For a few years, Natural Red Catering has offered customers the chance to have their turkeys smoked. This year would be no different, except we thought we'd also offer to do side dishes and pies as well! We were overwhelmed by the number of orders this year, but I guess, I shouldn't have been too surprised. Every year we do more and more turkeys and this year we capped sales at 17 birds! We're somewhat limited by the space on our smokers, and 17 seemed to be the number I felt comfortable capping it at. Seventeen! That's a lot of turkeys.
Logistics always proves to be the biggest challenge. Not only do I have to ensure that all the turkeys, which are purchased frozen, have room in our three refrigerators, but they must be checked on and rotated to ensure even and safe thawing. Then comes the two days of cycling all of the birds through a 12 hour soak in the my secret brine. Our brine ensure a juicy bird and imparts added levels of flavor that you can tell in the final product!
Finally comes the morning of Thanksgiving. I got up at 5:30 to light fires in all the cookers and get them up to temperature. My goals was to have all the birds on my 7:00am, but I was fortunate enough to beat my projections and get all of them on by 6:30. With pickups starting at noon, I had a five and a half hour window to get all of them cooked and rested...and in the case of several birds, carved too!
I take a lot of pride in the fact that fifteen families (two families ordered two birds) have trusted me to cook their turkeys and in most of the cases with these 15 orders, their sides too. But that also causes some stress and anxiety as I have to make sure I nail this cook above all others throughout the year! I'm thankful on this special day of thanks, that once again, I felt really good about all the food we put out for our Thanksgiving Day orders...I know we had a lot of happy customers! We have already received a lot of feedback on how juicy and flavorful our birds were! Here's a quick video for you to enjoy of Jenn carving up one of the turkey's juicy breasts,