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Unread 10-27-2007, 08:14 PM   #1
Plowboy
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Default Mass Turkey Production

I planning to start advertising for smoked Thanksgiving turkeys. Either we provide the bird, or charge a "smoking & seasoning" fee. Never done this on a mass scale. Trying to figure out a few details...

1) How would you prep a couple dozen turkeys? Brine in marine coolers? Inject?

2) What would you charge per lb if you provided the bird? How about if they provided the bird?
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Unread 10-27-2007, 08:16 PM   #2
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Maybe in addition to whole birds, offer smoked turkey breasts or those turkey roll things. Slice and sell by the lb.
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Unread 10-27-2007, 09:31 PM   #3
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I don't know if I'd go for them providing the bird, too much lack of control over the final product. If they give you bad meat, spoiled or just poor quality, it will look bad on you for no fault of your own. It also puts out there what appears to be your exact profit, few people are going to calculate your cost of fuel, seasonings, etc.

The idea of offering turkey breasts is a good one IMO. Those are pretty popular around thanksgiving from what I hear.
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Unread 10-27-2007, 09:33 PM   #4
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1 - Take pre-orders only, paid in full. Orders due by the Sunday before T giving, with pick up the Wed before T giving. Delivery available @ $10 charge.

2 - IMHO, people (Unless they're GOOD friends) bringing you their bird is asking for a problem. No control of their bird prior to cooking.

3 - Typically we do 12 - 14 lb birds, and charge 3x our cost (Bird, fuel, rub). We don't sell by the pound, too much to deal with. What if they want 2 lbs dark meat and 10 lbs breast? Too much waste. What we do is offer meals to feed 4-6 (Turkey, dressing, cran sauce, potatoe, rolls and 1 pie) for one price, and an ala carte price for the bird only.,

4 - Offer a breast only. We get 3x our cost plus an upcharge for the breast only.
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Unread 10-27-2007, 09:38 PM   #5
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Todd -
I've got to agree with Jerimiah about the bad meat thing. Think of the liability issues.
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Unread 10-27-2007, 09:49 PM   #6
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I've done it both ways. Better to take orders, cash up front, or at least half, and pick the birds up yourself. NO QUESTION ABOUT IT!
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Unread 10-27-2007, 10:01 PM   #7
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C rocke and Joe are right. You provide the bird and charge at least 3x(4 would be better). If you have access to a walk in, I would brine birds individually in 5 gal buckets.
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Unread 10-27-2007, 10:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Rocke View Post
1 - Take pre-orders only, paid in full. Orders due by the Sunday before T giving, with pick up the Wed before T giving. Delivery available @ $10 charge.

2 - IMHO, people (Unless they're GOOD friends) bringing you their bird is asking for a problem. No control of their bird prior to cooking.

3 - Typically we do 12 - 14 lb birds, and charge 3x our cost (Bird, fuel, rub). We don't sell by the pound, too much to deal with. What if they want 2 lbs dark meat and 10 lbs breast? Too much waste. What we do is offer meals to feed 4-6 (Turkey, dressing, cran sauce, potatoe, rolls and 1 pie) for one price, and an ala carte price for the bird only.,

4 - Offer a breast only. We get 3x our cost plus an upcharge for the breast only.
Okay, your own bird... bad idea. I buy that.

What I was thinking by the pound was whatever the whole bird weighed uncooked. You already know the weight based on the sales sticker. We'd carve nothing. You get the whole bird.

Cash up front and pre-sales only.
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Unread 10-27-2007, 10:33 PM   #9
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Plowboy I have got to agree also on not letting anyone supply their own bird way too much possibility of getting spoiled meat. Purchase the turkeys yourself to be on the safe side.

I will usually do 15 - 20 birds around Thanksgiving. Unless its someone I have know for many years the orders and money are taken up front. I don't brine my birds and have never had any problems with them being anything but moist and tasty. I will usually place some butter inside the cavities and will inject with creole butter at the beginning and middle of the cooking cycle, I cook on indirect heat and keep the temp around 225 degrees. Spray with apple juice about every 1/2 hour and finish off with a honey glaze during the last 15 minutes. Try to get 3 1/2 time your cost.

Cook strictly by meat temp don't guess if it looks done get the thermometer and be sure.

I've already had people start asking for this year.
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Unread 10-27-2007, 10:48 PM   #10
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Other then your 2 pellet cookers, what else do you have to cook on?
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Unread 10-27-2007, 10:51 PM   #11
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Randy has two Traeger Smokehouses. Or I can probably borrow another FEC 100 from Andy.
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Unread 10-27-2007, 10:52 PM   #12
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Todd, I was thinking of doing the same thing. I talked with the guys at Fritz's Smoked meats and they told me they charge $1.00 per pound when they customer brings you the bird. I am smoking for my office and anyone else who wants me too.
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Unread 10-28-2007, 12:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plowboy View Post
Okay, your own bird... bad idea. I buy that.

What I was thinking by the pound was whatever the whole bird weighed uncooked. You already know the weight based on the sales sticker. We'd carve nothing. You get the whole bird.

Cash up front and pre-sales only.

Just a pain in the tail to offer too many options if you end up doing 50-75 of these. You could give them a choice of weights - 10-12, 12-14, 14-16, etc. 12-14 seems to be a good size due to time, etc. We just inject with butter, season the outside of the bird, and put some apple and onion in the cavity. You've got the hot ticket with the pellet cookers for sure to crank these babies out!
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Unread 10-28-2007, 12:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Rocke View Post
Just a pain in the tail to offer too many options if you end up doing 50-75 of these. You could give them a choice of weights - 10-12, 12-14, 14-16, etc. 12-14 seems to be a good size due to time, etc. We just inject with butter, season the outside of the bird, and put some apple and onion in the cavity. You've got the hot ticket with the pellet cookers for sure to crank these babies out!
I think we are saying the same thing. Basically charge based on the weight of the bird. They decide if they want a 12 lb bird or an 18 lb bird or whatever. Whatever the actual uncooked weight is the basis for what they are charged.
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Unread 10-28-2007, 12:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plowboy View Post
I think we are saying the same thing. Basically charge based on the weight of the bird. They decide if they want a 12 lb bird or an 18 lb bird or whatever. Whatever the actual uncooked weight is the basis for what they are charged.

Roger that - Just wish I had those pellet cookers for holiday dinners - Makes it soooo easy. How many do you think you'll do? Let me know and I will send you our flyer if you would like to see it.
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