Behind the scenes at Greenberg Smoked Turkeys - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Behind the scenes at Greenberg Smoked Turkeys

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Thousands of East Texans will be eating a Greenberg Turkey at some point this holiday season -- mainly because the process that goes into making that turkey is a tradition that has been the same the last 72 years, president Sam Greenberg says.

"We've been doing it the same way my grandfather did it. The only thing that's changed is how many we do and the amount of orders we take and the way we have to ship them," Greenberg says.

In order to smoke between 2,500 and 3,000 turkeys a day, you've got to have a well-oiled process.

So here's how it works: After the turkeys arrive from Minnesota, they hit the assembly line. First step -- their wings are chopped off. That's because, when they're smoked, their wings shrivel up. You can't eat them, and so you don't have to pay for extra weight.

They're completely cleaned out, and rubbed with Greenberg's special spice -- and sadly, that's still the only mystery left on this tour.

And with that, they're off to the smokehouse, which looks just the same as it did when Sam Greenberg's grandfather had the place. There are just about twenty more of them now.

The turkeys take a day to smoke, and after they cool off, they're packaged and weighed -- and that's when Greenberg says the real secret to his success is exposed.

"Honestly, the secret to our process is our customers. I know that sounds crazy, but we have good turkeys, we've done them the same way, we smoke them in a smokehouse just like my grandfather did, use the same spices that he used, but it's really our customers," Greenberg says. "The people that order turkeys today have been ordering them all the time, and you can count on their orders coming in. Whether times are good or bad, people still want to get that turkey."

Greenberg says he expects to sell 80,000 turkeys for the Thanksgiving holidays.

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