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Unread 11-29-2013, 06:58 AM   #1
LowSlowBo
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Default Brined Bird was dry, what gives??

So I've just started my adventures in BBQing and decided to smoke an 18lb bird for the family. It came out more dry than I was hoping for especially stacked up against a fried turkey which was also present at the table. I'm just trying to figure out what I could have done differently?

I brined it for 24 hours in a 1:1 kosher salt/sugar ratio then smothered it in butter, oil and herbs as well as stuffed it with onions, oranges, and lemons.

I cooked it between 315-350 for 4 hours with a drip pan and a water pan. 1.5 hours in I had the color I was looking for so I wrapped it very loosely in foil. After another 1.5 hours I unwrapped the turkey and added 5 big tbsp of butter rewrapped and put it back until temps were hit. It then went in a preheated cooler for 30 mins.

The end result was good, great flavor with the salt, pepper, herbs and some citrus showing through, I was just disappointed in how dry it was. Does anyone see anything I could have done differenntly?
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Unread 11-29-2013, 07:25 AM   #2
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What was the internal temp, did you take off at 170 in the breast. We smoke one every year for thanksgiving in a cheap, old brinkman and always turns out juicy. Same brine,1-1 salt, brown sugar then rinse, pat dry, rub with brown sugar and put on smoker.
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Unread 11-29-2013, 07:33 AM   #3
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The internal temp is important info. You should cook it until it is 155 in the breast and at least 165 in the thigh and then let it rest before carving.
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Unread 11-29-2013, 07:33 AM   #4
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Sounds to me that you overcooked your turkey.

What internal temperatures are you taking the breast and thighs too?

Also from what you are saying you basically took it off the smoker, added butter, then wrapped and put it into the cooler. You didn't vent your bird, so it held onto the heat in the foil and kept cooking while in the cooler. If you are waiting 30mins to carve it up, don't worry about the cooler. Just keep it on the counter, with a loose tent of foil. This will allow the heat to escape and keep your bird from carrying over cooking too far.
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Unread 11-29-2013, 07:35 AM   #5
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I agree with my bbq colleagues above....overcooked bird
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Unread 11-29-2013, 07:44 AM   #6
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I'll view it as a loss but a learning experience, you all are right in that I must have overcooked it. I covered it in butter and wrapped it in foil when the breast temp was at 145, I pulled it at 165 and wrapped it too tight not fully understanding that resting poultry only requires a tent.

It's a bummer when your showing off your new Egg and introducing everyone to it and the concept of smoking only to share subpar results but I'll learn from it and fire her up again .
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Unread 11-29-2013, 07:49 AM   #7
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A couple of things here. #1, get you a good thermometer, preferably a thermopen. The guess on how long it will take is only good for planning an eating time. Cook by temp. I like 165 in the breast. I'm betting yours was in the 175-180 range based on the timeline you presented. This year mine was 16 lbs. It cooked in 2 hours 25 minutes and was juicy. Second, I don't see anything about injecting in the post. Simple butter is my choice, it adds flavor and moisture to the bird.
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Unread 11-29-2013, 07:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowSlowBo View Post
I'll view it as a loss but a learning experience, you all are right in that I must have overcooked it. I covered it in butter and wrapped it in foil when the breast temp was at 145, I pulled it at 165 and wrapped it too tight not fully understanding that resting poultry only requires a tent.

It's a bummer when your showing off your new Egg and introducing everyone to it and the concept of smoking only to share subpar results but I'll learn from it and fire her up again .
The thing with having dinner with family and friends is that the food is just a distraction. It is truely about the times you share with them that matter.


Just keep practicing and you will be able to put out some dericious birds whenever you want. The nice thing is that chickens cook the same as turkeys and chickens are cheap! Practice throughout the year so you know how the bird will act and next year, really wow them!
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Unread 11-29-2013, 07:53 AM   #9
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....and I'd increase the time in the brine to 48 hours....
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Unread 11-29-2013, 07:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aawa View Post
The thing with having dinner with family and friends is that the food is just a distraction. It is truely about the times you share with them that matter.


Just keep practicing and you will be able to put out some dericious birds whenever you want. The nice thing is that chickens cook the same as turkeys and chickens are cheap! Practice throughout the year so you know how the bird will act and next year, really wow them!
I couldn't agree more. thats all I want is to be with my family, Time is short and i spent so much of it working, I missed life, I've got a lot to make up for and a short time to do it.

as for the bird, my opinion, over cooked, pull at a lower temp, let it rest longer.
Like aawa said, practice, practice, practice, I eat what I cook good or bad.
Thats the learning curve.
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Unread 11-29-2013, 09:34 AM   #11
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My advice is look around the forum and get a good brine there are a lot of good people in here . And watch you temp a little closer . JUST SAYING .
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Unread 11-29-2013, 09:43 AM   #12
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Having been force fed Sahara turkey at every holiday from the time I was in short pants till I was old enough to run away & join the Cowboy Turtle association I can tell ya it is over cooked, to hot & to long buzzards need 325. One of the few times I use an accurate thermo is on buzzards, I pull 'em and tent 'ea at 175 in the thigh for whole birds.
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Unread 11-29-2013, 09:45 AM   #13
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Our Turkey also came out dry, we used the same recipe we have used for years, it temped out perfectly at 160 in the breast with a thermo-pen, I figured it was just the bird.
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Unread 11-29-2013, 10:12 AM   #14
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Maybe not enough salt to water ratio for the brine? I had an 18 pounder, too. Used about 1 and 1/2 cups of salt to 1 cup of sugar. In my 4.5 gallon "measuring cup" (yep-it is big & has 1/2 gallon marks) it came up to just over 4 gallons to cover everything.
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Unread 11-29-2013, 03:05 PM   #15
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for future reference, I wouldn't try cooking something for the first time for company. do at least 1 test run ahead of time so you can make the mistakes then, and learn for the next time when you're entertaining.
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