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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.

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Old 05-18-2011, 08:07 PM   #1
Wandering around with a bag of matchlight, looking for a match.
Join Date: 12-18-10
Location: Lincoln, NE
Default Whole Turkey

I'm planning to smoke an entire turkey for a neighborhood gathering on Sunday. Any suggestions on brine, finished temp? I've tried legs, which came out a little dry, so I'm hoping for a better result. Thanks,
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:15 PM   #2
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Join Date: 07-07-06
Location: Osage City, Kansas

I'm doing a whole turkey this Sunday.

On Saturday afternoon I'll drop it in the brine.

This weekend my brine will consist of one cup of k-salt per gallon of water then about a cup of the rub I plan on using.

Figured I would try a little something different this time around.

I cook mine to about 170* in the breast then let it rest uncovered for about 30 minutes before de-boning.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:53 AM   #3
Big Frank
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Join Date: 08-21-09
Location: Meredith NH

Try this.

Primo Oval XL - 22.5" WSM -UDS - Camerons Stovetop Smoker
22" weber - Weber Genesis S-330 - Turkey Fryer
Super-Fast Splash-Proof RED Thermapen
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:19 AM   #4
Big slick
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Join Date: 03-04-11
Location: Palatine, Il

I never brine and my turkeys turn out great. However, I use Butterball self basting turkeys though when I cook. To keep from drying out the breast and wings I usually cover them with foil after about 3 hours in the smoker. Smoked turkey is better than any other way I have ever had turkey.
22.5" WSM, 22.5" Weber Kettle, Kenmore 6 burner Gas Grill.....Where's The Beef?
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:40 AM   #5
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Join Date: 04-28-11
Location: Buddy Holly's last concert

I don't think there is a wrong recipt here for turkey but Alton Brown's one is definatly onw I'll try. I did a brine once for deep frying that used of all things Wild Turkey whisky. When I pulled it out of the cooking oil it looked like it had been waxed, you could see yourself in that bird. The taste didn't change that much and with the cost of the liquer it was better over ice cubes.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:45 AM   #6
Lake Dogs
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Join Date: 07-14-09
Location: Lake Sinclair, GA

Careful on the type of wood you use for smoke and the amount. I love hickory personally, but woods of this type are better used on pork or beef. I suggest either a sugar maple, perhaps an apple, etc. for smoking the birds.
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Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:50 AM   #7
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Join Date: 06-02-08
Location: Knoxville, TN

I like to brine and spatchcock my birds. Lots of info out there on spatchcocking a bird.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:40 AM   #8
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Join Date: 12-17-10
Location: Cape Cod, MA

Do a search for Patio Daddios brine. It is outstanding!
2-Weber 22.5 OTS, Green Weber Performer, WSJG, Mini WSM, Char Griller Kamado, Weber Gasser, UDS awaiting production!

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Old 05-19-2011, 09:31 AM   #9
Got rid of the matchlight.
Join Date: 06-21-10
Location: Royal Oak, MI

I've smoked a couple of turkeys. I like to brine mine. They have turned out very well. I've used both Cherry and Apple. But i think i prefer the apple for birds.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:27 AM   #10
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Join Date: 05-11-10
Location: Twin Brooks, SD

spatched, brined, rinsed, evooed and rubbed, iced breasts, foiled wing tips, Q'd at 300 till just short of safe temps with apple, rested and served.

i second searching out Patio Daddio's contributions on the subject, he has been more than helpfull since i joined here.

by the way, this was by far the easiest thing i have done on the smoker as far as making something that appeals to damn near everybody.
COS, SS gasser,10-10-10 UDS,and 4-4-11 her twin sister, 22.5 silver, and others.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:44 AM   #11
somebody shut me the fark up.

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Join Date: 06-05-09
Location: Mooresville, IN

Advice? BRINE!

I've done several whole turkeys....maybe 10?
Here's how I roll:

If you don't have the turkey cannon, no biggie, just put it on a roast rack or directly on the cooking grate.

I usually do mine at 325-350, but that last one didn't QUITE go as planned, but it was no chit the best turkey I've ever done. Still not sure what it was that made it turn out that way.

But, I ALWAYS brine.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:56 AM   #12
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Join Date: 12-03-08
Location: Pearl River LA

Originally Posted by TN_BBQ View Post
I like to brine and spatchcock my birds. Lots of info out there on spatchcocking a bird.

Could not agree more! I also spatchcock(butterfly) turkeys. Something about the positioning of the turkey parts in this technique, allows for perfect cooking. When I cook one on the drum, the breast hits 165* at the same time the thigh hits 190* For me thats perfect!

Also agree on brining. It will make the skin more difficult to get crispy, but to me moist flavorful turkey is more important than crispy skin.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:18 PM   #13
Is lookin for wood to cook with.
Join Date: 11-25-09
Location: Minneapolis, MN

I've done the brine - and it turned out great! I've also injected with a mix of Curaçao liqueur (about a cup) and butter (1 stick). It give a subtle orange flavor - a huge hit among those I've served it to. While the bird is smoking, on the side put a small pan of caracao (1 cup), butter (1 stick) and a small jar of orange marmalade. Reduce down then either brush it on the bird in the final 1/2 hour or so to form a glaze, or put it on the table to drizzle (LIGHTLY) across the meat.
Just another option!
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:04 PM   #14
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Join Date: 03-31-11
Location: Oregon

I haven't smoked one in a while, but I've done quite a few, and they turn out great.

For each gallon of water add the following:
  • 3/4 cup non-iodonized salt
    1 cup brown sugar
    3 cups apple cider
    1/2 cup lemon juice
    1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
    1 oz maple flavoring
    1 tsp ginger
    3 Tbsp ground black pepper
    2 Tbsp minced garlic
    1 cup dry minced onions
    2 bay leaves
    2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
Make enough brine to fully cover the turkey. Brine in fridge overnight.

(I'll probably catch hell for this part...)
Remove the bird from the brine and bring the brine to a boil. Boil the bird for about 10 minutes.

Remove from brine and let air dry while getting smoker ready.

Smoke at 300-325 until you hit 165 in the breast.
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