Author Topic: Turkey time  (Read 11489 times)

Offline Me_Like_Meat

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Turkey time
« on: October 03, 2006, 10:08:03 AM »
Hi folks,

I've been off this forum a while, but with summer pretty much packed away in the closet the smoker has been getting a lot more use.

Okay.. sorry if this is already covered somewhere on this forum, but I would like to smoke a whole small turkey this weekend, about 12 pounds.

Here's what I have in mind.. brining for ?? 15-20 hours, dry rubbing inside and out with some conconction, then smoking at ?? 200-220 ?? or so for several hours (until internal temp is on spec) with one or a combo of apple/pecan/maple, then FTC for an hour or so.

Oh yes, I also wonder if I should pop it on the grill for a bit after to perk up the skin, or is that necessary? That is my standard practice for chicken parts of course, but have no hands-on experience with turkey. I have a Weber kettle grill next to the smoker ready to assist in the process. (It doesn't get much better than sitting on the deck admiring/smelling the grill or smoker doing it's thing with a cool one in hand, does it?)

And one other thing - if I cannot fit it horizontally on one of the lower racks (I;d use the second one I think) is it a sensible idea to smoke it vertically? If so, open end down or up? Hey.. I could put a can of beer up it;s butt and smoke it that way. Hmmm.

Any advice you can give me before I screw this up and serve glue-flavored shoe-leather to my family? :P

Thanks! Hope your replies are shorter than my questions, so you don't burn out your wrists!

Mike
 
« Last Edit: October 03, 2006, 10:10:22 AM by Me_Like_Meat »

Offline iceman

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Re: Turkey time
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2006, 02:18:11 PM »
Your pretty much on track there Mike. I do a lot of turkeys. Keep the weight down to around 12 to 15 pounds max.
I only brine them overnight say 8 hours. After that the brine isn't going to do much else except make the bird mushy.
Use one of the poultry brines in the recipe forum.
Temp at no more than 215 F.
You can do the beer can thing or not. It turns out great either way.
Pull it 5 to 8 degrees below target because it will keep on cooking a bit.
Careful pulling it out of the smoker if you do it horz. though. The cavity fills up with juices and that is one hot bath to take when it spills on you.
Any of the sweeter woods pare well with poultry.
Ann likes me to finish the bird off in a very hot oven after the FTC to crisp the skin up.
Hope this helps out.
Have a great meal!!! ;D

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Turkey time
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2006, 02:25:02 PM »
Like Iceman already stated, the plan looks good.

I'm in the minority on this, but I feel that there is no reason to FTC poultry, especially poultry with skin on. I feel that tightly wrapping the poultry in aluminum foil only creates a steam bath for the poultry and makes the texture of the skin worse.


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Offline BigSmoker

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Re: Turkey time
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2006, 02:37:29 PM »
Like Iceman already stated, the plan looks good.

I'm in the minority on this, but I feel that there is no reason to FTC poultry, especially poultry with skin on. I feel that tightly wrapping the poultry in aluminum foil only creates a steam bath for the poultry and makes the texture of the skin worse.
I agree.
Some people say BBQ is in the blood, if thats true my blood must be BBQ sauce.

Offline iceman

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Re: Turkey time
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2006, 03:51:53 PM »
Makes sense to me. The dryer the skin is kept the crisper it can get. Good idea. I think at the most next time I'm just going to let it sit lightly tented for a short time then into the oven to crisp. :)

Offline Vampyr

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Re: Turkey time
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2006, 10:43:58 PM »
Yummy sounds good to me!  I am gonna have to try a test chicken before i upgrade to turkey.  Sounds great tho.

Offline Me_Like_Meat

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Re: Turkey time
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2006, 09:50:36 AM »
I only brine them overnight say 8 hours. After that the brine isn't going to do much else except make the bird mushy.
Use one of the poultry brines in the recipe forum.
Temp at no more than 215 F.
Have a great meal!!! ;D

Thanks so much to all for your replies.

I am curious about the short brining time. An article I read recently by a chef who obviously digs brining, said that a day was about minimum. He explained that by brining for less time, you only get to the part where the salt draws moisture out of the meat, but that the reverse process of infusion with the brine doesn't have a chance to go on.

Now, if you guys have hands-on experience that says otherwise, hey I'm good to go with that.

It might make just as much sense for me to crisp it up in the oven as the grill. Or more.. less trouble certainly.

I am drooling already..

Offline iceman

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Re: Turkey time
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2006, 11:11:07 AM »
I forgot to mention that when I brine I inject brine into the bird all over then submerse it. That explains the shorter brine time. Also depending on the acidity, and salt amount in the brine your times will vary somewhat. :)

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Turkey time
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2006, 02:08:20 PM »
You also need to consider the weight of the turkey. The larger the bird, the more time you need to brine. When I brine a 12 pound turkey, I don't brine more then 12 hours, often less, and I don't inject. If you have a self basting turkey it is already injected with a brine solution, so I wouldn't brine those.

Here is an article on brining and curing one of the members wrote. It is posted on the recipe site.
http://susan.rminor.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14


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Offline Malc

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Re: Turkey time
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2006, 07:53:39 AM »
Good tip on the self-basting turkey already being injected.  I too have been wanting to try this, and I would have likely injected, as well. 
That beer can thing does wonders for chicken.  I empty half of mine(it is so hard to empty only half  ;)) and replenish with some cider vinegar and some aromatics.  Sounds like it would work for turkey too.

Malc
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Offline iceman

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Re: Turkey time
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2006, 09:04:12 AM »
Like Hab states don't brine inject a basted turkey. I only use all natural birds so I can impart my own flavors. After you get comfortable you can start playing with additions to your brine to alter the taste.
It's a kick in the behind and the possibilities are endless. ;)

Offline IKnowWood

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Re: Turkey time
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2006, 09:07:36 AM »
Good smoked Turkey is amazing.  I had the pleasure of tasting some good Texas Smoked Turkey  and I must say its good. I have yet time to try to venture into acheiving that.
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Offline Me_Like_Meat

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Re: Turkey time
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2006, 09:40:39 AM »
You also need to consider the weight of the turkey. The larger the bird, the more time you need to brine. When I brine a 12 pound turkey, I don't brine more then 12 hours, often less, and I don't inject. If you have a self basting turkey it is already injected with a brine solution, so I wouldn't brine those.

Here is an article on brining and curing one of the members wrote. It is posted on the recipe site.
http://susan.rminor.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14

Yup, I'll try to determine if it has been pumped before I do this.

Do you think I'd have better results if I spatchcock the bird and do two halves? Or is smoking the whole bird fine as far as flavor goes? Also, I am unsure about one thing (well maybe more..)

- if I have to smoke vertically, is it recommended I hang it with the open cavity upwards, or downwards? Seems some do it upwards, and say that there is a fair amount of juice collected in the cavity afterwards.
- if I hang it vertically, should I use a drip pan to catch some gravy-makin' goop? Or should I do that no matter what way I orient it?

Malc: I am tempted by the beer can, but if cavity up is the way to go I guess I'll just have to drink the whole thing.

Thanks again - this forum is great for advice, and I think the one universal constant of the posters here is the way you can tell they drool and smack their lips when talking about smoked food...  :D

Mike
 

Offline Me_Like_Meat

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Re: Turkey time
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2006, 09:43:05 AM »
Good smoked Turkey is amazing.  I had the pleasure of tasting some good Texas Smoked Turkey  and I must say its good. I have yet time to try to venture into acheiving that.

My first smoked turkey was at an outdoor fair in Colorado Springs maybe in '92 or '93 - some guy had a wood smoker there, and was peddling smoked turkey legs. "Smoked turkey legs?" thought I, having never heard of such a thing, but I was peckish so my wife and I bought one. Well, that was it, I was sold after one bite.. I think we bought more.

Offline IKnowWood

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Re: Turkey time
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2006, 09:54:38 AM »
I fully understand.  For me it was Turkey as well, Ribs was a close second. 
IKnowWood
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