Author Topic: Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey  (Read 3209 times)

Offline Skishy

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Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
« on: October 20, 2012, 07:09:50 am »
Hey everyone, it's almost that time here in the U.S. to have our Thanksgiving. Though, I'm trying to prepare a little bit ahead of time. So this year the family wants me to do the turkey. So I figured its going in the Bradley, since last year I did a makeshift smoker on a charcoal grill. Though I am running into a couple of questions I hope I can get answered before the bird goes in. 1. I do not have the ability to brine the bird. 2. Thanksgiving is not going to be at my place so I was wondering can I pre-cold smoke the turkey then bring it to the family to finish in the oven or on the BBQ to get it up to temp?

Would like to know some of your thoughts since I want to start playing around with recipes soon.

Thanks!!!!
"Hail to the King, baby!" - Bruce Campbell

2 - 4 rack OBS
1 - Brinkmann Pellet Smoker
1 - Masterbuilt Charcoal smoker

Offline TedEbear

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Re: Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2012, 07:56:52 am »
Thanksgiving is not going to be at my place so I was wondering can I pre-cold smoke the turkey then bring it to the family to finish in the oven or on the BBQ to get it up to temp?

Probably not.  They say that once the meat gets past 40*F you have 4 hours to get through the danger zone, which is between 40-140 degrees.

Offline rexster

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Re: Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2012, 08:31:36 am »
Do you have a large ice chest? It makes a perfect brining container
Stainless 4 rack Bradley
6 Rack DBS w/second heat element
Auber PID
7 Foot X 20" Pipe BBQ pit with offset firebox
Jenn-Air 75000 btu gas grill w/sear burner
Weber Performer charcoal grill
Portable Kitchen All Aluminum Charcoal Grill

Offline Skishy

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Re: Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2012, 10:38:39 am »
Thanks Ted for that tip. Now I'll be deciding if I want to bring my Bradley with me or do another makeshift smoker with their grill.

Sorry Rex, I don't have any big coolers. I have forgotten to look around Craigslist here for those getting rid of their summer coolers.
"Hail to the King, baby!" - Bruce Campbell

2 - 4 rack OBS
1 - Brinkmann Pellet Smoker
1 - Masterbuilt Charcoal smoker

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2012, 01:41:44 pm »
If you have the time, your best option is to take your smoker with you (you should plan for inclement weather in case it rains (you will need someway to protect the smoker from rain or snow). Bring the Bradley to as high as you can get it; smoke the turkey for 2 - 3 hours. Then transfer to the oven to finish cooking.

Most commercial turkeys are already brined, so you don't have to brine them. What are you obstacles to brining? Is it the refrigerator space?


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Offline Skishy

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Re: Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2012, 02:29:14 pm »
I was thinking about bringing my Bradley. I don't have to worry about rain. My parents have a huge front porch. I don't have the fridge or a big enough container to do brining.
"Hail to the King, baby!" - Bruce Campbell

2 - 4 rack OBS
1 - Brinkmann Pellet Smoker
1 - Masterbuilt Charcoal smoker

Offline Tater

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Re: Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2012, 02:44:15 pm »
Skishy, I do my brining in plastic garbage bags.  Put your bird in one, pour in the brine (put some inside the bird) squish out all the air you can and twist tie the bag shut.  Put the bag inside another bag and squish out all the air and twist tie this shut as well.  Place inside a pan that willl hold the turkey and place in the fridge.  My fridge room always runs short around the holidays but I can always seem tp fit a turkey in there for brining.  Glad Bags used to make some garbage bags that said food safe on the package and those are what I've always used.

Offline DTJ

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Re: Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2012, 07:23:51 pm »
What about smoke, cook and freeze.  I know as long as I can remember we never had a carvng of the turkey at the table.  Mom would cook it the day before and debone, then reheat in drippings or broth. 

You could do the same smoke and cook now, debone freeze and thaw and reheat.  Then you would not have to bother taking the smoker.  That is what I plan on doing this year.  I have to bring the turkey to my sisters who lives 3 hours away.

Just a thought

Daryl

Offline OU812

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Re: Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2012, 06:19:47 pm »
I have done this smoked turkey and bring to moms house thing many times

Smoke the turkey at 250 F for 2 or 3 hr with Apple or Alder and let the IT come up to 160 F in the breast.

Wrap in several layers of plastic wrap, then several layers of towels and in a cooler

I use an "XTREME" cooler

Call her and let her know its time to start makin the fixings

Chuck the cooler in the car and head to moms,,,,,,,shes an 1 1/2 hr away

Call her when Im an half hr away to crank up the oven to 350 F

When I get there the turkey goes straight in the oven,,,the greetings can wait,,Im on a mission

Cook the bird till the IT hits 165 F

Perfect,,,,moist bird with a crispy skin every time

The hardest thing is timing things for moms dinner time  ::)

I dont brine unless its a wild turkey

Just throwin this out there,,,,,hope it helps

Offline viper125

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Re: Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2012, 01:00:29 pm »
Well going to smoke ours this year also. my problem has always been I like the turkey crispy and falling from the bone. If any carving its the breast. We also love the gravy which you can't get smoking. So my plan this year is to smoke probably unbrined, as previously said seems they all are brined these days any way. Figure i'll use Habs plan as he's never let me down yet. Going to smoke for 2-3 hours I figure 177-225 degrees then bring in and add the stuffing (another favorite) put in roaster with water in the bottom and continue till done.
Unless some one see's a problem with my plan?
A few pics from smokes....
http://photobucket.com/smokinpics
Inside setup.

Offline Ka Honu

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Re: Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2012, 06:02:23 pm »
Once you take thawed poultry out of refrigeration, cook it till it's done!  That way nobody dies.

One solution:  Spatchcock, brine (if you want), keep refrigerated until you smoke/roast on grill.

Offline viper125

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Re: Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2012, 06:42:54 pm »
You dont like my plan?
A few pics from smokes....
http://photobucket.com/smokinpics
Inside setup.

Offline Bear1968

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Re: Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2012, 06:56:42 pm »
I always brine mine when I smoke and sometimes when I don't. The best container I have found for my Birds has been Zip Lock Big Bags XL 4. I just burp out the air and never had a leak yet. If you like I am sure you can wash and reuses them.  ;)
My Favorite way for a Holiday Bird is to Brine with fresh squeezed oranges, your spices and then stuffing the squeezed Orange half's into the bird.  ;)

*Edit I also use Adobo Mojo and LOVE it!

And remember to prick the skin with a fork before brine!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 07:00:25 pm by Bear1968 »
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Offline Ka Honu

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Re: Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2012, 08:47:59 pm »
You dont like my plan?

Smoking first and finishing in the oven is a great way to go - gives you both smoked taste and crisp skin.  You might even get some drippings for the gravy or dressing if you keep a pan under the bird in both smoker and oven.  I prefer to cook my stuffing separately for a number of reasons, primarily because we like a crisp crust on the dressing which doesn't happen inside the bird.  Also, by the time the stuffing cooks to 165o, the surrounding bird may be overdone.

I'm finding that unless I'm cooking (or at least finishing) the bird in TBE/SRG, spatchcocking is the way to go.  I seem to get better smoke adherence, a faster, more even cook, and still get plenty of drippings.  Of course, as with everything else around here, YMMV.

Offline TedEbear

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Re: Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2012, 09:38:18 pm »
seems they all are brined these days any way.

They still sell unbrined turkeys.  We got one last year that wsn't brined because I wanted to make my own brine mix.  I believe it was a Perdue brand turkey.