Author Topic: 3 Turkeys for Turkey day, few questions!  (Read 3451 times)

Offline wkahler

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3 Turkeys for Turkey day, few questions!
« on: October 15, 2010, 06:07:42 AM »
Well i guess the cooking end of Thanksgiving falls on me for both sides of my family, so here we go!!!  I had a few questions on the prep/cooking of the three of them:
1) probable going with butterball or something that's on sale around 12 lbs or so.  Any need to brine??
2) cooking on a Traeger so is there any idea on the time frame that i need to plan on to make sure it works out?  Planing on FTC once i get them done and putting them in 3 separate coolers to make transportation easier.  Thinking of eating at noon on T-day and putting them on at about 11 the night before.
3) what pellet you suggest?

Thanks guys and hope these are not redundant questions.
The smoking lamp is lit!!!

Offline KyNola

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Re: 3 Turkeys for Turkey day, few questions!
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2010, 06:41:42 AM »
1. Probably wouldn't need to brine but it also wouldn't hurt and might give you a little more moistness.
2. Check the traeger website for some smoked turkey recipes that are posted there.  I'm sure they could help you on time and temp.
3. Pellet flavor...for me that's the easiest.  I would use hickory but I'm a hickory kind of guy.  Apple is excellent on poultry as well in my book.

Offline wkahler

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Re: 3 Turkeys for Turkey day, few questions!
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2010, 06:54:01 AM »
Well the pellet thing is good because that is what i was thinking plus i have 2 bags of them!!! 
Looking at the Trager sight also just looking for some input from the sight also!!!  Thanks for your help!!
1. Probably wouldn't need to brine but it also wouldn't hurt and might give you a little more moistness.
2. Check the traeger website for some smoked turkey recipes that are posted there.  I'm sure they could help you on time and temp.
3. Pellet flavor...for me that's the easiest.  I would use hickory but I'm a hickory kind of guy.  Apple is excellent on poultry as well in my book.
The smoking lamp is lit!!!

Offline KyNola

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Re: 3 Turkeys for Turkey day, few questions!
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2010, 07:13:33 AM »
STC will be along shortly to help you.  He flat rocks a Traeger.  So does Deb.  NePaS used to but he got MAKified along with Randy and me. ;)

squirtthecat

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Re: 3 Turkeys for Turkey day, few questions!
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2010, 07:15:23 AM »
I haven't done a whole bird yet (we don't eat the dark meat, so it is a bit of a waste) on my Traeger, but I would think 6 hours at 250* would be about right.  You'll probably want to put it on a rack or something similar so you can rotate it a couple times during the cook.  With the convection fan blowing from East to West (towards the stack), one side might get done a little quicker and dry out.

The FTC will keep the bird warm and moist, but the skin will probably go rubbery on you.  If you don't eat the skin (I normally don't) - it doesn't matter.   You could always throw it in an oven at your destination to crisp up.   I'd wait to carve it 'til the last possible minute to keep the moisture locked in.

I think Deb did a whole bird in her Traeger for a T-day test run a while back.  Maybe she can chip in a few tips.

What other kinds of pellets do you have on hand?

Be sure to measure the IT in the thickest part of the breast.   165* or so and call it done.  It will continue to cook in the FTC..

Offline wkahler

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Re: 3 Turkeys for Turkey day, few questions!
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2010, 04:28:11 AM »
Sorry for just now getting back I was in the tree stand all day yesterday afternoon.  Thats all the pellets i have on hand, but i thought about getting a bag of apple to mix in.  My other thought was to take my grill to my in laws and pitch a tent there for the night and cook it there.  I also have a Bradley horizontal cooker that i have done it in for the last 2 years and it turned out good, just wanted to cook it on the Trager for the difference and the get a little smoke taste to it.

Squirtthecat- do you have a rule of thumb on the time idea.  I don't want to put it in and have it done at 6-7 in the morning.  I like to smoke for a about 2 hours and then turn it up.
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squirtthecat

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Re: 3 Turkeys for Turkey day, few questions!
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2010, 06:31:09 AM »
Sorry for just now getting back I was in the tree stand all day yesterday afternoon.  Thats all the pellets i have on hand, but i thought about getting a bag of apple to mix in.  My other thought was to take my grill to my in laws and pitch a tent there for the night and cook it there.  I also have a Bradley horizontal cooker that i have done it in for the last 2 years and it turned out good, just wanted to cook it on the Trager for the difference and the get a little smoke taste to it.

Squirtthecat- do you have a rule of thumb on the time idea.  I don't want to put it in and have it done at 6-7 in the morning.  I like to smoke for a about 2 hours and then turn it up.

You might want to pick up an extra bag - just in case.  Mixing in some Apple will add a nice flavor.   I read on another pellet smoking forum that mixing Hickory and Cherry 50/50 will give the flavor of Pimento wood - that's what they used for cooking Jerk Chicken in Jamaica.


Sorry, no rule of thumb on a whole bird.  I've never tried a big one yet.   Just breasts and yardbirds.

Offline wkahler

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Re: 3 Turkeys for Turkey day, few questions!
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2010, 08:45:52 AM »
Got it!!! Might try a trial bird to make sure i have things down pat!!  Plus it would be nice to have some Turkey this time of year!!
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Offline FLBentRider

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Re: 3 Turkeys for Turkey day, few questions!
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2010, 10:18:39 AM »
I always brine Turkeys, and they are always moist.

I use Alton Browns honey brine:

# 1 gallon hot water
# 1 pound kosher salt
# 2 quarts vegetable broth
# 1 pound honey
# 1 (7-pound) bag of ice
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Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Re: 3 Turkeys for Turkey day, few questions!
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2010, 01:42:11 PM »
Most of the major brand turkeys in the mega marts these days are injected with a salt water or broth solution ranging from ~ 4% to up to ~8%.  Whatever was added will be listed on the label under Ingredients, usually near the Nutrition label.  In the past some were also injected with vegetable oil, but I suspect that practice may have been dropped when consumers realized it (funny - they liked the turkey better but didn't like the idea).  The one issue with brining a "pre-basted" or enhanced bird (or meat) is the potential to overdo the salt.  If a bird has been enhanced with a salt water/broth solution the effort of brining may be more trouble than it's worth.  If, however, you get a bird that is "au naturel" then by all means, brine it.  I only do turkey at Thanksgiving and I get a natural bird, so I brine.
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squirtthecat

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Re: Re: 3 Turkeys for Turkey day, few questions!
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2010, 01:59:47 PM »
I just read on another forum where a guy does his 4 hours on 'smoke', then 325 until 160 in the breast (2-3 ± hours).  Rest for a while, then carve.
 
I would practice on a disposable bird, first.  ;-)
(and rotate it a few times)
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 06:38:05 PM by squirtthecat »