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mschrock 11-26-2010 09:19 AM

UDS Turkeys with Pics
With encouragement from my BIL and his wife, I asked my MIL if she would "allow" me to help her out by smoking a turkey for the huge Thanksgiving feast that she cooks every year. I was surprised when she said yes, as she can't stand any sort of BBQ, spices, or smoke.

I did a trial run on saturday. It took a bit of looking to find a nonenhanced bird, but I eventually found a 15 lb bird at Kroger for $1.49 a lb. I selected PatioDaddios Ultimate Thanksgiving Brine, and the bird came out too salty. I did some reading and found out that all kosher salt isn't equal, and for the thanksgiving day run cut the salt to 7.5 oz by weight (I was using Morton's Kosher Salt, so it was about half the amount used on the trial run bird). For Thanksgiving, I brined for 24 hours, and it was perfectly salted.

My MIL told me I needed to cook a 25 LB bird. I decided on two 15 LB birds, and last second decided to throw a 8 lb bone in breast into the mix. I've never loaded down the UDS this much, and at the time didn't know if I could get it all to fit on the top grate.
All photo's courtesy: Mark Rickert
Here I am with a last second attempt at icing the breasts of the whole birds. I decided to add the additional 8 LB breast an hour into the cook. I preheated the UDS to 400 degrees dome temp before putting on the birds.
Trying to decide how to put two turkeys on the top grate.
It fits! All that cold meat on there, the temp settled down, and it held 325-350 ...
All Done! Cook time 4 hours.
Cooling before carving. Let the picking begin.
Carving it up. The skin was perfect and crispy. That is until we had to wait 30 - 45 minutes on the last to arrive, and I had to pop the turkey in the oven to keep warm. Crispy to rubber in 20 minutes flat! Next year I will intentionally plan on the turkey getting done 30 minutes late!

The Consensus: I have a permanent job smoking the turkey every year.

Thanks to all of you on this awesome forum, I would have never done it with out you guys.

What's next? hopefully a brisket for saturday...

nrok2118 11-26-2010 09:29 AM

wow look at that color! Congrats!

Phubar 11-26-2010 09:32 AM

Dang...that is a mighty Phine product you made in the UDS!

BBQ Grail 11-26-2010 09:37 AM

Oh my gosh that looks darn near perfect. Great job.

Your "saltiness" issue on the practice turkey is a great example of why people who are really into brining their meat should read Michael Ruhlman's book "Ratio." He has a whole chapter on brines. The premise, and it's a good one, is that everything should be done by weight and not volume when measuring. After reading this book I no longer have saltiness isues.

Looking forward to more of your work.

bigabyte 11-26-2010 10:03 AM

Those look amazing!:cool:

BigButzBBQ 11-26-2010 10:13 AM

Great looking birdies! Congratulations!

Johnny_Crunch 11-26-2010 12:37 PM

looks great, congrats!

Yleekyoti 11-26-2010 04:38 PM

Great looking birds !!!:cool:

Soapm 11-26-2010 10:38 PM

Great looking birds but I vote to start eating without the late comers. My birds wait for no man.

gaspipe1 10-25-2011 07:23 AM

mschrock TY for sharing.. I am looking to do this exact thing for thanksgiving. Using PatioDaddios brine but using Meatheads cooking technique ( )

I was afraid that two 15 lb. birds would NOT fit on my UDS, but it seams that you are able to fit them on a 22.5 grate. Please tell me that is a 22.5" grate and not a 50 incher lol.

Also thanks for telling us about the test run. Since there is so much time I may actually do that too. Another tip I read on this site was if you are doing two birds you can hedge ya bet one in the smoker and the 2nd in the oven. That was going to be plan B if I couldn't fit both birds on my smoker..

Once again great job and thank you!

Pappy 10-25-2011 08:13 AM

What did icing the breast's do? I have not seen that done before.

tburda 10-25-2011 08:53 AM

Great birds! there was just a thread asking about fitting two birds on a 22.5 and I didnt think it could be done because of how full my UDS looked with one. I am impressed!


Great looking birds but I vote to start eating without the late comers. My birds wait for no man.
^^yeah that too.

gaspipe1 10-25-2011 09:02 AM


Originally Posted by Pappy (Post 1828632)
What did icing the breast's do? I have not seen that done before.

Since the breasts cook quicker and get dry'd out faster, you ice them so it takes longer to cook. Does this make any sense?

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