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Unread 05-07-2013, 08:25 AM   #1
scayne62
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Default First unattended cook

I am going to cook a 16lb turkey for my moms bday and mothers day, I am going to put it on before I go to work and let it cook, since the UDS runs so damn smooth, My wife will be around but has to leave for a few hours for a Dr. appt. My question is, should I pan the turkey so it does not get done to fast? My wife is 5 months prego and does not need to wrestling a turkey out of the UDS because it finished to fast, she is a bit vertically challenged as well. I just do not want it to get over done while I am 35 minutes away at work, we usually ditch the skin when I carve it anyways so crispy skin is not an issue although I like to sneak a bite of it here and there but it is not a have to thing. any advise would be appreciated.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 08:39 AM   #2
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Man, I would advise just not doing it. Why not do it at night after work? I've read too many "smoker dropped temp, is it safe to eat" threads to do such thing..
How many times have you realized your smoker is cooking to hot or too cold? Did I remember to open up the exhaust before I left ect... I couldnt do it and I got a double insulated outdoor microwave lol(As I like to affectionately call my BWS).
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Unread 05-07-2013, 08:50 AM   #3
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To me it is never a good thing to leave a cook if you are not able to get back to it within 5-10mins. Either eat later than expected, do it the night before and then reheat, do it another day, or cook something else.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 08:50 AM   #4
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I thought about that but I did not want the meat to suck from being warmed back up, nothing beats fresh off the smoker, like I said the wife will be home all but about 4 hours and it will be right when my smoker is in its sweet spot so I know it is not going to drop temp on me, the worst would be a small spike.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 08:58 AM   #5
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I would do it and not give it a second thought if you know what temp to shoot for to be a 10 hour cook. Keith
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Unread 05-07-2013, 09:00 AM   #6
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How long do you expect to cook that Turkey??
What temp??

Sounds like a really looooong cook for poultry, but I could be wrong.

Good Luck.

TIM
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Unread 05-07-2013, 09:20 AM   #7
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I was thinking low, like 220-230, what worries me is I have only cooled a 22-pounder on my offset when it was cold outside, I have never cooked one on the new UDS, maybe I should stop pissing around and just cook it hot and fast the night before, have the wife throw it in the oven that afternoon and reheat it, I just do not want it to turn out dry, that is one of my biggest pet peeves and fears about reheating, I hate dry turkey! I do not know what the best approach is all I now is I do not want to ruin a good meal.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 09:36 AM   #8
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Well, hmmm, you don't seem to certain as to the timing and all the variables of this particular cook, so under the circumstances it kinda sounds like a crapshoot either way.

I'm with you on the dry turkey too, really not to good that way.

I'm kinda with aawa here too, leaving a cooker unattended for 3-4 hours???? not something I would be comfortable with personally.

I guess if you are really set on the turkey, then the night before sounds like your best option.

Good luck, let us know how it comes out,

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Unread 05-07-2013, 10:25 AM   #9
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If you are worried about the turkey not being good reheated. Cook the turkey to 160 (carry over cooking will bring it to 165 when salmonella is killed instantly) and then pull it and off. Let it cool and into the fridge. Next day throw it in the at 350 oven covered and take it to about 140ish, then uncover it and jack the oven up to 400-425 and bring it up to 160-165ish. This will bring it to a safe internal temperature and give you a nice crispy skin. Pull it out and let it rest 15mins and slice. The turkey will be a little bit dryer than a turkey fresh out of the cooker, but it will still be nice and moist and not dry.

I still don't think leaving a smoker completely unattended for 3-4 hours is a smart thing. There have been too many stories of people burning through their deck or setting something on fire and that is with them doing things inside the house. Imagine if this happens when nobody is at home and the possible consequences.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 10:38 AM   #10
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I have smoked maybe 50 turkeys over 20 years on several types of cookers, including UDS. I would never attempt to cook a TURKEY unattended. Other meats yes, but a turkey is not very forgiving.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 10:47 AM   #11
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If your wife can keep an eye on things like temps and intake adjustments I think you'll be ok. When I do turks it usually takes about 5-6 hours @ 250* or so for an average size bird, plus a rest period. Personally I'd go higher than 220-that's just too low for any meat IMO. You can always ramp up the temp to 350* if you're running out of time, plus it'll tighten up the skin to avoid the dreaded rubberiness. And while an UDS is pretty safe, still exercise caution and keep it far away from house, garage etc.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 10:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aawa View Post
If you are worried about the turkey not being good reheated. Cook the turkey to 160 (carry over cooking will bring it to 165 when salmonella is killed instantly) and then pull it and off. Let it cool and into the fridge. Next day throw it in the at 350 oven covered and take it to about 140ish, then uncover it and jack the oven up to 400-425 and bring it up to 160-165ish. This will bring it to a safe internal temperature and give you a nice crispy skin. Pull it out and let it rest 15mins and slice. The turkey will be a little bit dryer than a turkey fresh out of the cooker, but it will still be nice and moist and not dry.

I still don't think leaving a smoker completely unattended for 3-4 hours is a smart thing. There have been too many stories of people burning through their deck or setting something on fire and that is with them doing things inside the house. Imagine if this happens when nobody is at home and the possible consequences.

I like this idea, I am not worried about burnign the place down, as lonmg as the dog, wife and kid were out I wouldn't complain to much, j/k. anyways, I think the cookign it the night before and having the wife reheat it the next day will be my best bet in this situation that way I can keep and eye on it, she is perfectly capable of running the vents and such to keep it steady but I worry it will be done to fast and she will not be able to get it out of the UDS with dropping it. Thanks for all the advice and cautions, I will report back and let y'all know how it turns out and maybe even put up some PrOn for ya.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 11:11 AM   #13
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I wouldn't do it. That bird will be done before you get home.

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Unread 05-07-2013, 11:16 AM   #14
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I wouldn't do it with a turkey. I regularly do UDS cooks unattended but those are generally with cooks that take several hours.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 11:36 AM   #15
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I'm confused.

What day/time is the meal?
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