Transform Your Turkey into Tasty Ham – A Step-by-Step Guide

Tired of the same old dry and bland turkey? With a few simple tricks you can easily make your turkey taste remarkably similar to everyone’s favorite holiday ham. This transforms an ordinary turkey into a mouthwatering centerpiece that will wow your guests.

In this comprehensive guide you’ll learn multiple techniques for getting that savory salty ham flavor into your turkey. Follow these tips and you’ll never settle for boring turkey again!

Why Make Turkey Taste Like Ham?

Here are some of the biggest benefits of ham-flavored turkey:

  • Delicious taste – By infusing your turkey with a sweet and salty ham essence, you can take its flavor profile to the next level. Even turkey skeptics will be coming back for seconds!

  • Moist texture – Brining, injecting, and glazing gives you an ultra-juicy interior that stays tender with each bite.

  • Fun twist – Ham turkey is an unexpected switch from the usual turkey dishes. It adds some excitement to your holiday table.

  • Dietary flexibility – For those avoiding pork, this provides a ham taste without using real ham.

  • Cost savings – Ham turkey is much less expensive than cooking an actual bone-in ham.

Brining for a Perfectly Seasoned Turkey

Brining is hands down the easiest way to give your turkey a salty, ham-like flavor. Here’s how:

  • Mix 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of salt, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and any desired seasonings in a very large container.

  • Submerge your raw turkey completely in the brine. Use a heavy plate to keep it fully immersed if needed.

  • Refrigerate for 8-12 hours for a 12-15 lb turkey, adjusting time as needed for larger sizes.

  • Remove turkey and pat dry. Roast as you normally would, basting with glaze.

The salt in the brine will tenderize the meat while infusing tons of flavor throughout.

Injecting Ham Flavor Right Into the Meat

For even more ham flavor, inject the turkey with a special solution:

  • Mix 1 cup chicken or turkey broth, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp minced onion, and 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce.

  • Using an injection syringe, inject the mixture into the thicker parts of the turkey such as the breasts and thighs.

  • Inject slowly to prevent leakage or blowing out the skin. Inject every 1-2 inches.

  • Roast the turkey immediately after injecting for maximum flavor.

Injecting allows you to directly pump ham essence into every bite!

Smoking For Extra Smoky Ham Taste

For next-level ham flavor, try smoking your turkey:

  • Brine the turkey as described above first to infuse seasoning. Rinse and pat dry.

  • Load soaked wood chips into an electric smoker, such as hickory, apple, or maple.

  • Place turkey directly on the smoker racks and insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of breast.

  • Smoke at 225°F for 15-20 minutes per pound until 165°F. Maintain thin blue smoke.

The smoky wood flavor will emulate the smokiness of real ham. Smoke for only 1-2 hours if using a charcoal grill.

Glazing for Crispy Ham-Like Exterior

No ham is complete without a sweet, sticky glaze. Brush this on turkey during the last 30 minutes of roasting:

  • Melt 1/2 cup brown sugar with 1/4 cup honey and 2 tbsp maple syrup.

  • Mix in 2 tbsp Dijon mustard and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.

  • Brush glaze over turkey every 10 minutes until done.

As the glaze caramelizes, it forms a crispy, candied exterior just like on a holiday ham.

Carving and Serving Your Masterpiece

Once your ham-esque turkey is perfectly cooked, let it rest for 20 minutes before slicing. Use an electric knife for thin, even cuts. Arrange slices on a festive platter and watch your guests drool over this mouthwatering centerpiece!

This unique turkey will elevate any holiday spread. Feel free to get creative and make it your own with different brines, rubs, woods for smoking, and glaze combinations. From oven-roasted to smoked, your ham-flavored turkey is sure to be a huge hit!

FAQs About Making Turkey Taste Like Ham

Still have some questions? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What’s the best cut of turkey for ham flavor?

Opt for a bone-in breast or whole turkey. The bones help retain moisture and allow even brining.

Can I brine a kosher or self-basting turkey?

Yes, but reduce the brining time to 4-6 hours at most, as these are pre-salted.

Should I rinse the turkey after brining?

Always rinse and pat dry to remove excess salt before cooking.

Can I use a wet brine instead of injecting?

Absolutely, but injecting targets the flavor directly into the meat. Use both for a double dose of hamminess!

What temperature do I smoke the turkey at?

Smoke between 225-250°F. Use a probe thermometer and pull when breast hits 165°F.

What wood is best for smoking turkey?

Apple, cherry, maple and hickory are all great options. Avoid mesquite, which can be overpowering.

Should I brine before smoking?

Yes, brining first helps the turkey retain moisture during smoking.

How do I reheat leftover ham turkey?

Slice and reheat in a dish with chicken broth and butter to keep it moist.

So go forth and make the hammiest turkey of your life! From brining to smoking to glazing, these techniques will guarantee you a tender, juicy, and ultra-flavorful turkey that tastes just like the real thing. You’ll never look at turkey the same way again after this.

Ham Brined Turkey Breast | Chuds BBQ

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