One fateful Thanksgiving I treated my turkey as if it were a leg of pork: I pickled it in brine, then smoked it on the barbecue.
The result was possibly the tenderest, juiciest turkey I have ever eaten, but few around the table even recognized it as poultry. With the rosy colour and distinct piquancy created by the curing salt, along with the smoky aroma and the moist flesh, the final product was a dead ringer for ham. My guests actually referred to it as “Ham-urkey.”
There were other issues, besides guest perception. The gentle heat of the smoker (225°F) didn’t promote the delicious, delicious browning reactions that give us crisp, golden skin. Once the turkey was done smoking, I put a pan over medium-high heat and browned the meat. It was tough going, and frankly impossible to brown all the surfaces.
I’m glad I tried it. Never again.