Author Topic: Smoking a Turkey Breast  (Read 17216 times)

Offline Wingman

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Smoking a Turkey Breast
« on: April 06, 2009, 06:33:39 PM »
Hello everyone I have a question I need help with. I am doing a Turkey Breast this weekend and will be using the "Sausage Maker Smoked Poultry Kit" brine. It states in the directions to smoke until internal temp hits 152. In my Bible "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing" it states when doing a turkey, using a cure, smoke till internal temp hits 160. Which one do you guys think I should try to accomplish. Also neither one states how much smoke to give it . It is a 7 lb. Breast. Thanks

Offline Gizmo

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Re: Smoking a Turkey Breast
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2009, 09:33:31 PM »
First off, I have to make a disclaimer that me and the lower end temperature ratings on chicken and turkey usually don't get the red out.  With that, you can almost do both, that is, if you cook to an internal temp of 152 to 155, you will have 5 degrees or more of carry over cooking temp if you tent the meat, which would take you to the 160 mark.  I go higher myself as I mentioned, 160 on my cooks and the inside of the bird will still bleed.   
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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Smoking a Turkey Breast
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2009, 02:07:47 AM »
Hi Wingman;
Welcome to the forum.

If it is turkey breast, and not the whole turkey 150°F to 155°F, is fine. When I am cooking or smoking either chicken or turkey breast I remove it from the heat at 150°F - 152°, that way it stays nice and moist.

Gizmo;

For uncured meat, the reddish color of fully cooked chicken ( especially around the joints) is common when you cook poultry low and slow.

Another cause is that chickens and turkeys are processed at a much younger age. Last Saturday I took a class and this was explained. If I am quoting the man correctly, he stated the reason why red color is found in fully cooked chicken (especially around the joints) has to do with the muscles not fully maturing. If you have questions as to whether the meat is fully cooked, take a piece of white paper towel, and touch it to the area. If the juices on the towel are clear, it is done; if the juice show any red it need to be further cooked. He went on to state that this information was forward to him by Perdue Farms.


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Offline Carter

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Re: Smoking a Turkey Breast
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2009, 10:17:32 AM »
I did a Turkey breast this weekend.  It was skin on, bone in and I used the Turkey Pastrami recipe from Raichlin's BBQ Bible.  I used Apple pucks.  Not sure how big the breast was in poundage, but my guess is that it was a lot less than 7 pounds - maybe half that size or less.  I just grabbed it at the Grocery store on Saturday and said "Hey this is what I'm doing for lunches next week".

I took mine to 160 and it was nicely cooked through and not dried out.

It's also delicious and I'll definitely be doing it again.

On another note, I also smoked up some ground beef and pork and made chili.  My lunches are very very good this week.

Carter



Offline Carter

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Re: Smoking a Turkey Breast
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2009, 10:20:54 AM »
Oh and thanks for the tips Habs.  We've been coming across a lot of red in our chickens lately and thought we've done something wrong.

We've ended up putting a couple of our chickens into the microwave just to make sure they're done.  Any time you end up Microwaving your meal at the end of a cook time it always feels terribly disappointing because you feel like you're watching all your efforts go out the window.

Carter

Offline CB

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Re: Smoking a Turkey Breast
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2009, 11:16:47 AM »
For my taste - one of the central steps in smoking a turkey breast is to brine it first as you are doing. That plays such an important role in what the final appearance of the meat will be - due to moisture, texture, etc.  Not sure if that is a given, but wanted to bring that up. 

The second, as many have stated here - it to manage the location in the smoker to ensure I'm getting it evenly cooked/smoked.  With the natural shape of the breast there is always the opportunity to be uneven in the cook and either under cook the larger portion of the meat or overcook the small tapered end or tip. So I do use my instant read along side of the inserted probe in the thicker part of the meat.  If the breast is one of the larger sizes, this can be managed by actually cutting off the small section - but that's risky.  If it's a smaller breast - then the cook/smoke time seems to be fairly even. Anyone else observe this?

I so agree with what has been said about tenting. I sometimes will take it one step further by placing a couple of clean thick kitchen towels on the foil to insulate.  Or I've even just placed it in a thermal bag to hold heat.  Of course taking these extra steps translates into having to pay attention to the cook. But, heck, isn't that the reason we do it ourselves? To enjoy the process and the rewards from it?

I'm on board with the temperature guidelines given in the previous comments. 

This is a great forum and I learn a lot when the conversation stays on food, process, tips and tricks. Don't care for the discussion of politics so much.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2009, 11:20:15 AM by CB »
Happy Grilling!

Offline Smokin Soon

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Re: Smoking a Turkey Breast
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2009, 05:20:49 PM »
The tapered ends, especially when bacon wrapped are designed for the guys that are "tending the grill". Kitchen shears at the ready, beer in hand. Someone has to do it....right? Snip it back where
the remainder will have a nice happy cook. Than ensures that the girls will not be subject to any dry chicken. I know it's a sacrifice, but It's just something we do out of respect!  ;D

Offline Wingman

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Re: Smoking a Turkey Breast
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2009, 07:28:08 PM »
Thanks everyone. I am going to run it to 160 and FTC till its time to eat.

Offline Gizmo

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Re: Smoking a Turkey Breast
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2009, 08:35:28 PM »

For uncured meat, the reddish color of fully cooked chicken ( especially around the joints) is common when you cook poultry low and slow.

Another cause is that chickens and turkeys are processed at a much younger age. Last Saturday I took a class and this was explained. If I am quoting the man correctly, he stated the reason why red color is found in fully cooked chicken (especially around the joints) has to do with the muscles not fully maturing. If you have questions as to whether the meat is fully cooked, take a piece of white paper towel, and touch it to the area. If the juices on the towel are clear, it is done; if the juice show any red it need to be further cooked. He went on to state that this information was forward to him by Perdue Farms.

Good information to know.  Thanks Habs.
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Offline josbocc

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Re: Smoking a Turkey Breast
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2009, 03:36:43 AM »
Hey All,

Planning on doing one of these (7 lb., bone in) either tomorrow or Friday.  I'm gonna run 'til I hit an IT of 160, but I'm curious if anyone can give me an approximate total time for this to occur.  I'm gonna have to put it in the Bradley after work (about 3:30PM) and want to make sure that I'm not gonna have to hang around until 2AM for it to finish. 

Any experience?  Should I wait 'til the weekend?

Thanks,

Jeff
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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Smoking a Turkey Breast
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 02:31:51 PM »
I can't help you with times, because I only take turkey breast to 152°F, and I've never only smoke one alone in the smoker. With turkey breast, after the smoke has been applied, it is better when you finish in the kitchen oven. So if you start to run short on time, the oven is a very good alternative.


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Offline josbocc

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Re: Smoking a Turkey Breast
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2009, 04:31:03 PM »
Thanks Habs,

I'll consider that alternative if I run short on time.  I'm just hoping to keep the meat moist, so that it can be thin-sliced for sandwich meat.

Jeff
The Wood Doesn't talk back
DBS6
Cabelas 80l Dehydator
All the Jerky Gadgets!!!

Offline Wingman

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Re: Smoking a Turkey Breast
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2009, 05:41:18 PM »
Hey guys that Turkey breast came out fantastic. Only problem I had was when my daughter asked why I didn't do 2 of them. Family enjoyed it on Easter Sunday. Will definitely be doing them on a regular bases. They all love poultry.

Offline Gizmo

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Re: Smoking a Turkey Breast
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2009, 09:19:05 PM »
Hey guys that Turkey breast came out fantastic. Only problem I had was when my daughter asked why I didn't do 2 of them. Family enjoyed it on Easter Sunday. Will definitely be doing them on a regular bases. They all love poultry.

Awesome,
What IT did you go to and what box temp did you end up using?
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Offline Wingman

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Re: Smoking a Turkey Breast
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2009, 06:37:30 PM »
Took out at 160 a little FTC and Family devoured it.