Michael Symon's Flavor Trick For A Quick, Oven-Smoked Turkey

When it comes to cooking methods, almost nothing is more ancient than the art of smoking almost any type of meat. According to Morton's Family Farm, the technique has been around for a long time. Though those first culinary adventures in smoking were most likely a happy accident caused by having a smoky wood fire blazing next to meat that was drying, these days smoked meat is a delicacy that is cherished in many cultures. From Montreal smoked meat to a Cajun smoked sausage pasta recipe (and dare we say bacon?), there's something about that savory, smoky flavor many folks just can't get enough of.

But smoking meat can take a long time. And we don't just mean an hour or two — it can take 8 to 12 hours to smoke something like a turkey in the traditional way (via Butterball). So what do you do if you're desperately craving that smoked meat flavor, but just don't have the time, the equipment, or the patience to make it in the usual manner? That's when it's time to turn to the pros, and meat master Michael Symon has a trick that any home cook can use to add a smoked flavor to their turkey. Put down the bottle of liquid smoke and get ready to add wood to your oven — really.

Wood chips in the oven

In a video appearance on Good Morning America, chef Michael Symon shared his surprisingly easy hack for getting quickly smoked turkey at home. It won't necessarily have the same flavor or texture as a traditionally smoked turkey, but it will imbue a roasted turkey with lots of woodsy flavor. To start with, Symon spatchcocks his turkey. This doesn't just make the turkey cook faster, but it also opens it up so the meat can absorb more of the smoke flavor directly without having to penetrate the turkey back or thick skin.

But the real key is wood chips, which are usually found near the charcoal briquettes at the grocery store. Soak those wood chips in water and place them in a roasting pan. Then, place a spatchcocked turkey on a roasting rack on top of the roasting pan. Symon starts the turkey on the stovetop covered in foil, which heats up the wood chips and gets the smoke flowing, then pops it in the oven. It's ready in "one hour," according to Symon. If you're still worried that your meat won't have enough of that signature flavor, you could also make a rub for the turkey before cooking it, using ingredients like smoked paprika, smoked salt, or even smoked sugar. The result will be a quick-cooked smoked turkey at home that's almost just as good as the real deal.