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Unread 11-05-2013, 09:42 PM   #1
CharredApron
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Default Curing a Turkey? Anyone ever done this?

Instead of just brining, have you ever cured a turkey like a ham? I am going to try a 20lb whole fresh tom. I am leaving from the 11th till the 24th and I am going to inject and brine the bird using the same cure I used for my Easter Ham. 13 days should be about right. Anyone done this before? Please feel free to comment. Looking to slow smoke it after it is cured.
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Unread 11-05-2013, 09:53 PM   #2
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Hmmmmm. Turkey ham. I am in.
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Unread 11-05-2013, 09:57 PM   #3
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Simply put from what i've heard and read it isn't worth the risk. Also poultry just doesn't need much time in smoke so slow smoking would way over power it.
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Unread 11-05-2013, 10:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fwismoker View Post
Simply put from what i've heard and read it isn't worth the risk. Also poultry just doesn't need much time in smoke so slow smoking would way over power it.
The nitrates should prevent any bacteria. But I keep asking myself why not start with a fresh ham as I have in the past? The challenge is a Turkey only dinner. I will keep researching, Thanks
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Unread 11-05-2013, 10:24 PM   #5
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Charred, yea the nitrates should but the problem is the chance they might not reach everything... it's just not worth the gamble imo plus no need to smoke long. Nothing better than a home cured/smoked ham though!
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Unread 11-05-2013, 10:29 PM   #6
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Well, you can pretty much put a cure on most meats... it's worth a try but I have no idea what it will taste like. The curing process makes most meats taste awesome. I would cut the turkey down into smaller pieces and de-bone to assure the curing salts completely penetrated the meat.

I have seen several recipes for tukey prosciutto but have never made or tried. Best of luck! I may try this with a turkey breast just for yuks!
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Unread 11-05-2013, 10:40 PM   #7
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I've had turkey ham. It's kind of like non-alcoholic or lite beer, the taste is not right. Kind of like a salty, smokey tofu.
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Unread 11-05-2013, 11:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadsr4 View Post
I've had turkey ham. It's kind of like non-alcoholic or lite beer, the taste is not right. Kind of like a salty, smokey tofu.
So, you are saying there is no flavor at all? Wow, I would think the curing process would enhance some of the flavors. Was this a homemade turkey ham or bought?
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Unread 11-06-2013, 05:57 AM   #9
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Don't have much experiance with curing (yet) but have had turkey that I used a heavy brine for 1-1/2 day and the dark meat had a resemblance of ham.

Let us know how it works out?
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Unread 11-06-2013, 06:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martyleach View Post
So, you are saying there is no flavor at all? Wow, I would think the curing process would enhance some of the flavors. Was this a homemade turkey ham or bought?
It was breast meat. You could just taste the salt and smoke.
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Unread 11-06-2013, 07:00 AM   #11
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I've heard of doing a dry cure, or dry brine, where you just salt the turkey on the outside and let it sit. Members here have done that.

Not sure I'd take the risk of leaving a turkey soaking that long either.
Plus, I think you'll end up with a "hammy" (read salty) end product.


Keep us posted if you do try it!
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Unread 11-06-2013, 07:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharredApron View Post
Instead of just brining, have you ever cured a turkey like a ham? I am going to try a 20lb whole fresh tom. I am leaving from the 11th till the 24th and I am going to inject and brine the bird using the same cure I used for my Easter Ham. 13 days should be about right. Anyone done this before? Please feel free to comment. Looking to slow smoke it after it is cured.
I cure turkey breasts and smoke them for my wife on a regular basis. It turns the turkey into a very lean and moist ham with a much smoother texture. My wife loves it and as long as she gets what she likes, there is never a question about getting extra stuff for the smoker (LOL).

My only concern would be the amount of time in the curing brine, too much time could cause nitrite burns slightly altering texture and taste with that iridescent glow to the meat when sliced. But depending on the amount of sugars, curing could take slightly longer than normal. Make sure you use Cure #1 (Sodium Nitrate) or Morton Tenderquick / Morton Sugar Cure. If you go the 13 days as described Morton Sugar Cure has a small amount of Sodium Nitrate added that is converted into Sodium Nitrites starting after the basic cure begins to loose potency, the extra sugars would also slow down the process. Don't forget to do a good soak in fresh ice water several times to remove excess salt.

My turkey breasts only take 6 to 7 days to cure, once I let one go to 8th day because of time constraints and all was well. Maybe you could make the brine ahead of time and cover and refrigerate, then ask someone to put the bird into the brine at a later date (16th or 17th).

I would agree with Marty Leach, brine only the breast and leg/thigh pieces, it takes much less room and the carcass can be rendered down into great soup stock.

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Originally Posted by dadsr4 View Post
I've had turkey ham. It's kind of like non-alcoholic or lite beer, the taste is not right. Kind of like a salty, smokey tofu.
I would guess you have purchased commercial turkey ham which is only injected and not really smoked. If it was homemade than something went wrong in the process of making it, especially if it was salty as you indicated. A nicely cured and Smoked turkey breast has great flavor, the texture is smoother but it does have a great smoke flavor and the additives in the brine you choose will impart really great flavors.

The only draw back is that because it is so lean, if you fry the leftovers they do become slightly dry, but as cold sandwiches, lightly heated, or added to a bean soup it is really good.
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Unread 11-06-2013, 07:05 AM   #13
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Yup, done it. I followed Rytek's recipe.
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Unread 11-06-2013, 01:30 PM   #14
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Sounds like a long cure to me too. Most things I cure are 48 hours.
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Unread 11-06-2013, 02:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetang View Post
Yup, done it. I followed Rytek's recipe.
Same here, been doing cured and smoked turkeys for many years. I modified it a little and did do a write-up on the recipe on web-site(with Pr0n).
http://tombstonebbq.blogspot.com/201...ed-turkey.html
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