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Smoked turkey--how different is it from a regular turkey?

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I was planning to make a turkey breast for Christmas but just found out that we're being given a whole smoked turkey as a gift. I've never cared much for smoked anything, so wondering what to expect (to me, smoked equals dry). What do you do to prepare it: heat it up or just slice and serve? If I make all my regular sides, should we have a decent turkey dinner--or is a smoked turkey better for sandwiches?

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  1. We have been eating various smoked turkey parts all week, none dry. Like anything else it depends on the skill of the preparer.
    I like it cold.

    1. I bought one for this Thanksgiving and did not care for it. I served it room temperature, sliced and served as suggested by the company. It just did not taste as good as a traditional cooked turkey.

      1 Reply
      1. re: anndillman

        That's what I'm worried about. I might be happier just making my own turkey breast. I could make someone else happy by re-gifting this turkey.

      2. I absolutely love smoked turkey and usually on Thanksgiving we smoke turkey legs instead of roasting a turkey. But if you don't like it- you should go the breast route.

        1. Turkey is cheap....it's obvious you are having reservations, not only serving it , but enjoying it as well.

          I would suggest to you to make another traditional Turkey. Now what to do with the smoked one? If someone is competent with knives,

          * Remove the Wings

          * Remove the Legs and Thighs

          * Remove the Back

          At this point, what you have resembles what is known as a Hotel Breast, something used to serve at parties, buffets or a reception. You can keep the two breasts intact on the carcass, or you can split and carve just one.

          With the legs and thighs, you can decide to serve and eat, or save for another dish. If you serve the meat, save the bones for stock as well.

          Save the Carcass bones and the Back. Use these to make stock for a nice bean soup or split pea soup.

          Save the bones from the carcass and back.

          1. They are pale pink and cool and the juice has been reabsorbed and is closely held away, from running all over your tongue, by the meat. Good, but a very different experience. Undeniably convenient and foolproof. Some guests will miss the traditional method.

            1. Is it being gifted hot and ready-to-eat or is it smoked and then chilled? If it's already been chilled and then wrapped as a gift, I'd consider it more of a very special deli meat to be used in parts and pieces and not something to be served as a roast.

              1. I prefer smoked turkey to roast turkey breast. And I prefer it cold or room temperature with a ladle of hot gravy over.