This past weekend I did a test run on a 14 pound butterball. I brined it for a day (will cut the salt back next time just a bit) and let it rest for another day before a butter injection and smoking at 350. It took 2 hours and 37 mins. I let the turkey sit uncovered for 30 mins before tearing into it. The inside could have been cooked just a little longer. The middle was perfectly moist but the outermost area was a little tough and dry. I know I needed to let it cook just a little longer but the outside was already tough and dry. Any suggestions?
I assume you mean that the outside of the breast was done? This may help keep the breast meet about 1/2 or so behind the rest of the bird?
11-20-2012 02:33 PM
You can also foil or tent the drums, thighs and wings if they're getting too dark. Maybe the skin was just burnt a little too much? The suggestion about icing the breastesses is probably the best one.
11-20-2012 03:42 PM
Originally Posted by JMSetzler
Were you going by the dome temp or a digital thermometer inside the Akorn? My Akorn and quite a few others seem to read 40-60 degrees lower than actual temp on the dome thermometer.
I have the new Maverick wireless thermometer. Yeah my dome thermometer is also off a ways. Putting ice on the breast might be worth a try.
11-20-2012 03:52 PM
since i tried the ice on the breast idea years ago, i have had great turkeys. it takes the stress out of cooking the two meats. at least that works for me. by the time the breast is about 165 i know the rest is done. also do not truss the bird up tight, leave the legs loose.
11-20-2012 07:28 PM
Lower temp with longer cooking time maybe?
11-20-2012 07:32 PM
Cover the breasts in bacon until the IT gets to 145-150, then pull the bacon and feed it to the dog. Provides a nice shield for the breast meat, acts as a baster and it's BACON! Helps keep the breast moist while the rest of the bird catches up.
11-20-2012 07:38 PM
350 seems a bit high. I usually smoke at 300. Last one was 13lbs and smoked for 3 hours 30 minutes. The Breast temp was about 175 when I took it off - and perfect.
11-20-2012 10:05 PM
some people recommend not trussing the legs. It allows the dark meat to cook more evenly with the breast meat. Similar to icing the breast, but without the ice. When doing an untrussed bird at higher temps, it helps to make sure there is air flow through the center of bird so it cooks from the inside too. If you fill it up with so much stuff that it impedes the flow, the cook will end up closer to what you describe.
Nothing wrong with cooking at 350 if you like good skin, but it's possible the grate temps were hotter than the dome temp..
I personally prefer my dark meat cooked to 180+. By trussing the bird, you are slowing down the cooking process of the dark parts. By the time dark is in the right zone, white is overcooked when trussed or stuffed.