patting the skin completely dry and allowing it to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Just before smoking, rub the entire skin with butter or oil.
Place the prepared turkey, breast side up, directly on the middle rack of your smoker. Smoke the turkey at 185f for 2 hours before increasing the temperature to 325f. The turkey is done when the internal temperature of the breast and thighs reach 165f.
Pull the turkey from the smoker and rest the turkey uncovered either on a v-rack inside a roaster or on a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet.