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Unread 04-14-2013, 07:56 PM   #1
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Default Turkey Issue

Any turkey pro's on here?

I've been smoking turkeys lately and keep having the same issue- the dark meat is overcooked by the time the breast is ready. The white meat will be great but the dark is a little dry/almost stringy or completely stringy. This is on a wsm so the heat is coming from the bottom, 325f.

Can anything be done? I can't imagine cooking the bird breast down with a probe in it.
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Unread 04-14-2013, 08:11 PM   #2
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I put some ice in a ziploc bag and let it rest on the breast while the cooker comes up to temp, bird resting on the counter. Usually the temp is about even between the breast and thigh at the end of the cook...
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Unread 04-14-2013, 08:23 PM   #3
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Sounds to me that you are having the opposite problem that most have. Do you brine? that may help. Otherwise just not sure what to make of it, but I am in no way a "turkey pro".

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Unread 04-14-2013, 08:36 PM   #4
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Correct, the breast is taking too long to cook or the dark meat is cooking too fast.

Yes to brining.
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Unread 04-14-2013, 08:42 PM   #5
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Go to the naked wiz site and click ceramic cooking They have a great turkey recipe The guy cooks his on an egg but you can adapt. You definately want to put gallon bags of ice on the breast about 45 min before you cook That will help the white meat be done 1865 the same as the dark meat 180
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Unread 04-14-2013, 08:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big George's BBQ View Post
Go to the naked wiz site and click ceramic cooking They have a great turkey recipe The guy cooks his on an egg but you can adapt. You definately want to put gallon bags of ice on the breast about 45 min before you cook That will help the white meat be done 1865 the same as the dark meat 180

1865 is a little hot...typo should be 165!
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Unread 04-14-2013, 08:58 PM   #7
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Yeah, sounds backward. Usually I ice the breast but that's because the breast usually gets done before the dark meat.

Can't imagine what is causing your issue.
There's certainly nothing wrong with cooking breast side down.

The dark meat usually needs to go a out 10 degrees more than the white, so that's why it's a good idea to ice the breast to give the leg & thigh a head start.
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Unread 04-14-2013, 08:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wampus View Post
Yeah, sounds backward. Usually I ice the breast but that's because the breast usually gets done before the dark meat.

Can't imagine what is causing your issue.
There's certainly nothing wrong with cooking breast side down.

The dark meat usually needs to go a out 10 degrees more than the white, so that's why it's a good idea to ice the breast to give the leg & thigh a head start.

What are you cooking on?
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Unread 04-14-2013, 09:08 PM   #9
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I've done turkeys on my Eggs, Weber Kettle and pellet grill and have never had an issue with the dark meat finishing before the white meat. Do you have the water pan in the WSM as a heat diffuser?
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Unread 04-14-2013, 09:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I've done turkeys on my Eggs, Weber Kettle and pellet grill and have never had an issue with the dark meat finishing before the white meat. Do you have the water pan in the WSM as a heat diffuser?

The water pan is in place but is left empty.

I smoked a pork tenderloin a few weeks ago and was surprised to see how much more cooking took place from the bottom. A cross section looked pink with a slim grey area around the edges but the bottom probably had 1/8-1/4" of grey to it. So that's what I think is happening here. The dark meat is taking a majority of the heat and is being overcooked.

I don't know how this can be stopped unless the bird is cooked breast down- which would be a pain with a probe...but then maybe the dark meat wouldn't be done. Maybe spatchcocking is the answer.
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Unread 04-14-2013, 09:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision View Post
Any turkey pro's on here?

I've been smoking turkeys lately and keep having the same issue- the dark meat is overcooked by the time the breast is ready. The white meat will be great but the dark is a little dry/almost stringy or completely stringy. This is on a wsm so the heat is coming from the bottom, 325f.

Can anything be done? I can't imagine cooking the bird breast down with a probe in it.
I would suggest injecting (adds flavor) and then stand it on end like a chicken. I have a couple of these:
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Unread 04-14-2013, 09:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wampus View Post
Yeah, sounds backward. Usually I ice the breast but that's because the breast usually gets done before the dark meat.

Can't imagine what is causing your issue.
There's certainly nothing wrong with cooking breast side down.

The dark meat usually needs to go a out 10 degrees more than the white, so that's why it's a good idea to ice the breast to give the leg & thigh a head start.
Like Ron, I've done turkeys on lots of different cookers and had the opposite result you've been having. I've done turkeys on. UDS, kettle and BGE.

Must be because be water pan is empty and the thighs and legs are just getting so much direct heat? Perhaps try and put sand in the water pan to act as a heat sink so the heat from the fire pan doesn't transmit through the water pan as easily?
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Unread 04-14-2013, 09:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wampus View Post
Must be because be water pan is empty and the thighs and legs are just getting so much direct heat.
That's the only thing that makes sense. Try adding something to the water pan (water, sand, clay saucer) to cut down on the radiate heat and see what happens.
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Unread 04-14-2013, 10:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wampus View Post
Like Ron, I've done turkeys on lots of different cookers and had the opposite result you've been having. I've done turkeys on. UDS, kettle and BGE.

Must be because be water pan is empty and the thighs and legs are just getting so much direct heat? Perhaps try and put sand in the water pan to act as a heat sink so the heat from the fire pan doesn't transmit through the water pan as easily?
I agree with wampus on the water pan. I smoke a lot of turkeys, albeit in a cabinet smoker, and don't have that problem and I always fill the water pan.
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Unread 04-15-2013, 11:59 AM   #15
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I'll add a saucer and see what happens. Might also try traying the bird.

Thanks.
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