A smoked turkey gravy is the final ingredient in a Thanksgiving feast your guests will never forget.
What makes our smoked turkey gravy unique is the Asian-style homemade stock we use for the base. The drippings from the turkey and the subtle hint of wood smoke will redefine everything you thought you knew about gravy!
Smoked Turkey Gravy
Yields about 2–3 cups
- 4 quarts homemade chicken stock
- 4 bay leaves
- Warm the stock in a saucepan.
- Pour stock into a pan to a depth of about one inch (too much stock in the drip pan can slow down your cooking time through evaporative cooling). The pan should have sides several inches high and be large enough to catch all of the drippings while the turkey is smoking. Do not use a copper pan, as it might react to the acids and salt in the stock and drippings. If you don’t have time to make stock, use a store-bought unsalted chicken stock or broth. You will sacrifice the exceptional flavor of a homemade stock, but the outcome will still be delicious.
- Crumble the bay leaves and add them to the pan. Set the pan into the smoker.
- The best setup is to use a sturdy pan, lay a wire rack across the top, and set the turkey on the wire rack. If you’re smoking the turkey on a smoker with multiple cooking grates, you can set the pan on a grate below the grate holding the turkey (make sure the grate holding the turkey is cleaned well before starting to prevent black grease from dripping into the pan). If neither of these is an option for you, set a V-rack in the pan and put the turkey in the V-rack. We don’t recommend this method because the turkey is much closer to the stock and the stock will be cooler than the air temperature in the smoker, which results in a slightly longer cook time. This affects the thighs much more than the breasts, making it harder to cook both to perfection.
- In the meantime, keep the remaining chicken stock warmed in the saucepan. If the level of liquid in the drip pan drops below 50%, add more stock to maintain the original depth.
- When the turkey is within ten degrees of its target internal temperature, carefully pour the drippings from the cavity of the turkey into the drip pan and remove the drip pan from the smoker.
- If you used a V-rack, transfer the turkey directly onto the cooking grate and keep smoking the turkey until it’s done.
- Strain the contents of the drip pan into a fat separator. Set the strained gravy into the freezer for ten minutes to speed up the fat separation.
- Pour the gravy into the saucepan containing the remaining stock (discard the fat that has risen to the top of the fat separator). If the gravy is too thin for your preference, bring it to a boil, stirring it briskly to keep it from burning. When it has reduced to your liking, turn the heat to low.
- Sample the gravy. It should have a rich and savory flavor. Add salt and pepper to taste, stirring it well. Be careful not to over-season it!
- Keep the gravy over low heat, stirring it occasionally, until ready to serve.
- Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Should you thicken a turkey gravy?
We do not recommend thickening a gravy with flour or cornstarch. Thickening a smoked turkey gravy like this muddies the incredible flavor profile you’ve worked hard to create. Besides, a thin gravy will soak into the turkey meat a bit, but a thickened, starchy gravy just sits on top of the meat. If your gravy is too thin for your preference, you can boil it down as explained above.
Check out our step-by-step instructions for making a homemade Asian-style stock with a depth of flavor that will amaze you:
Still have questions? Visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA or call us at (717) 355-0779 for help with your outdoor cooking questions. We carry everything you need to cook outdoors, but more importantly, we have personal experience in smoking and grilling and are happy to help you overcome your cooking challenges free of charge.
Nicholas Breed Turkeys Available Seasonally
Fossil Farms’ Nicholas Breed Turkeys are exceptionally juicy and tender, a delicious alternative to conventional turkeys raised on factory farms.
Why these turkeys are better:
To check availability, email or call us at 717-355-0779, or visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.
About the author: Matt Miller is an employee at Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply and avid student of all things barbecue. He enjoys developing recipes, trying new seasonings, and helping customers with their smoking and grilling questions.