Stories of Thanksgiving fails. Experiences eating tasteless, dried out turkey. Enough to strike terror in the heart of anyone about to embark on a Thanksgiving dinner in their home. My solution? A smoked turkey that you simply reheat.
Before we go anything further, I have to confess I've only made a turkey from scratch once. I've been incredibly lucky to have had either my paternal grandmother, cousin, or mother responsible for almost all of the cooking at the Thanksgiving dinner celebrations I've attended. My one attempt I can't remember how the turkey turned out. The stuffing and gravy were amazing, but the turkey I don't have any recollection of. I'm guessing it was passable but nothing to write home about as I was using a small oven in the butler pantry of my college dorm.
The first time I had an opportunity to showcase my skills with turkey, I lived in Austin, TX. This was about the time that deep fried turkeys were extremely popular and you were reading stories of people burning down their garages.
Instead of gambling, I went with a crowd favorite: a smoked turkey from The Salt Lick. Driving out to Drippings Springs from Austin seemed a small price to pay for a lip smacking, juicy feast. The Salt Lick had the bird nicely packaged along with instructions for how to reheat it at home. Suffice it to say, it was fool proof and we enjoyed a low-stress holiday celebration.
If you live to far away from Dripping Springs or another Texas BBQ destination, you'll probably not be able to conjure an entire turkey for your dinner. You can, however, get smoked turkey breasts delivered to your door. As I'm not a huge fan of dark meat, I've always preferred the turkey breast, this isn't a problem for me.
NOTE: If you’re going to get a turkey for your holiday celebration, be sure to place order early. Each restaurant will have an order by date or you can simply call them to double check. Because smoked meats are shipped frozen, allow a day or two for your turkey to defrost. There’s nothing worse than waking up to a frozen bird.
For our Thanksgiving celebration with just the three of us, we ordered a smoked turkey breast from The Salt Lick out of Dripping Springs, TX. They have two varieties: traditional and habanero. We went with traditional this year.
Some of my other go to places for Texas BBQ also offer turkey breast. I've enjoyed their other smoked meats, but haven't tried their turkey. Turkey from The Salt Lick is my traditional Thanksgiving turkey.
And of course, we paired our smoked turkey breast with a family favorite: delicata squash.
Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.