Meet the Jewish Turkey King of Texas

Around Thanksgiving, Greenberg Smoked Turkey of Tyler, Texas, ships more than 10,000 birds around the world.

So who’s this Greenberg?

According to the St. Louis Jewish Light, Samuel Greenberg was a Polish immigrant who settled in Texas more than a century ago and smoked birds using his grandmother’s recipe. The company still follows it.

After getting smeared with a proprietary rub, the turkeys enter one of 20 smokehouses, each equipped with three hickory wood fires. The birds get smoked for 16 to 18 hours.

“The beautiful burnished dark golden brown skin is the result of the lengthy smoking process,” says Sam Greenberg, the founder’s grandson, who has run the business since 1982. “Not from the addition of any artificial color.”

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Michael Kaminer is a contributing editor at the Forward. Contact him at

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Meet the Jewish Turkey King of Texas

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