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david 09-29-2003 04:03 PM

let's talk turkey
I need to Q a turkey. I've looked in the recipe section and the only thing there is a basic brine.

I have plenty of alder and apple to use for the fire, so no problem there. And I assume it will cook like a chicken, at about 1/2 hour per pound.

I'm planning to do a pre-thanksgiving trial run this weekend to see how it turns out. I want to test out the method before the weather gets nasty, so I have one less thing to fight.

Not sure how to cook it? On it's back? Stick a coffee can up it's hole? Stuff it full of herbs? Should a stick a pork shoulder over it to keep it basted?

Bill-Chicago 09-29-2003 04:17 PM

I don't recall ever doing one in my beast, but did a few in the ECB.

I would lay bacon over it, and definitely inject the crap out of it (Tony Chachere Creole Butter flavor. At least 1 whole 18oz jar of it. Place on cooking grate first, then inject like crazy. If you inject first, and then move it, you will loose alot of it moving it around.

If you have a digital probe, stick that in in the beginning and leave it. Every hole you put in the thing will be a juice faucet.

I would rub down the inside with something. Somehting strong to make it up through the meat.

And keep on spraying brother. About every 30-45 minutes.

Damn, now you got me curious. I might do a trial this week too.

I always fry a whole bird, and smoke 3 turkey breasts, just to give some variety. Use different injections in each. Might smoke a whole one though.

Anyones thoughts on using an aluminum casserole dish to sit the whole turkey in? I would think you can still get smoked flavor, but keep the moisture up by catching the drippings (although you would not put stuff above the bird to keep the juices turkey, and not that mess that ends up in the water pan.)

nthole 09-29-2003 04:46 PM

I was thinking of trying a turkey breast. Any advice on that versus the whole bird? Injection, target temps, etc?

Bill-Chicago 09-29-2003 04:52 PM

Do turkey boobs all the time

Inject withanything you like (I buy store marinades, never bother making my own)

One really good injection though, maple syrup. Heat maple syrup slightly in microwave (we keep in fridge,and won't go through injector) Then inkect like crazy. Again, put on rack first in kitchen, inject, then take out to beast.

Bacon strips on top are a plus, but not necessary.

I don't rub down, cuz it doesnt go through the skin as easy. If you rub, rub before injecting.

180 for turkey, which will be about 4 or so hours if you can peg 240 in the chamber.

Good luck Neil.

BBQchef33 09-29-2003 04:56 PM

OK, here we go, I guess i should post this in the receipe section, but i wil cut & paste later.

I have 2 brines in the receipe, herbal, and honey maple. Both are good, herbal is great at thanksgiving. Make the herbal tea as I call it.... make some extra, about 2 cups additional to be used for injecting. But DONT!! add salt to the stuff you'll use for injecting!! When the tea is done, and before you dissolve the salt, remove the two cups and set aside for tomorrow, then add the salt and dump the rest in the brining solution with all the herbs and fruits. Make sure your brine is very cold and brine at least overnight, 24-36 hrs is better. Remove from the brine and rinse the bird real good inside & out with cold water an pat it dry.

Seperate the skin from the breast, be careful not to tear it. Put some garlic and a few sprigs of thyme under the skin. Put some garlic, thyme, rosemary and sage in the cavity with a sliced onion. Add a few pats of butter inside the breast portion and spread it around bushing it into the breast bones and ribs.

Add 2-3 sticks of butter to the concentrated tea and melt it down. Bring it down in temp so your not injecting the turkey with anything very hot, but keep it warm enough to keep the butter liquid. Inject the bird all over with the herbal concentrate/butter solution. Inject all over the place, but use a single entry hole in each general area(breast thighs & legs), once the needle is in, dont pull it all the way out and make another hole, but instead pull the needle half way out and then put it back in at a different angle to get the injection distributed, but not poking lots of holes all over the bird, cause the stuff leaks out.

Get the Bandera up to 350-400 and put the bird in breast down. It should remain breast down for 1/2 - 3/4 of the estimated cooking time at 1:15/per lb at 250-260. We all know the bandera wont maintain 350-400 for long, so let the temp start dropping slowly till ya get to 250-260 and then maintain that. The 350-400, will sear it a litte and get it cooking.

Spray often with whatever you like to spray with, but add a few tablespoons olive oil to the spray to help even the browning. When I do the herbal brine, I boil some herbs in apple juice, strain it, and use that as a spray.

Between the 1/2-3/4 to completion mark flip the bird over onto its back. (Ignore the funky grill lines, they will plump back out ) and finish cooking. I use the handshake test, but i think the temperatures should be 180 in the thigh or 165-170 in the breast. Should double check that.

Mark 09-29-2003 05:03 PM

I've smoked about a dozen whole turkeys in my BD. I usually just apply a dry rub and start to baste only after the skin begins to crisp. Something like an aluminum lasagne pan on the next lower rack can be used to catch the drippings for gravy.

Oldtimer 09-29-2003 06:20 PM

Damn now I'm hungry. Usually fry my turkey's but this year looks diffrent.

badger 09-29-2003 06:31 PM

I have smoked turkeys for the last 4 years for thanksgiving. We have also fry'ed them, but the smoked turkey wins hands down every year!

I can't wait for thanksgiving!

nthole 09-29-2003 10:08 PM

alrighty...I think ya got me. i'm going to give a breast a try this weekend. might throw a butt rocket chicken in there as long as I'm doing poultry. one question though. Bill you mentioned layering some bacon over the breast for moisture (clearly discussing just doing a breast here) and Phil you mentioned starting breast down and then flipping. opinions on doing JUST A BREAST as opposed to a whole bird whether to do just breast up or rotate?

see Phil, you can switch to smoked poutlry after those long meat weekends! poultry's not meet ;)

BBQchef33 09-29-2003 10:22 PM

tried that.. birds didnt do it either.. fish was the food of the week. But somehow, all that "extra" brisket is gone.

I haven't done any turkey 'breast only", but i dont think it would matter upside down or not. When you do a whole bird breast down, the juices run into the breast.

SoCalCraigster 09-29-2003 10:33 PM

Gosh..just did a whole turkey and a turkey breast last couple of weekends. First brine for a couple of days, then rub for a day. I did the whole turkey beer can style.

They both came out excellent. Moist even after refrigeratored for a couple of days.

I think I will try injecting them with the herbal tea next time.


Bill-Chicago 09-29-2003 10:43 PM

I'm not sure the bacon does anything, but I munch )I said but munch) on the bacon later.

I do boobs only

Inject with commercial or the maple syrup

never had a bad result

badger 09-29-2003 11:16 PM

I don't know what I did wrong yesturday (except putting to much Southern Flavor on every thing, that **** smells soooo good!) but I did not like the outcome of my chicken breasts.

I rubed them, then marinaded with (for about 16 hours):

coarse salt
some more So Fla.

They were in smoke for about 1.5 hours (225) then foiled, and coolered till everybody showed (about another 1-1.5 hours)

With all this talk about breasts, I would like to know how NOT to mess them up again.

BBQchef33 09-29-2003 11:24 PM


Originally Posted by john
I don't know what I did wrong yesturday (except putting to much Southern Flavor on every thing, that **** smells soooo good!) but I did not like the outcome of my chicken breasts.

I rubed them, then marinaded with (for about 16 hours):

coarse salt
some more So Fla.

What was bad about them?? You didnt mention that.. but jJust on the surface, 16 hours in salt and oil? I think they would get mushy. Chicken breasts 4-8 hours is plenty, especially in an oil based marinade.

stlmike 09-30-2003 08:24 AM

Rubs contain a lot of salt. Salt tends to draw out the moisture if left on too long. I try to never rub anything for more than a couple of hours. I do turkey boobs all the time. I inject them with what ever I have and smoke to between 165* and 170* at a temperature of 275* to 300*. I have never tried bacon strips on the boobs. The problem with turkey boobs is one is never enough for my crew, I have to do two to get anything for lunch the next day.
Stl Mike

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