Author Topic: Smoked turkey brining Questions  (Read 2602 times)

Offline walpick

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Smoked turkey brining Questions
« on: November 24, 2009, 12:43:22 PM »
Hello Guys and Gals,  I have not been on the forum in quite awhile........But I need some direction
12-14 pound Turkey  What temp and how long of smoke???  Any idea on total cook time??  What is the best choice of wood???

I am using a brine that I found on here and was wondering if I could put it in the brine tonight and let it set till Thursday am?????  Is that to long???

As always thanks

Offline KyNola

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Re: Smoked turkey brining Questions
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 01:32:15 PM »
Warlock,
I am going to yield to others and let them give you their expertise on total cook time as I have never completely done a turkey in the Bradley from start to finish.  I use the Bradley to get the smoke on the turkey and then finish it in the house oven as the Bradley won't get beyond 250 most likely and with your house oven you of course can go on up to 350 and reduce the total cook time substantially.  As for choice of wood, that is largely your call.  I will be using hickory as I like it.  Others will be going to apple, maple, cherry, mesquite because that is what they like.  As for total smoke time, again it is your call.  I will be rolling smoke for no more than 3 hours because poultry really absorbs smoke.  The best advice I can give you is preheat your smoker to at least 250 degrees and put your turkey in and start the smoke process.  The heat will drop like a rock immediately.  Don't panic.  Let it come back up.  When I'm doing poultry in the Bradley, I want as much heat as it will put out.

MAKE SURE YOUR VENT IS OPEN 100% as poultry contains a ton of moisture and you want it out of there.

Last bit of info, I would not brine a turkey more than overnight or so.

KyNola
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 01:45:43 PM by KyNola »

Offline babybacks

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Re: Smoked turkey brining Questions
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2009, 02:16:27 PM »
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Any idea on total cook time??

The last turkey I cooked was 13 pounds. I started it at midnight and it was finished about 8:30 a.m. (I thought it was going to take longer and be finished for lunch). Either way, it's better to have it done early then have the guests show up and be waiting with stomachs rumbling for 2 hours.

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What temp and how long of smoke???

I use 4 hours of smoke to get more penetration in such a large piece of meat.

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What is the best choice of wood???

Cherry is my favorite for turkey, with apple a close second.

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was wondering if I could put it in the brine tonight and let it set till Thursday am?Huh?  Is that to long???
Typically you want to brine for 1 to 1 1/2 hours per pound. I usually stick to about 1 hour per pound as I have over brined in the past, and the bird ended up too salty.

This year I have a 15 pound bird, I plan to put it in the brine tonight and put her in the smoker late Wednesday night.

Offline Eman

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Re: Smoked turkey brining Questions
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2009, 02:17:34 PM »
I did a 12 pounder in October, I was going to put my recipe on here (came out great), then couldn't figure out how to put in a picture and never finished up (lame, I know).

Details: I brined it for around 14 hours, BUT it wasn't completely thawed when I started, so I'd probably go around 12 hours for a fully thawed bird.  I used a simple rub, heavy on the brown sugar to encourage the kids to like it. I did it entirely in the Bradley, it took 7 hours total.  I started breast down, and flipped it after 2 hours - this technique has worked well for me with chickens to get a better smoke flavor in the breast.  I used 11 pucks, 6 apple, 5 hickory.  When done, I wrapped in saran wrap, then foil, towels, cooler for 2 hours.  


Offline babybacks

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Re: Smoked turkey brining Questions
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2009, 02:23:23 PM »
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What temp???

I try to cook at 225 which can be difficult this time of year if you are in a cold climate, especially with a large bird in the smoker. Just make sure to preheat it as KyNola suggested.

Offline Pachanga

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Re: Smoked turkey brining Questions
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2009, 02:43:00 PM »
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I am using a brine that I found on here and was wondering if I could put it in the brine tonight and let it set till Thursday am?Huh?  Is that to long???

My experience and the science of brining says that brine time is a function of the amount of total salinity or the percentage of salt to water ratio.  Meat shape, volume and density also come into play. I recently posted a low salt brine of 6 ounces of salt (about 5/8 cup course Morton's Kosher salt) per gallon of water. http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=12644.0   I have brined many a large turkey for 4 days and had no salt or texture problems.  Your 12- 14 pounder will be fine with a low salt brine. If you have used the normal 1 cup to 1 gallon of water, I would not brine long term.  

I have brined over 50 turkeys using this low salt method method and have been well pleased. I have a twenty four pounder that I put in the drink Monday morning which will be cooked on Friday.

The above thread notes a recipe by Habanero Smoker which is another alternative and involves less ingredients.

Good luck and slow smoking,

Pachanga

« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 02:49:33 PM by Pachanga »

Offline walpick

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Re: Smoked turkey brining Questions
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2009, 04:03:26 PM »
Thanks guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You guys rock on here.....I appreciate all of the info.  I will report back friday in the am