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Wampus
11-17-2011, 02:41 PM
SO.....Thanksgiving is right around the corner, followed by Christmas.
I know that there's always a KOZILLION turkey threads that pop up this time of year, so I thought I'd chime in with what I've learned.

Everyone feel free to post your favorite smoked/roasted/fried turkey recipe on here and I'll bookmark it and be able to just throw it up when the holidays roll around next year!


BRINING!!!

If I had one single tip for how to improve your holiday bird cook.....it would be summed up in one single word....BRINE!




A quick search on your favorite internet search engine will yield a plethera of brine recipes. Over the years, I've ended up with a pretty simple brine recipe. I have found that the salt is the real secret to a brine. All the other stuff helps a little, but to keep it easy, I like a nice and simple brine:

1 gallon of water
1 cup salt (I usually just do Morton's table salt, but I've also done kosher)
1/2 cup sugar (sometimes white, sometimes brown.....depending on my mood)
About a palmful (I'd guess a TBS or more) of whole peppercorns
Sometimes if I feel the spirit, I'll add a squeeze of honey or maple syrup or squeeze a fresh orange or lemon
Just whip up the brine, place the completely thawed turkey SLOWLY into the brine and if necessary, top off with water to completely submerge. I've used a 5 gallon bucket before, but a 16 qt stockpot works well too. You want to make sure not to use an enhanced bird (injected) as it won't take the brine as easily and may already have salt in it. I brine my turkeys for 18-24 hours.....usually 24 hours, if I've not pushed the time limit!

One big tip that I can offer regarding brining is this.....PLAN FOR ENOUGH TIME FOR THE BIRD TO REST!!! The skin on a brined bird will also take on some moisture with the process. Pur right on the smoker, this will make more of a "rubbery" skin when finished. If, on the other hand, you take the bird out of the brine the night before the big cook and place it back in the fridge on a rack (or upside down plate in a pan....just to keep it out off the bottom and out of the water), the refer will "dehydrate" the skin a bit and allow it to tighten back up and go back to "normal". This will yield a better finish texture to the skin in the long run.


THE TURKEY CANNON:

For me, I love smoked turkey. I also love gadgets. Brother Norcoredneck turned me on to the TURKEY CANNON a couple of years ago. It' a great way to do something very similar to a "beer can turkey", but it allows the turkey to lay down so it will more easily fit on the smoker/grill.

Here's a link to a thread I posted this past spring where I utilized the cannon:
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=104719

Here's more info on this awesome tool and one place where the Turkey Cannon can be found, but you can find it cheaper.....just do a quick search:
http://www.campchef.com/infusion-roaster-turkey-cannon.html



HERE'S THE RUB ON TURKEY RUB:

For the holidays, I don't usually do the BBQ rub thing. I prefer to make a herb/butter paste and rub it all over and under the skin. I like to use the following recipe as a base, but have tweaked it to my liking more than a few times:
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/herb-turkey-rub/detail.aspx

There's a TON of turkey recipes out there. I think the herbs are a great compliment to turkey. Rosemary, basil, thyme and parsley are always classic pairings with poultry in general. BUTTER is a turkey's friend too. The only caution is that adding oil, butter or any fat to the skin (especially with a higher temp cook) will surely make it darker.....which is not a BAD thing, just something to be aware of.



TRUSSING A TURKEY:

When I don't have the room on the smoker or the turkey is a bit too big for the CANNON, I'll just cut an orange, an onion and a lemon in half, stuff the cavity of the turkey with the goodies and truss it up. Trussing helps the bird cook at a more even pace and keeps the "limbs" (wings & legs) from overcooking. Here's a great video on trussing a turkey by THE MAN (IMHO):
How to Truss a Turkey-Food Network - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auQB7D_xB0I)



GET YOUR SMOKE ON!!!!

So.....I mean, it IS a BBQ/Smoking forum, right? Oh, sure you COULD plop that bad boy in the oven like Grandma used to do, but......if you've not tried or had a true smoked turkey......well......you don't know what you're missing!!!

If you've done smoked chicken, you already know that poultry doesn't need a heavy dose of smoke. In my opinion, turkey and chicken also do better with a hot & fast cook time/temp. This is not to say that smoking a turkey at 225 does NOT yield fine results, but most people like the skin on a turkey a little more crispy and less rubbery. THUS.....higher temps!

I get my smoker to at LEAST 325 before putting the bird on. I usually fire the smoker before I start any of the prep for the turkey, that way (and this is nothing new to most of you) the smoker has time to get up to temp and burn nice and clean and hot and get to the "sweet blue" smoke that we know to be the best! Place the bird on a roast rack, on the CANNON or right on the cooking grate and let it go! If using a weber kettle grill or similar device, I like to use a drip pan and heat shield (foil wrapped bricks work well) to prevent the direct heat from the coals.

I usually let my smoker go, exhaust wide open and intakes tweaked to let the smoker temp go anywhere from 325-400. YES....400! This spring, I "screwed up" and by the time I checked the smoker, it was roaring along at 450! I thought surely I'd ruined it, but it ended up being the best turkey we'd ever had! PLUS...it was done in 2 hours!

I prefer apple, pecan or cherry for my birds. Fruitwood, or any other mild smokewood, IMHO yields the more subtle results. Also, I don't use a lot. 1-2 good chunks is all that's needed for me. I like the meat to JUST have a hint of smoke. Overpowered smoke flavor is just too much for turkey for me.




WELL.....that's what I've learned over the past few years of learning how to properly smoke/fire roast turkeys!




Hope it helps someone else out there!


HAPPY THANKSGIVING BBQ-BRETHREN!!!!

Jaskew82
11-17-2011, 03:30 PM
Great read! Thanks. I am going to add the trussing video to my favorites.

SmokinOkie
11-17-2011, 04:35 PM
Speaking of threads...

We have one going, ask your brining questions here. either there or here I'll help with any brining questions:

Ask your Brining questions here (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=119611)

likeadeere
11-17-2011, 04:40 PM
I read the whole thing. It's funny how no matter how many times I've cooked a turkey with great results, I'm always interested in new ideas. Thanks for taking the time to put that together. I'm gonna use some of your tips this Saturday for a cater job.

moda253
11-17-2011, 05:07 PM
Does anyone know where to get a turkey cannon near Minneapolis, mn???? I need to get one for next week!

Ron_L
11-17-2011, 05:16 PM
Does anyone know where to get a turkey cannon near Minneapolis, mn???? I need to get one for next week!

http://www.campchef.com/?q=state%3A+Minnesota&x=0&y=0&dispatch=store_locator.search

Ron_L
11-17-2011, 05:21 PM
I added this to the KCQuer Roadmap to the Q-Talk Forum (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7818) and also stickied it so it stays up top.

silverfinger
11-17-2011, 08:40 PM
This is what I have cooked the last two years and has turned out great!
I plan on cooking one again this year.

Its from weber on youtube now and its called,

Weber Grills - Apple-Brined Turkey with Big Time Gravy Recipe.
Sorry about the video not showing up (NOOB) just click on the link.

http://youtu.be/ZyMMdYkfrYU

I cooked this one in my fire pit with a weber lid last year.

http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa450/smokinbbq/photo.jpg

nthole
11-17-2011, 08:43 PM
What about the 'from nearly frozen' concept as seen on one of the Diner Drive-Ins and Dives Q shows?

(and I'm fully aware of the hazards - not really interested in that discussion, but for those that want to try it, the technique).

caliking
11-17-2011, 09:05 PM
Fried turkey for us this year. Just got the Creole Butter injectable marinade for it. Was not planning on brining since I will be injecting. Haven't made a call yet whether I should rub it or shmear some compund butter under the skin? Any suggestions?

And good idea for starting this thread!:thumb:

zippyt
11-17-2011, 11:09 PM
Good advice , we have been brineing our big birds for a few years , deff makes a difference !!!
Hot and quick smoking , ok we'll give it a try

SmokinAussie
11-18-2011, 04:04 AM
Excellent post Kempis! Three years on the BBQ brethren have I been, and now I'm thinking I've gotta do my first whole Smoked Turkey!!! You're post has been extremely helpful.

Cheers!

Bill

Wampus
11-18-2011, 06:43 AM
I added this to the KCQuer Roadmap to the Q-Talk Forum (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7818) and also stickied it so it stays up top.

Well, shucks Ron.........I feel honored!:becky:
Never had a thread get sticky'd before!

littlechief
11-18-2011, 11:46 AM
I smoke my turkey about the same as everyone, brine, season & smoke hot and fast so my contribution is about the gravy.

Here's what I did last weekend on my UDS.

http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/821/img20111112155305.jpg

Drip pan on the bottom rack with last years smoked turkey stock (you can use canned chicken stock) onions, carrots, celery, apples, sage leaves & anything else that sounds good.
http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/9305/img20111112155325.jpg

When the turkey is done put everything from the drip pan into the blender and your done.
http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/1983/img20111112160116.jpg

If you like thicker gravy you can thicken it on in a pan on the stove with a roux.
I found this idea on another BBQ forum a few years ago and have been making the gravy ever since. The smoked turkey is good but the gravy is phenomenal.
I Love Gravy! :-D

Wampus
11-18-2011, 12:29 PM
AWESOME!!

I love gravy as well! We usually do giblet gravy on the stovetop. I've also got some canned homemade chicken stock in the pantry that I made several quarts of this spring. I think I'll try this. I always figured the drippings would burn off. Do you start with a lot if liquid to keep it from evaporating away?

littlechief
11-18-2011, 12:49 PM
AWESOME!!

I love gravy as well! We usually do giblet gravy on the stovetop. I've also got some canned homemade chicken stock in the pantry that I made several quarts of this spring. I think I'll try this. I always figured the drippings would burn off. Do you start with a lot if liquid to keep it from evaporating away?

The pan was about half full and I didnt need to add any more liquid during the cook, but this was only a 12lb bird with a total cook time of 2hr 45min. When I do a 20+lb bird I do have to add more liquid during the cook.

Im a Walrus
11-19-2011, 10:20 PM
Speaking of threads...

We have one going, ask your brining questions here. either there or here I'll help with any brining questions:

Ask your Brining questions here (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=119611)


The brining link isn't working for me...

Im a Walrus
11-19-2011, 10:42 PM
So bad news for me- my wife came home with an enhanced turkey. It's got 8% solution in it. Any suggestions for brining with an enhanced turkey?

Gore
11-19-2011, 10:46 PM
I read the title and I thought it was "Talk like a turkey day."

"Gobble, gobble, gobble." :becky:

Cloudsmoker
11-19-2011, 10:54 PM
Still remember my first brine -- nobody told me you were supposed to rinse. OMG, that was some salty bird.

Wampus
11-19-2011, 11:12 PM
So bad news for me- my wife came home with an enhanced turkey. It's got 8% solution in it. Any suggestions for brining with an enhanced turkey?


Personally (and I'm really no expert) I'd say go for it. The worst thing that can happen is that the osmosis won't work quite as well due to the meat already having been injected with a salt solution. I could be wrong here, and anyone with knowledge otherwise, please chime in.

As I understand it, brining an enhanced bird will just not work as well, but will still help.


That's my $0.02 anyway.......

cmcadams
11-19-2011, 11:29 PM
I've tried lots of turkey gravies, and I've made some good ones, but the best I've ever had, bar none, is made from smoked turkey drippings, 18 ounces of whole milk, and 18 ounces of... Williams Sonoma Turkey Gravy Base!

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/turkey-gravy-base/

It's probably horrible for me, but it really is so so so so so good. However, without the drippings, it's just ok. With them, man oh man, I can't seem to beat it.

2K1TJ
11-20-2011, 11:44 AM
What about smoke times and temps? Where to put the thermo in the bird, what internal temp to pull?

cmcadams
11-20-2011, 11:50 AM
I smoke at 300, put the thermo in the thigh, pull at 160. This year, I'm pulling at 150, and finishing in an infrared fryer.

Wampus
11-20-2011, 11:56 AM
What about smoke times and temps? Where to put the thermo in the bird, what internal temp to pull?

Times and temps will vary according to preference. Some will smoke at the typcial 225-250, but most will tell you that "hot & fast" is the preferred method for all poultry (and I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with this take).

And honestly, the best turkey I ever did was done when the smoker "accidentally" (read: I wasn't watching it close enough) got up to 450 degrees. That turkey was PERFECT in every way!



As with Curt, I put the probe in the thickest part of the thigh (NOT TOUCHING THE BONE). When the thigh hits 165-170 I yank it and let the residual cooking do the rest.

Wampus
11-20-2011, 12:04 PM
I almost forgot!

Another great tip that I got along the way here was this....
ICE DOWN THE BREAST PRIOR TO PUTTING THE BIRD ON THE COOKER!!!
http://i840.photobucket.com/albums/zz327/wampusbbq/IMG_2007.jpg

Here's why:

As we all know, the "done temp" for poultry thighs and other dark meat is 170-175. If the breast, however, is taken to this temp, it'll be a little dried out and at the least, past it's prime doneness. Many foil the breast to avoid this, many cook the bird upside down to let juices settle into the breast. The best way I've found (and it makes the most sense to me) is to place a freezer bag of ice on the breast (shown above) while you are letting the rest of the bird come to room temp just before putting it on. This will make the breasts cooler than the rest of the bird and will make them start cooking later, thus keeping the breast temp behind the rest of the meat. All I know is with a brine and this technique, our turkey breast meat has been OH SO SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!

Mo-Dave
11-20-2011, 04:11 PM
Most of you already know I am not allowed to smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving if you have read any of my post about Thanksgiving tradition.

I still was thinking of bringing my 22lb turkey that has an 8% injection and need to know if I am not smoking this bird should I even bother with the brine? Will it make a noticeably deference in how juicy it will be if not overcooked? I do not plan on stuffing the bird so it should cook a bit quicker and my cook temp will be about 350.
Dave

Hot Grill on Grill Logan
11-20-2011, 09:27 PM
anyone ever inject bacon grease into the turkey? I've been saving some with this purpose in mind, but have never done it. Think it would be awesome, but would like some feedback from someone that has done this.

jason p
11-20-2011, 11:58 PM
I usually do fried turkey but the cost for peanut oil is getting to high so I took some of the oil money and purchased the turkey cannon. Planning on brining,drying the skin, and smoking hot and fast. I picked up a locally raised twenty pound turkey. How much chicken stock do you need in the drip pan for the gravy on average?

f308gt4
11-21-2011, 11:54 AM
anyone ever inject bacon grease into the turkey? I've been saving some with this purpose in mind, but have never done it. Think it would be awesome, but would like some feedback from someone that has done this.

Never tried it, but sounds interesting. I happen to have some bacon grease saved up in the fridge. Hmmmm...

silverfinger
11-21-2011, 12:34 PM
I almost forgot!

Another great tip that I got along the way here was this....
ICE DOWN THE BREAST PRIOR TO PUTTING THE BIRD ON THE COOKER!!!
http://i840.photobucket.com/albums/zz327/wampusbbq/IMG_2007.jpg

Here's why:

As we all know, the "done temp" for poultry thighs and other dark meat is 170-175. If the breast, however, is taken to this temp, it'll be a little dried out and at the least, past it's prime doneness. Many foil the breast to avoid this, many cook the bird upside down to let juices settle into the breast. The best way I've found (and it makes the most sense to me) is to place a freezer bag of ice on the breast (shown above) while you are letting the rest of the bird come to room temp just before putting it on. This will make the breasts cooler than the rest of the bird and will make them start cooking later, thus keeping the breast temp behind the rest of the meat. All I know is with a brine and this technique, our turkey breast meat has been OH SO SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!

Question. Where do you take the final temp from on the turkey ?

Oldyote
11-21-2011, 12:45 PM
Does anyone know where to get a turkey cannon near Minneapolis, mn???? I need to get one for next week!

Last year I picked one up at my local Gander Mountain. You might check there.

mustang347
11-21-2011, 01:04 PM
Does anyone know where to get a turkey cannon near Minneapolis, mn???? I need to get one for next week!
I picked one up from Cabelas yesterday.:becky::becky:

Wampus
11-21-2011, 01:52 PM
Question. Where do you take the final temp from on the turkey ?

I put my probe into the thickest part of the thigh. That's pretty much the best way to guage doneness with any poultry. If you have a second probe, I'd put it in the breast just to watch em both.

When the probe is reading done, I'll stick the bird in several different spots with my thermopen....breast in a couple places, thigh, leg, etc just to make sure it's all done.

dbeast420
11-21-2011, 05:09 PM
OK....

Burnt out on hickory,scratched on finding pecan locally....

Is sugar maple good for a UDS turkey??

325* for 3-3.5 hrs or until breast is 160* and thigh is 170*

Not brining and looking for injection recipes.

Ashmont
11-21-2011, 05:13 PM
I am waiting for the day after sammie!!! All is good!

LuvDbbq
11-21-2011, 06:36 PM
I have to try the iced breast on the turkey.

sfisch
11-21-2011, 06:39 PM
Got a 12 pounder going to cook on the WSM hopefully around 300*, what's the approximate cook time??

geo
11-21-2011, 07:59 PM
I have done quite a few on the kettle using indirect heat and no brine. I always look for a smaller 12 pound or so bird and it always took 2.5 to 3 hours.
I picked up an "natural" bird with no additives today and I am going to try the brine on it and cook it with an injected bird on the WSM to see if am am missing something good. The fresh bird was over twice the cost of the injected so I hope it is worth it.

Wampus
11-21-2011, 08:51 PM
Here's some really informative info I found on this website (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/lets_talk_turkey/index.asp):



Let's Talk TurkeyA Consumer Guide to Safely Roasting a Turkey http://www.fsis.usda.gov/images/content-divider.gif Fresh or Frozen?





Fresh Turkeys

Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.
Buy your turkey only 1 to 2 days before you plan to cook it.
Keep it stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to cook it. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak.
Do not buy fresh pre-stuffed turkeys. If not handled properly, any harmful bacteria that may be in the stuffing can multiply very quickly.
Frozen Turkeys

Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.
Keep frozen until you're ready to thaw it.
Turkeys can be kept frozen in the freezer indefinitely; however, cook within 1 year for best quality.
See "Thawing Your Turkey" for thawing instructions.
Frozen Pre-Stuffed Turkeys

USDA recommends only buying frozen pre-stuffed turkeys that display the USDA or State mark of inspection on the packaging. These turkeys are safe because they have been processed under controlled conditions.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/images/thumbnail_poultryseal1.gif DO NOT THAW before cooking. Cook from the frozen state. Follow package directions for proper handling and cooking.

Allow 1 pounds of turkey per person.

Thawing Your Turkey

There are three ways to thaw your turkey safely in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave oven.




In the Refrigerator (40 F or below)
Allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds
4 to 12 pounds 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds 5 to 6 days

Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. If necessary, a turkey that has been properly thawed in the refrigerator may be refrozen.

In Cold Water
Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound
4 to 12 pounds 2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pounds 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pounds 8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pounds 10 to 12 hours

Wrap your turkey securely, making sure the water is not able to leak through the wrapping. Submerge your wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Do not refreeze.





In the Microwave Oven

Check your owner's manual for the size turkey that will fit in your microwave oven, the minutes per pound and power level to use for thawing.
Remove all outside wrapping.
Place on a microwave-safe dish to catch any juices that may leak.
Cook your turkey immediately. Do not refreeze or refrigerate your turkey after thawing in the microwave oven.
REMINDER: Remove the giblets from the turkey cavities after thawing. Cook separately.

Roasting Your Turkey



Set your oven temperature no lower than 325 F.


Place your turkey or turkey breast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.


For optimum safety, stuffing a turkey is not recommended. For more even cooking, it is recommended you cook your stuffing outside the bird in a casserole. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the stuffing. The stuffing must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 F.


If you choose to stuff your turkey, the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time; however, keep wet and dry ingredients separate. Chill all of the wet ingredients (butter/margarine, cooked celery and onions, broth, etc.). Mix wet and dry ingredients just before filling the turkey cavities. Fill the cavities loosely. Cook the turkey immediately. Use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 F.


A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook turkey to higher temperatures.


If your turkey has a "pop-up" temperature indicator, it is recommended that you also check the internal temperature of the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer. The minimum internal temperature should reach 165 F for safety.


For quality, let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. The turkey will carve more easily.


Remove all stuffing from the turkey cavities.
Timetables for Turkey Roasting
(325 F oven temperature)

Use the timetables below to determine how long to cook your turkey. These times are approximate. Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your turkey and stuffing.

Unstuffed
4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1 to 3 hours
8 to 12 pounds 2 to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3 hours
14 to 18 pounds 3 to 4 hours
18 to 20 pounds 4 to 4 hours
20 to 24 pounds 4 to 5 hours


Stuffed
4 to 6 pounds (breast) Not usually applicable
6 to 8 pounds (breast) 2 to 3 hours
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4 hours
18 to 20 pounds 4 to 4 hours
20 to 24 pounds 4 to 5 hours

It is safe to cook a turkey from the frozen state. The cooking time will take at least 50 percent longer than recommended for a fully thawed turkey. Remember to remove the giblet packages during the cooking time. Remove carefully with tongs or a fork.

Optional Cooking Hints



Tuck wing tips under the shoulders of the bird for more even cooking. This is referred to as "akimbo."


Add cup of water to the bottom of the pan.


If your roasting pan does not have a lid, you may place a tent of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the turkey for the first 1 to 1 hours. This allows for maximum heat circulation, keeps the turkey moist, and reduces oven splatter. To prevent overbrowning, foil may also be placed over the turkey after it reaches the desired color.


If using an oven-proof food thermometer, place it in the turkey at the start of the cooking cycle. It will allow you to check the internal temperature of the turkey while it is cooking. For turkey breasts, place thermometer in the thickest part. For whole turkeys, place in the thickest part of the inner thigh. Once the thigh has reached 165 F, check the wing and the thickest part of the breast to ensure the turkey has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 F throughout the product.


If using an oven cooking bag, follow the manufacturer's guidelines on the package.


REMEMBER! Always wash hands, utensils, the sink, and anything else that comes in contact with raw turkey and its juices with soap and water.

For information on other methods for cooking a turkey, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854)
www.fsis.usda.gov (http://www.fsis.usda.gov)

Storing Your Leftovers



Discard any turkey, stuffing, and gravy left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 F.
Divide leftovers into smaller portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling.
Use refrigerated turkey, stuffing, and gravy within 3 to 4 days.
If freezing leftovers, use within 2 to 6 months for best quality.
Reheating Your Turkey

Cooked turkey may be eaten cold or reheated.





In the Oven

Set the oven temperature no lower than 325 F.
Reheat turkey to an internal temperature of 165 F. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature.
To keep the turkey moist, add a little broth or water and cover.
In the Microwave Oven

Cover your food and rotate it for even heating. Allow standing time.
Check the internal temperature of your food with a food thermometer to make sure it reaches 165 F.
Consult your microwave oven owner's manual for recommended times and power levels.
For more information about food safety (in English and Spanish), call:
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
1-888-MPHotline (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Food_Safety_Education/usda_meat_&_poultry_hotline/index.asp)
(1-888-674-6854)
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday
E-mail: mphotline.fsis@usda.gov (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/contact_us/Email_Form/index.asp?rcpt=mphotline.fsis@fsis.usda.gov)
Or "Ask Karen," (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Food_Safety_Education/ASK_KAREN/index.asp) FSIS' Web-based automated response system - available 24/7 at www.fsis.usda.gov (http://www.fsis.usda.gov).

Last Modified: January 12, 2011

DudleyDoRight
11-22-2011, 03:25 AM
I have a Traeger Lil Tex with an after market smoke generator (thanks to SmokerKing for the idea) to add extra smoke when I want it. Concerned about cooking time / temps Read the 101 and 250-325 seams to be a good temperature for cooking the right bird. but enjoy smoke flavoring Using Hickory and Apple in the traeger. Figured I'd us ethe extra smoke generator for the 1st hour to with Apple wood and Hickory as well Suggestions on this?

frognot
11-22-2011, 07:54 AM
OK....

Burnt out on hickory,scratched on finding pecan locally....

Is sugar maple good for a UDS turkey??


Never used it myself but heard it's good. Try it & let us know.

smokinin614
11-22-2011, 12:29 PM
Alright Brethren... What's the longest period of time you've ever rested a bird after taking it off the smoker? I usually let'em rest for about 45 min loosely foiled on the countertop, but this year I have to travel across town to the parents house...So I am stuck, trying to finish the cook and not be rushed. I've been BBQ'n long enough to realize that one of the worst things you can do is rush a cook. :tsk: It will be wrapped, and placed in a cooler immediately after pulling it.

Militant83
11-22-2011, 06:57 PM
I got bored today and decided to make up an injection for my turkey breaks im going to smoke here us what i came up with.

some Black and Tan beer
Seasoning Salt
Garlic Powder
Cracked Black Pepper
Sugar
Honey

We will see how it turns out

TwoTon
11-22-2011, 08:06 PM
Fried turkey for us this year. Just got the Creole Butter injectable marinade for it. Was not planning on brining since I will be injecting. Haven't made a call yet whether I should rub it or shmear some compund butter under the skin? Any suggestions?

And good idea for starting this thread!:thumb:



I woudl stay away from the compound butter if you are frying the turkey. Go with your favorite cajun rub.

Wampus
11-23-2011, 08:48 AM
Alright Brethren... What's the longest period of time you've ever rested a bird after taking it off the smoker? I usually let'em rest for about 45 min loosely foiled on the countertop, but this year I have to travel across town to the parents house...So I am stuck, trying to finish the cook and not be rushed. I've been BBQ'n long enough to realize that one of the worst things you can do is rush a cook. :tsk: It will be wrapped, and placed in a cooler immediately after pulling it.

This past spring, I did one that ended up being done WAY earlier than I planned......mainly because I'd let the smoker temp get way up to 450! Anyway, it was done in 2 hours and I still hadn't made the taters, gravy and other sides. If I recall, I held in in the pan, foiled for about 2 hours and it was still nice and hot when I carved it. You should be fine.

If you are coolering it, you should REALLY be OK. I'm assuming you're gonna carve it when you get where you're going? That's what I would do if it were me.

Lazy H
11-23-2011, 11:13 AM
smoked a couple of turkey's before, but since i been really gittin' into the smokin' thang', built my custom job on a trailer, i been doin a little more research and am actually brining some this year. got em on now, will know later. ive heard about it before but seemed like a lot of work, but i guess i'll see....

smokinin614
11-23-2011, 01:20 PM
This past spring, I did one that ended up being done WAY earlier than I planned......mainly because I'd let the smoker temp get way up to 450! Anyway, it was done in 2 hours and I still hadn't made the taters, gravy and other sides. If I recall, I held in in the pan, foiled for about 2 hours and it was still nice and hot when I carved it. You should be fine.

If you are coolering it, you should REALLY be OK. I'm assuming you're gonna carve it when you get where you're going? That's what I would do if it were me.

Thanks for the response :thumb:

moda253
11-23-2011, 02:24 PM
I'm going to be smoking a bird this year but don't have the turkey cannon. So I was wondering if anyone sees a problem with doing the orange lemon and onion stuffing and trussing and putting it on the smoker?

Wampus
11-23-2011, 02:32 PM
I'm going to be smoking a bird this year but don't have the turkey cannon. So I was wondering if anyone sees a problem with doing the orange lemon and onion stuffing and trussing and putting it on the smoker?

That's EXACTLY what I've done in past years. I just cut a lemon, onion and orange in half, stuff them into the cavity, truss it up and SMOKE AWAY!

They turn out great! Here's one I did a couple of years ago that way....
http://i840.photobucket.com/albums/zz327/wampusbbq/HOLIDAYS%2009/IMG_4644.jpg

moda253
11-23-2011, 02:36 PM
Thanks man. I'm all set to go for tomorrow

Colemanchu
11-23-2011, 02:43 PM
my wife got a free turkey this year and it's in an 8% solution of turkey broth, salt.....

I'm going back and forth on wether I should skip the brine or not, I will be smoking the bird if that helps with any advice.

Wampus
11-23-2011, 05:20 PM
my wife got a free turkey this year and it's in an 8% solution of turkey broth, salt.....

I'm going back and forth on wether I should skip the brine or not, I will be smoking the bird if that helps with any advice.

Check this thread out.....
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=120732

I've got a 9.5% enhanced turkey in the brine right now. Read the thread above and you'll see that the short answer is: BRINE IT!

tmehlhorn
11-23-2011, 09:58 PM
Think ill try something new this year. I like mixing up techniques. Im thinking ill try smoking it for about an hour with a generous amount of cherry wood then drop it in the fryer.

Wampus
11-24-2011, 12:22 AM
Interesting......

Let us know how that turns out. I'm curious how this will go!

SmokinAussie
11-24-2011, 05:23 AM
G'Day Brothers... I went to my meatatarium today to see if they had any fresh Turkeys. No Farkin' Dice. They had nothin but frozen marinated birds. I am NOT getting those. I'm going to another place I know tomorrow which may have them, but we shall see. I wanna brine and smoke my own on the Bullet Bill.

BTW, have not read the previous posts yet, but I shall. So much to learn.

Cheers!

Bill

tomrip
11-24-2011, 10:18 AM
thanks, i smoked my first turkey, we are getting ready to eat it. ill be back with pictures and results.

mfindell
11-24-2011, 11:09 PM
Today was a test of my budding desire to learn to be the grill master at our house....this (used) to be my husbands title but I think I am going to claim it...LOL.
I grilled a 14 lb. turkey after soaking it over night in an apple cider brine. I stuffed it with apples and onions before basting it with butter and shaking on some poultry seasoning. I put some chicken broth and extra brine in the pan and grilled for 3.5 hours. I added briquetts about every hour. The flavor was the best turkey we have ever had and was by far the moistest. I am quite pleased with myself.
http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i160/mfindell/turkey2.jpg
http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i160/mfindell/turkey3.jpg
Thanks for all the inspiration and I look forward to learning more from you guys.:clap2:

Gilroy Pots
11-25-2011, 12:26 PM
well... The first turkey came out better . the apple juice soak worked well. Should have cooked the turkey leg side to the heat .the wind and storm hit just as the weather man said it would so the legs were finished in the oven. BBQ foul I know :cry: Everybody still loved it .:clap2: Party saved !

snapper
11-27-2011, 03:13 PM
Great advice, will be doing this in UK for Xmas

Meat Burner
11-27-2011, 07:46 PM
We did a 14 lb turkey on the Weber. Cook time was 2 1/2 hours on the 27" Weber. Brined for about 8 hours, the overnight uncovered in the Frig. Put butter/Yardbird under the skin and nice coating of Yardbird on the outside. Was super moist and fantastic taste. Did another one on Saturday just to process in the Food Saver and freeze. Just finished doing that. Great Thanksgiving with 4 generations of our families. It was awsome!!

little pigee
12-02-2011, 12:16 PM
Thanks for the brining info!

tfranko29@pga.com
12-03-2011, 10:26 AM
Hi BBQs!!!
http://jewelsinnaples.blogspot.com/2011/12/sooo-we-changed-menu-few-timeswasnt.html

Check out this fun way to have fried turkey year round....indoors.

Cheers!!!!

Frank

hawk26
12-03-2011, 04:09 PM
anyone ever inject bacon grease into the turkey? I've been saving some with this purpose in mind, but have never done it. Think it would be awesome, but would like some feedback from someone that has done this.


Did you try this and how did it turnout?

Superfly
12-07-2011, 12:06 PM
As a new member to the forum and a new smoker (just got a Large BGE) I noticed two ways of smoking/cooking a turkey. Most recipes I found called for temps set at 350 and cook for 2-3 hours. I found a few that set the temp for 200-250 and cook the bird about 5-6 hours.

I ended up going the low and slow method and found the turkey to be perfectly smoked - of course I do not have a previous attempt to measure it by.:idea:

Wampus
12-07-2011, 02:41 PM
As a new member to the forum and a new smoker (just got a Large BGE) I noticed two ways of smoking/cooking a turkey. Most recipes I found called for temps set at 350 and cook for 2-3 hours. I found a few that set the temp for 200-250 and cook the bird about 5-6 hours.

I ended up going the low and slow method and found the turkey to be perfectly smoked - of course I do not have a previous attempt to measure it by.:idea:

I think it's a personal preference thing actually.
If you're COMPLETELY happy with the low & slow method you used, then that's that. I've tried both methods for chickens and turkeys and prefer the hotter and faster method (above 325 degrees) mainly because I don't think that poultry NEEDS low & slow to be great.

With most BBQ meats, there's a lot of connective tissue, which requires a low & slow approach to properly breakdown the meat and achieve tenderness. With poultry you don't really have that. A lot of folks also don't like a lot of smoke with poultry since it generally takes on the smoke very easily.

BUT.....do it how YOU want.
(OH....and post results if you can!:becky:)

Superfly
12-11-2011, 11:12 AM
Thanks Wampus! That makes alot of sense. Next time I will try to hotter faster method for my poultry.

My next smoking adventure is going to be a brisket. Another first time. Any ideas? Size of brisket, to inject or not? temps for cooking the perfect brisket and for how long? I will make a post in the brisket section too.

basuraman
12-20-2011, 12:04 PM
I wanted to that the Brethren and this thread. I was able to do my first turkey on the WSM this last Saturday. I am not saying a hit a home run but I at least had a stand up triple on this one.
1. 20 Brine in the simple brine at the begining of this thread
2. Homemade BBQ chicken rub and olive oil
3. About 3 hours on the WSM with some hickory (I forgot to get anything else.) at any where from 250 to 325.
4. Used my new Maverick to wait until the breast got to 165ish.
5 Served with roasted red potatoes and acorn squash.

Picture came out a bit blurry..

http://distilleryimage7.instagram.com/8d2923962b2c11e19e4a12313813ffc0_7.jpg

Igotgas
12-21-2011, 12:47 PM
I posted this in the Brining thread too, but it just seems to be me and some crickets over there. I appreciate any insight on this.
I have a question about NOT brining. I have a 8% bird and I have chosen not to brine this time. My question is , should I let the bird air dry in the fridge just like you do after brining? Or am i just overthinking the whole thing?

Lawdog's Smokewagon
12-22-2011, 08:57 PM
Going to smoke a 7lb turkey breast on the new UDS for Christmas. Do you guys have any suggestions on an injection? I have some Tony Chatchers Creole Butter what do you think about it? Going to smoke @325 more or less so i figure about 2.5hrs does that sound about right?
Thanks in advance for your help,
Lawdog

patwill66
12-23-2011, 01:25 PM
Personally, I gave up on traditional brining a long time ago. Now, I actually inject a regular brine into all poultry and pork that goes on my smoker.

I have found that when I inject, far more brine gets into the meat, making it more moist, more tender and more flavorful in the end and only takes 20 minutes to inject and rest versus overnight.

When I have brined, it definitely has worked better than not brining at all, but injecting brine seems to work better for me and results in a better product.

Rocco05
12-31-2011, 07:32 PM
Finished a Cajun rubbed turkey with oak wood chips a little while ago. Took 3 1/2 hours for a 12.5 lb bird with the temperature in the low 40's outside today. Happy New Year Bretheren!

marvelous
01-02-2012, 10:45 AM
Great tips Wampus & all. Great way to assure smoky crispy bird. I've been trying a WSM at 275 overnite to avoid the rubberry skins,b ut still. Any ides for pulled Turkey with some crispy?

Skippy10
01-05-2012, 10:07 PM
I guess I need to start somewhere, so here I go. I have smoked several turkeys and chickens over the last 3 or 4 years. I have found out a few things: (forgive me if I am posting in the wrong place)
1, ALWAYS BRINE YOUR TURKEY/CHICKENS!
2, I used to use seasoned olive oil, or seasoned butter to inject in my birds, but after fighting plugged up injector needles, I wondered how good it without seasoning. It is fantastic! I don't bother with seasoning my butter, or olive oil I inject. I think that with the flavor of the smoke, you don't need to overpower it with a bunch of spices. Try it, you'll be surprised.
3, there is a difference in turkeys. I have cooked the cheaper brands, and I have cooked Butterballs. Butterballs are noticably better, but I don't know if they are .50 cents/pound better, that they typically cost.
4, About 1 1/2 - 2 hours of smoke is all turkeys, or chickens need, the rest of the time , heat only.
5, I always stuff the cavity with quartered onions. Some folks use celery with the onions, but I hate celery, and don't want it in my house, so I dang sure don't want it in my food.
6, Go easy on the rub too. I lightly rub my birds, but I don't want to over power anything. I put a little in the cavity, and some lightly on the outside of the bird, but with brine, oil/butter injection, and smoke, (I use apple and pecan, or apple and cherry), and a light dusting of rub, there is tons of flavor, and it is still delicate to boot. I have heard several times, " that's the best turkey (or chicken) I ever ate". In fact, I had 2 couples in there 80s' tell me this year at Thanksgiving, mine was the best turkey they ever had. That seems like a pretty bold statement, because, does anyone realize how many great cooks there are in East Tennessee? Anyhow, I was on cloud 9.

NU2QN
01-10-2012, 03:43 PM
This year I cooked a turkey in my Weber 22.5 kettle. Not a complete failure. Thank goodness for the fried bird. I brined both turkey's, 12-13 lb.ers two days prior and let them refrigerate the last 24 hours prior to the cook. I used a small Ice chest to brine both the birds at the same time. The problem was I forgot to start the bird breast side down.

Anyway, to my question: If cooking a Turkey in the UDS, do you have to flip/rotate the bird at all during the cooking process? I wouldn't think so as the heat source is below the bird in the UDS as opposed being off to the side in the Weber kettle.

Wampus
01-11-2012, 10:39 AM
This year I cooked a turkey in my Weber 22.5 kettle. Not a complete failure. Thank goodness for the fried bird. I brined both turkey's, 12-13 lb.ers two days prior and let them refrigerate the last 24 hours prior to the cook. I used a small Ice chest to brine both the birds at the same time. The problem was I forgot to start the bird breast side down.

Anyway, to my question: If cooking a Turkey in the UDS, do you have to flip/rotate the bird at all during the cooking process? I wouldn't think so as the heat source is below the bird in the UDS as opposed being off to the side in the Weber kettle.

I don't. First of all, typically, the UDS temp is fairly consistent throughout. The only real difference is that you do get some direct heat with the UDS, but since we want the thigh/leg to be a little warmer when finished than the breast, my thinking is that this will allow the leg/thigh to get more direct heat and keep the breast "guarded" from it. PLUS...if you ice the breast this will help as well.

I just did some chickens yesterday and the only reason I flipped was that the thighs were at 165 IT and the breasts were still at 135 so I wanted the breasts to speed up. That's the only reason I can forsee needing to flip. Other than that, turkeys stay on their backs for the whole cook.

Gbane
01-14-2012, 02:19 PM
I like making a herb butter, let it soften and put under as much of the skin that I can get to. I use a willinghams smoker, so my meat hangs.... (ha). Does an outstanding job, the skin will start to crisp up a bit and hold the butter in against the meat. I like a hickoryour heavy smoke for my birds. I usually lose a breast or two the night before to scavengers raiding the fridge.....mmmmm, BBQ !

Wampus
11-03-2012, 10:23 AM
BUMP for 2012!

MisterChrister
11-03-2012, 10:35 AM
YAY! :-D This thread belongs on the first page thru the holidays to avoid dozens of unnecessary turkey questions this time of year. It covers it all. EPIC turkey thread!

J-Rod
11-03-2012, 12:01 PM
anyone ever inject bacon grease into the turkey? I've been saving some with this purpose in mind, but have never done it. Think it would be awesome, but would like some feedback from someone that has done this.

Is this Paula Deen using an alias??? :shocked:

Fo Sizzle My Nizzle
11-03-2012, 12:35 PM
Thanks for the bump Wampus. Thawed an 18 lb bird last night using the cold water method and have been debating a brine since its enhanced. Planned on cooking it today with no brine to avoid saltiness but after reading the roadmap on the issue I'm going to brine it for tomorrow instead.

Grizzly6
11-03-2012, 01:56 PM
Spatchcock or not? DISCUSS!!

Pyle's BBQ
11-03-2012, 05:40 PM
Spatchcock or not? DISCUSS!!

How much room do you have? That I think is what would limit most people.

Grizzly6
11-03-2012, 06:06 PM
I will be using my drum for this. I can fit a bird on it

Teamfour
11-03-2012, 06:45 PM
I have a 17 pounder going in the BWS tomorrow for a test. I have been smoking turkey for 30 years but want to see how the Party cooks a turkey. I have never brined my turkey and they are always super moist.

Wampus
11-04-2012, 09:35 AM
Spatchcock or not? DISCUSS!!

You know....I've never spatched a turkey. I have always opted NOT to do this because of the presentation factor for the holidays and all. I brined a bird yesterday and I think I'll spatchcock it for today's cook just for chits and giggles!

I have a 17 pounder going in the BWS tomorrow for a test. I have been smoking turkey for 30 years but want to see how the Party cooks a turkey. I have never brined my turkey and they are always super moist.

I absolutely don't think that you CANNOT get a moist bird without brining, but I have done side by side cooks (with chickens) more than once and the one that is brined is ALWAYS more juicy. I just think that brining can only IMPROVE the moisture and flavor level of the bird, that's all.

JLStout
11-04-2012, 11:22 AM
This past spring, I did one that ended up being done WAY earlier than I planned......mainly because I'd let the smoker temp get way up to 450! Anyway, it was done in 2 hours and I still hadn't made the taters, gravy and other sides. If I recall, I held in in the pan, foiled for about 2 hours and it was still nice and hot when I carved it. You should be fine.

If you are coolering it, you should REALLY be OK. I'm assuming you're gonna carve it when you get where you're going? That's what I would do if it were me.

Just a fyi, if you hold it too long, more than 45 min or so, skin will be rubbery.

JLStout
11-04-2012, 11:29 AM
Also chiming in for spatchcocking! Only way to smoke poultry IMHO.

jlane
11-04-2012, 12:47 PM
I just picked up a 14# frozen turkey from the supermarket today for a test run next weekend, the big day bird will be a fresh one, but this will do for my test. Has anyone used SM pecan rub on a turkey? I think I'm going to give that a go.


Sent from my iPad mini using Tapatalk

SourHopHead
11-04-2012, 02:39 PM
In for 2012!

dadsr4
11-05-2012, 02:36 PM
I know there are some who use a Rotisserie. Here is a link from Weber.
Sage, Orange, and Clove Rotisserie Turkey
http://www.weber.com/grillout/recipes/poultry/sage-orange-and-clove-rotisserie-turkey

Grizzly6
11-05-2012, 02:38 PM
You know....I've never spatched a turkey. I have always opted NOT to do this because of the presentation factor for the holidays and all. I brined a bird yesterday and I think I'll spatchcock it for today's cook just for chits and giggles!

So... how did it turn out?

dadsr4
11-05-2012, 02:57 PM
This one should be mentioned.
Simple Barbecued Turkey from PatioDaddio

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=95022

basuraman
11-07-2012, 12:43 PM
My dad just asked me to smoke the turkey for Thanksgiving this year. Time to research..

dadsr4
11-07-2012, 02:13 PM
Webers instructions on cooking a turkey on a kettle. There is included a different way, at least to me, to brine. It uses a cooler and compensates for not having the right size container

How to Barbecue a turkey
Excerpt from Webers Charcoal Grilling: The art of cooking with live fire
http://c501793.r93.cf2.rackcdn.com/Barbecue-Turkey.pdf

Wampus
11-07-2012, 02:31 PM
So... how did it turn out?


Meh.....

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=147251

thoraudio
11-07-2012, 02:36 PM
I'll be doing two this year, on the Big Easy. "It's gas, not que... blah blah", it makes a darn fine bird.

MS2SB
11-07-2012, 04:31 PM
For the last 4 years I do two turkeys on the kettles. A few techniques that I find helpful.

1) Brine: I start brining the morning before and then pull the birds out and rinse thoroughly on Weds. evening. They then go into the fridge uncovered overnight. This not only lets the brine to distribute evenly but also dries the skin which leads to a nice crispy skinned bird.

2) Aromatics: I stuff the cavities, both rear and the neck cavity, with lemon, onion, garlic, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. It imparts a really wonderful flavor to the breast meat.
http://i1243.photobucket.com/albums/gg556/dgoldman17/Thanksgiving%20Turkey/WP_000229.jpg

3) Butter, butter and more butter!: I mix up a compound butter using unsalted butter and some fresh parsley, thyme and rosemary. I let this soften and then smear it liberally under the skin all over the bird, including down on the thighs which you can reach with a little work. I then smear it all over the outside of the skin as well. Nothing goes together better than poultry skin and butter. Not only does it add flavor but also helps with browning and crisping.
http://i1243.photobucket.com/albums/gg556/dgoldman17/Thanksgiving%20Turkey/WP_000230.jpg

4) Grill set-up: I fill two chimney baskets as full as possible with lit briquettes and set them on either side of the kettle as far aparts as possible I will then add 1 small chunk of wood to each. I use a small amount of wood as I don't like a heavy smoke flavor in my turkey, just enough to let my guests know that it was grilled. I then rest a drip pan between the two baskets, I have a pan that has a lip that can rest steadily right on the front edge of each charcoal basket so that it sits elevated above the charcoal grate and just below that cooking great.

I run the kettles WFO and try to get the highest temp possible, I've never taken a grate temp, but I would guess that I'm running in the 375-400 range. I'll add another 6-7 briqs to each side about halfway through cooking.

5) Breast side down!: I start my birds breast side down and then flip it over about 45 minutes in. This is a bit unconventional, but it serves 2 purposes. a) It allows the entire bird to brown, you don't get a soggy bottom and pale thighs and because the bottom is nice and brown it increases the amount of skin available for serving.
b) As the bird starts to cook the juices run down into the breast. I don't know if there is any scientific basis for this, but I read about it somewhere a long time ago, decided to try it and have always been very pleased with the results

Onto the grill
http://i1243.photobucket.com/albums/gg556/dgoldman17/Thanksgiving%20Turkey/WP_000233.jpg

After the flip
http://i1243.photobucket.com/albums/gg556/dgoldman17/Thanksgiving%20Turkey/WP_000234.jpg
http://i1243.photobucket.com/albums/gg556/dgoldman17/Thanksgiving%20Turkey/WP_000236.jpg

The birds are usually done around 3hrs, then come off and rest until everything else is ready which could be anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.
http://i1243.photobucket.com/albums/gg556/dgoldman17/Thanksgiving%20Turkey/WP_000238.jpg
http://i1243.photobucket.com/albums/gg556/dgoldman17/Thanksgiving%20Turkey/WP_000239.jpg

Wampus
11-07-2012, 04:37 PM
^^^^ HELLUVA post! ^^^^ :thumb:

malibulvr
11-09-2012, 04:40 AM
I told the wife that I would do a bird on the Weber this year, she will still roast one in the oven just in case, LOL. I will probably only do a 12 pounder, brine the night before, rub with butter herb and stuff with garlic, apples, etc. Hopefully everything will go well.

Does anyone cover the bird with foil to keep the skin from burning or shouldn't I worry about that? I do want a nice crisp skin but don't want to overdue it.

MS2SB
11-09-2012, 11:56 AM
Does anyone cover the bird with foil to keep the skin from burning or shouldn't I worry about that? I do want a nice crisp skin but don't want to overdue it.

If youve got it over indirect heat you shouldn't have to worry about foiling it. I've done a dozen or so turkeys on the kettle and never had any black skin.

seadad9903
11-09-2012, 12:08 PM
i have two 12 pounders reserved from a local butcher. going to do one on the WSM and the other is going to go on the brinkmann, found a recipe for braised turkey that sounded pretty good.

that'll leave the oven/stove free for mom and The Woman to fix the rest of the stuff.

swamprb
11-09-2012, 12:44 PM
Well, nobody has really touched on brining containers, so I'll jump on the Turkey Train!

I used to brine turkeys in a Food grade frosting bucket then a Rubbermade cooler, but it wouldn't fit in the garage fridge, so I had to drag out the coffin cooler and keep it on ice, and then use a plate weighted down with a bag of ice to keep the bird(s) submerged in the brine.

While searching for brine recipes, I came across this, The Briner http://www.thebriner.com/

It fits in my refer (2 of them will) and it has a locking disc to keep the meats submerged in the brine and a tight fitting lid.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/The%20Briner/IMG_5498.jpg

I've had four 5 lb. whole chickens, using 1 gallon of brine and it took up less than half of The Briner.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/The%20Briner/IMG_5499.jpg

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/The%20Briner/IMG_5496.jpg

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/The%20Briner/IMG_5500.jpg

So, I've been itching to get some Turkey's bathing in the Briner, but so far the only ones in the stores are Butterballs and injected birds.

I usually cook 12-15 lb turkeys and the Briner can easily hold 2 with room to spare.

A Cambro container and lid the same size is comparably the same price, but it does not have the locking disc, so I found the Briner to be a better deal for me in the long run.

When the day of turkey reckoning comes, I will baptize them and take pics!

That Rubbermade cooler became a hand wash station and the Briner reigns supreme!

What are you using? Show your stuff!

The_Kapn
11-09-2012, 12:47 PM
Turkey is like any other meat.
There are a Jillion recipes/techniques/methods available in the modern age of the WWW. Many times they just serve to confuse the situation, not help it.
Almost all of them will work--just depends on what you like for the results.
Unfortunately, many people try to find the "perfect" recipe and there is "no such animal" in spite of what some claim.

Poultry cooks just need to learn and use the "basics" and they will be fine.
For me, I brine unless it is a factory enhanced bird (and they cook up just fine), season with something simple like Salt/Pepper/Garlic/??, put it on the cooker somewhere between 275-375, and cook it till it is a minimum of 160-165. Tent till time to carve, eat, enjoy, move on to desert. 8)
But, there are many, many variations I have used in the past and they worked well.

No magic VooDoo about cooking a bird.

For those that like video instruction for tips/techniques, YouTube alone has a plethora of videos.
These all have the meat as the star and show the wide range of techniques that produce a good product. The quality ranges from good to excellent, IMHO.
--------------
AJ brined bird on BGE:
Apple Juice-Brined Smoked Turkey - YouTube

Bourbon smoked turkey from HEB:
How to Smoke a Turkey - YouTube

Cooked on a Yoder Pellet smoker/grill using ramped up temp profile:
SmokingPit.com- Sugar Maple Smoked Turkey on a Yoder YS640 Smoker - Thanksgiving Turkey - YouTube

From Kevin Bevington (HomeBBQ.com). Kevin is a documented BBQ God with a history of Chanpionship cooking. And a really decent human being.
Smoked Turkey - YouTube

On a WSM at 300-310 deg:
Jimmy D Smoking a Turkey on Thanksgiving with Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker - YouTube

On a WSM at 350 +:
Smoked Turkey Breast on the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker - YouTube

On a UDS at 250 ish :
Smoked Turkey Done Right!!! - YouTube

Lots more if you poke around.

It is all GOOD EATS 8)

TIM

Wampus
11-09-2012, 01:00 PM
Well, nobody has really touched on brining containers, so I'll jump on the Turkey Train!

I used to brine turkeys in a Food grade frosting bucket then a Rubbermade cooler, but it wouldn't fit in the garage fridge, so I had to drag out the coffin cooler and keep it on ice, and then use a plate weighted down with a bag of ice to keep the bird(s) submerged in the brine.

While searching for brine recipes, I came across this, The Briner http://www.thebriner.com/

It fits in my refer (2 of them will) and it has a locking disc to keep the meats submerged in the brine and a tight fitting lid.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/The%20Briner/IMG_5498.jpg

I've had four 5 lb. whole chickens, using 1 gallon of brine and it took up less than half of The Briner.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/The%20Briner/IMG_5499.jpg

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/The%20Briner/IMG_5496.jpg

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/The%20Briner/IMG_5500.jpg

So, I've been itching to get some Turkey's bathing in the Briner, but so far the only ones in the stores are Butterballs and injected birds.

I usually cook 12-15 lb turkeys and the Briner can easily hold 2 with room to spare.

A Cambro container and lid the same size is comparably the same price, but it does not have the locking disc, so I found the Briner to be a better deal for me in the long run.

When the day of turkey reckoning comes, I will baptize them and take pics!

That Rubbermade cooler became a hand wash station and the Briner reigns supreme!

What are you using? Show your stuff!


That thing's AWESOME! I'm gonna have to pick one up.

I usually just use a couple of big stock pots that I have.

72330
The one on the left is a 16 qt aluminum and the one on the right is a 20 qt Stainless Steel. Last weekend, a 12 lb turkey fit in the SS pot just fine with 2 gallons of brine and about 3" to spare at the top.

I've also used a 5 gallon bucket, lined with about 3 trash bags (bucket was washed clean, but I wouldn't have called it STERILE). I have a garage fridge that I put all my meats in after prepping/brining, etc. The floor of the fridge has the most room and would hold that thing perfectly.

I've had need this summer a couple of times to brine 10, 12 and even 16 birds at once and when I did, brining was a CHORE. I can really see the use of the Briner. How big is it?


Thanks for posting that! :thumb:

Happy Hapgood
11-09-2012, 05:42 PM
I've Cajun fried hundreds of turkeys over the years. For the last 3 years I've been doing them in my oil less turkey fryer. Same great taste without the added expense of peanut oil. I would be run out of the Family gathering if I showed up with a smoked turkey. Guess it's just region and traditions depending on where a person lives. Here are some pic's of cooks. I inject but do not brine:

The fixin's:

http://i55.tinypic.com/1z2ew6f.jpg

Injected and covered overnight:

http://i55.tinypic.com/2zitswp.jpg

Dusted the next morning and into the Big Easy:

http://i51.tinypic.com/330d3z6.jpg

http://i51.tinypic.com/bgeil1.jpg

Pulled and resting:

http://i52.tinypic.com/24xq6qa.jpg

http://i54.tinypic.com/2zspdnm.jpg

Some of it plated:

http://i56.tinypic.com/2prb71j.jpg

Here's a short clip of how this rig works. The birds that come out of this thing are as good as any fried that we've had:

The Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-Less Turkey Fryer - YouTube

Hope everyone has a Great Holiday!

Rich Parker
11-09-2012, 06:37 PM
I am not much of a turkey fan but this thread has got me excited to smoke a turkey.

swamprb
11-09-2012, 07:27 PM
..so am I the only person that picks the carcass and separates the white and dark meat for serving, or does everyone do the traditional "Dad slices the bird at the table with the antler handled carving set"?

I have that with my inlaws, and presentation and table settings are formal.

At my table I want my dark meat, and I want it now!

99.9% of the time my deep fried, drum cooked or rotisserie turkeys look like chit for a presentation setting, so I just get down and have a "pickin". Then go into a coma.

Happy Hapgood
11-09-2012, 07:33 PM
Yep triptafan and a football game are Mighty Thangs!

MS2SB
11-09-2012, 07:49 PM
..so am I the only person that picks the carcass and separates the white and dark meat for serving, or does everyone do the traditional "Dad slices the bird at the table with the antler handled carving set"?

I have that with my inlaws, and presentation and table settings are formal.

At my table I want my dark meat, and I want it now!

99.9% of the time my deep fried, drum cooked or rotisserie turkeys look like chit for a presentation setting, so I just get down and have a "pickin". Then go into a coma.

I never carve at the table. I break down the whole bird, dark meat goes onto one platter, white meat onto another platter and the Pope's nose into my belly.

malibulvr
11-09-2012, 09:01 PM
Ok,so how do I keep it from tasting like ham? Had a turkey leg at the fair and was very hammy. Wife is scared...lol

Sent via my Androidlicious Evo LTE!

Happy Hapgood
11-09-2012, 09:31 PM
Ok,so how do I keep it from tasting like ham? Had a turkey leg at the fair and was very hammy. Wife is scared...lol

Sent via my Androidlicious Evo LTE!

Weeeeel, theres good red and bad. :becky:

Wampus
11-10-2012, 11:54 AM
I never carve at the table. I break down the whole bird, dark meat goes onto one platter, white meat onto another platter and the Pope's nose into my belly.

Yeah I carve in the kitchen and platter everything the same way. Then the platters go on the table with the sides.

But.....I've always pitched the "nose". It's good eats, eh?

firefighter4634
11-10-2012, 12:48 PM
My usually method is to inject, rub and put on the smoker spatchcocked. I also like to give the breast about a twenty minute ice bath, this seems to work for me to get the white and dark done at the same time.

Outnumbered
11-10-2012, 01:37 PM
GREAT thread here. Thanks for starting Wampus and thanks for all the tips.

I'm doing my T-Giving dress rehearsal tomorrow.

Kenny Rogers
11-12-2012, 01:15 AM
Anyone ever tried Cornstarch with their dry rub up under the skin to dry out the fat on the skin? I've heard this works wonders!

Wampus
11-12-2012, 09:31 AM
Anyone ever tried Cornstarch with their dry rub up under the skin to dry out the fat on the skin? I've heard this works wonders!

I've not heard of this, but I'm DEFINITELY interested! Thanks!

Kenny Rogers
11-12-2012, 09:59 AM
I've not heard of this, but I'm DEFINITELY interested! Thanks!

1tbsp per cup of rub...

Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk 2

MS2SB
11-12-2012, 12:43 PM
But.....I've always pitched the "nose". It's good eats, eh?

It's pretty much all fat and skin. I make two turkeys now so that my brother and I don't have to fight over it anymore.

malibulvr
11-12-2012, 03:44 PM
Weeeeel, theres good red and bad. :becky:

Not sure if this answered my question...lol

How do you keep it from getting hammy tasting ?

Sent via my Androidlicious Evo LTE!

Wampus
11-12-2012, 05:15 PM
Not sure if this answered my question...lol

How do you keep it from getting hammy tasting ?

Sent via my Androidlicious Evo LTE!

You mean in general?

The "hammy" taste in many cases comes from too much salt in a brine or injection I'd think.

In general, the only thing that's going to cause "hamminess" is addition of salt of seasonings in general.


Is that what you mean or something more specific?

malibulvr
11-12-2012, 05:44 PM
I guess that answers it,lol,just don't want it tasting like ham. Maybe I shouldn't brine it just in case.

Sent via my Androidlicious Evo LTE!

MS2SB
11-12-2012, 07:07 PM
Those smoke turkey legs are brined/cured with the intended purpose of creating a ham like product. As long as you follow a recipe for a whole bird you shouldn't have any issues.

malibulvr
11-12-2012, 10:53 PM
Those smoke turkey legs are brined/cured with the intended purpose of creating a ham like product. As long as you follow a recipe for a whole bird you shouldn't have any issues.

Ok great, works for me :biggrin1:

dadsr4
11-12-2012, 11:12 PM
I guess that answers it,lol,just don't want it tasting like ham. Maybe I shouldn't brine it just in case.

Sent via my Androidlicious Evo LTE!
Here is what I use.
smoked turkey legs recipe
Ingredients:
8 - 12 turkey legs
Brine:
1 gallon water
1/2 C. kosher salt
1/2 C. sugar
2 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp ground pepper
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp ground cumin
Instructions:
Rinse turkey legs in cold water, pat dry. For brine, combine brine ingredients in large pan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let cool to room temperature. Pour into container (a large Rubbermaid container with lid works well) and refrigerate brine until cold (approximately 35-40 degrees F).
Place the turkey legs into brine. Let soak four to six hours. Remove legs, rinse well, and discard brine. Dry drumsticks well with paper towels.
Prepare Turkey Drumstick wet rub with the following ingredients:
3 Tbsp onion powder
2 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
3 Tbsp vegetable or light olive oil
In small bowl, combine spice rub ingredients with fork til well mixed. Rub onto turkey legs. Let drumsticks sit out for about one hour. Place turkey legs into smoker at 225 degrees F. A light-flavored wood is best for turkey. Apple wood works well and so does cherry wood.
Smoke legs for four to six hours, til meat is nearly falling off the bone. Remove legs from smoker, and let rest for half an hour. Devour greedily.

Limp Brisket
11-14-2012, 10:03 AM
Bump.

Kenny Rogers
11-15-2012, 02:30 AM
I've never had a "hammy" tasting turkey, but when I think of "hammy" taste, I think of salt... yes cut your salt!!
I don't plan on brining mine at all... I'll do an injection, but not brine...

frognot
11-15-2012, 11:33 PM
High five Kempis! Great thread that you started last year.

In 8.5 hours i'm off for 8 days. My nephew Glenn (gatordawg on this forum) and family are coming to TX & staying for a week and we've gotta lotta cookin' planned. Lookin' to do a smoked turkey & this thread is gonna be used soon.

seadad9903
11-16-2012, 11:07 AM
the first time i read through this thread when it got bumped for this year, i (after a couple of sidetracks on some of the links) ended up on a site that had a pros & cons of wet brining and dry brining. anyone have the site handy? i cant find it now.

thanks

Pig Daddy
11-17-2012, 10:38 AM
Are all Butterball Turkeys enhanced with solution? I was looking at the lable of one that has been given to me and all it states is "All Natural." The reason I am asking is I am not certain I should brine it or not? :-? Typically, I do Hokas.

dadsr4
11-17-2012, 12:42 PM
Are all Butterball Turkeys enhanced with solution? I was looking at the lable of one that has been given to me and all it states is "All Natural." The reason I am asking is I am not certain I should brine it or not? :-? Typically, I do Hokas.
On the "all natural" label, "Contains up to 4% solution of water, salt and spices to enhance tenderness and juiciness."

TalonBrew
11-17-2012, 05:26 PM
Ahhh. That time of year. I just got on to do a big-time search for this thread from last year, and here it is!

Thanks guys. This site is the best!

Mavpa
11-17-2012, 05:59 PM
I have a 17 pounder going in the BWS tomorrow for a test. I have been smoking turkey for 30 years but want to see how the Party cooks a turkey. I have never brined my turkey and they are always super moist.

How's this turn out? I'm gonna be giving this a whirl on Saturday. Any lessons or tips?

foppa78
11-17-2012, 09:24 PM
I brined my Butterball. Am I screwed?

TravelingJ
11-18-2012, 11:53 AM
Great thread! Thanks guys for all the tips. I didn't know what I was going to do for the holidays. Yesterday I hit up Whole Foods for some Dry Aged ribeyes (new Jumbo Joe, have to break it in right) and my girlfriend shows up at the meat counter with a 10lb fresh turkey. The label says less than 4% water added. I figure I'll still do a brine, and get it on the grill on Thursday. I've never taken on a project this big for slower cooking, and we might have a few traveling friends over since none of us can make it back to our families.

One of the posts above showed a kettle with the coals on both sides of the bird. Is that the suggested method? I'm going to be using the new Jumbo Joe 18" grill, so I'm not really sure how to set things up. Should I grab a pair of those charcoal baskets? I like the look of that Williams Sonoma turkey gravy base, picking that up tomorrow!

dadsr4
11-18-2012, 12:31 PM
I brined my Butterball. Am I screwed?
Since no one has answered.
Others have posted that they have brined a enhanced bird. The concern seems to be over saltiness, so maybe no salt in any rub you use. I'd definitely rinse it well.

sash501
11-18-2012, 01:44 PM
Read the first page of this thread for the first time today. For us noobs, what internal temp on a turkey are we looking for? Also, what is the cook time? So relieved to hear that it isn't a long one as there are many other dishes to prepare, but what is the cook time?

Larry S
11-18-2012, 01:59 PM
You can brine a Butterball. Just use half the salt you nomally would use.

Subzerogriller
11-18-2012, 03:53 PM
Awesome thread! I smoked a rockin' turkey last year on the kettle, but my dad has decided that it wasn't a big enough bird (this guy is a turkey junky on the level of the dad from "A Christmas Story"). So this year, I have a TWENTY TWO POUND bird. Any idea on how long I should plan on cooking this? I'm planning to run in the neighborhood of 300 degrees, as long as the winds don't mess up my wsm.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2

BobM
11-18-2012, 08:50 PM
I get a fresh turkey, I don't brine it, I don't rub it, I don't stuff it, I don't do nothin' to it, I just deep fry it.

Delicious!

This is one I fried this past summer.
http://imageshack.us/a/img36/3168/0825121726a1024.jpg

Turkey isn't just for Thanksgiving. We have a "turkey fry in July" every year, though this one was actually done in August this past year.

Bob

Wampus
11-19-2012, 10:58 AM
I brined my Butterball. Am I screwed?

No worries. I'm no EXPERT, but I've brined Butterballs and they turned out great. I didn't alter my brine recipe or anything. I think the worse thing that can happen is that the brine just not take as well. I mean if there's already a brine (which is basically what the "enhancement" is) in the bird, then your new brine may not get into the meat as well.


It's so hard to find birds that don't have the 8% solution, I've not noticed an issue.

Wampus
11-19-2012, 11:06 AM
Great thread! Thanks guys for all the tips. I didn't know what I was going to do for the holidays. Yesterday I hit up Whole Foods for some Dry Aged ribeyes (new Jumbo Joe, have to break it in right) and my girlfriend shows up at the meat counter with a 10lb fresh turkey. The label says less than 4% water added. I figure I'll still do a brine, and get it on the grill on Thursday. I've never taken on a project this big for slower cooking, and we might have a few traveling friends over since none of us can make it back to our families.

One of the posts above showed a kettle with the coals on both sides of the bird. Is that the suggested method? I'm going to be using the new Jumbo Joe 18" grill, so I'm not really sure how to set things up. Should I grab a pair of those charcoal baskets? I like the look of that Williams Sonoma turkey gravy base, picking that up tomorrow!

That's a great setup. You don't necessarily need the charcoal baskets, although they are nice. Set up your kettle for indirect cooking. Put a 1/2 pan for a drip pan right in the middle of the charcoal grate. Place charcoal on either side of it. You can also use foil wrapped bricks on either side of the drip pan to keep the charcoal at bay if you want. Then just place charcoal between the bricks or drip pan and the outside of the kettle. Place a chunk of wood amongst each pile of charcoal, then add about 3-5 lit pieces of charcoal onto one end of each of the charcoal piles. I like to keep my top vent open and adjust the bottom vent until I get the temp where I want it. I like 325-350 for turkey or chicken. Dial it in and let it ride.

Wampus
11-19-2012, 11:11 AM
Read the first page of this thread for the first time today. For us noobs, what internal temp on a turkey are we looking for? Also, what is the cook time? So relieved to hear that it isn't a long one as there are many other dishes to prepare, but what is the cook time?

Do with the same target temps as whole chicken, which (FOR ME) are 155-160 in the breast and 165-170 in the thigh. I usually pull the turkey from the smoker when I get 150ish in the breast and 160-165 in the thigh. It'll ride the other 5 degrees for carryover and resting. I try to avoid taking the breast above 165.

I cook mine at a higher temp, anywhere from 350 to 450 (watch out for any sugar in the rub if you go much hotter than 350. At 425, you're looking at 2-2.5 hours and 3.5-4 hours at 325-350. At least that's been my experience.

Rover24
11-19-2012, 02:25 PM
Awesome thread! I smoked a rockin' turkey last year on the kettle, but my dad has decided that it wasn't a big enough bird (this guy is a turkey junky on the level of the dad from "A Christmas Story"). So this year, I have a TWENTY TWO POUND bird. Any idea on how long I should plan on cooking this? I'm planning to run in the neighborhood of 300 degrees, as long as the winds don't mess up my wsm.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2

I hope someone chimes in cause I have the same pound bird going on my 22" WSM.

MS2SB
11-19-2012, 02:34 PM
I did a bird that size a few years back and it took a LONG time, 5-6 hours if I remember correctly and that was at closer to 350*.

Wampus
11-19-2012, 02:37 PM
Here's a chart I found for 350 degrees that seems right based on my experiences:

http://allrecipes.com/howto/turkey-cooking-time-guide/

You said you were going at 300, so I'd add an hour to their suggestion of 3.5-4 hours, which is what my time is between for a 350 degree cook.

You could bump it up to 325 too.

Either way, I'd guess at least 4 hours for a 20 lber. Probably more like 5 at 300. Just check it at 2 hours and see if it's about 1/2 way, then adjust temps as necessary.

Oldyote
11-19-2012, 08:22 PM
Hey Wampus

Are you still using a Turkey Cannon? I have one but I so seldom make turkeys (like once a year) and I can't remember how long it took using one. The website says only 7 minutes per pound but I don't remember it cooking that fast.

Baboontyme
11-19-2012, 09:20 PM
Great thread ladies and gentlemen.

Here is a bird I did on my WSM in 2011. I did that one low and slow on my WSM 18.5 before I knew better. It turned out great but I have done high heat cooks since with my birds and they've all been great.

I have never rubbed under the skin. Anyone have a good herb butter or similar type recipe?

I have a 16#er this year. I plan on letting the cooker soar to 350-400 and using my turkey cannon. Think I can get it done in 2-2.5 hrs?

This will be my first year doing one on my offset. I'm going to have to try some of these gravy recipes. I had my turkey raising guy save me the giblets but I might just roast them and give them to the dog at this point.

Anyone have any brine recipes they swear by? Also I want that brining bucket thing posted a few pages back. Awesome. Link?


http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5215/5463111611_ce550c7cb7_z.jpg

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5299/5463688518_8613c114af_z.jpg

TravelingJ
11-19-2012, 10:16 PM
That's a great setup. You don't necessarily need the charcoal baskets, although they are nice. Set up your kettle for indirect cooking. Put a 1/2 pan for a drip pan right in the middle of the charcoal grate. Place charcoal on either side of it. You can also use foil wrapped bricks on either side of the drip pan to keep the charcoal at bay if you want. Then just place charcoal between the bricks or drip pan and the outside of the kettle. Place a chunk of wood amongst each pile of charcoal, then add about 3-5 lit pieces of charcoal onto one end of each of the charcoal piles. I like to keep my top vent open and adjust the bottom vent until I get the temp where I want it. I like 325-350 for turkey or chicken. Dial it in and let it ride.

Thanks for the reply. I picked up the Williams Sonoma gravy base today-the people in the store went nuts when I hit the counter with that "it's the best thing evar!!!!" and offered the tip of adding a bit of apple brandy along with the milk and drippings. Home Depot failed me on the hinged grate today, but I'll make due. I did grab a bag of apple wood chunks while I was there.

So you suggest charcoal on both sides of a drip pan, and not charcoal far on one side and the bird on the other? Does this whole setup work with dressing in the bird? I saw several references to stuffing with aromatics, but didn't catch any with dressing...

Subzerogriller
11-20-2012, 01:25 AM
I did a bird that size a few years back and it took a LONG time, 5-6 hours if I remember correctly and that was at closer to 350*.

Here's a chart I found for 350 degrees that seems right based on my experiences:

http://allrecipes.com/howto/turkey-cooking-time-guide/

You said you were going at 300, so I'd add an hour to their suggestion of 3.5-4 hours, which is what my time is between for a 350 degree cook.

You could bump it up to 325 too.

Either way, I'd guess at least 4 hours for a 20 lber. Probably more like 5 at 300. Just check it at 2 hours and see if it's about 1/2 way, then adjust temps as necessary.

Thanks for the advice. I've had problems keeping the temps up on my wsm lately; I'm thinking it's a wind thing, and we're not supposed to have much in the way of wind on Thursday (~5 mph), so hopefully I'll be able to get the temps up closer to 325-350. I'll probably plan on an 8 hour cook; that way, if I can't maintain higher temps I should be OK, and if I do get the temps up and the thing is finished in 6 hours, I can foil and cooler it. Can't wait - turkey, squash, and (of course) a couple fatties on the smoker! Gonna be a great day!

Wampus
11-20-2012, 09:05 AM
Hey Wampus

Are you still using a Turkey Cannon? I have one but I so seldom make turkeys (like once a year) and I can't remember how long it took using one. The website says only 7 minutes per pound but I don't remember it cooking that fast.

I use the cannon any time I can fit a turkey on it and still get it in the smoker.

Here's a couple of threads I put up when I used it at different temps:
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=120995 3.5 hour cook time at moderate temps
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=104719 2 hour cook time at higher temps


So you suggest charcoal on both sides of a drip pan, and not charcoal far on one side and the bird on the other? Does this whole setup work with dressing in the bird? I saw several references to stuffing with aromatics, but didn't catch any with dressing...

That's how I've done it. If you use bricks or something as a way to block the direct heat from scorching the thighs you won't have to worry about uneven cooking and having to turn the bird 1/2 way through. If you put coals RIGHT up against the drip pan, they can be kinda close. That's why I've put bricks by the drip pan, THEN coals outside the bricks to block the heat a bit.

I don't put dressing in the bird, but if you do, treat it like if it were in the oven....you'll have to let it cook longer. Make sure you check the temp of the stuffing inside.

I usually just stuff aromatics in the cavity (1 onion halved, 1 orange halved, 1 lemon halved) if I'm not using the cannon.


Thanks for the advice. I've had problems keeping the temps up on my wsm lately; I'm thinking it's a wind thing, and we're not supposed to have much in the way of wind on Thursday (~5 mph), so hopefully I'll be able to get the temps up closer to 325-350. I'll probably plan on an 8 hour cook; that way, if I can't maintain higher temps I should be OK, and if I do get the temps up and the thing is finished in 6 hours, I can foil and cooler it. Can't wait - turkey, squash, and (of course) a couple fatties on the smoker! Gonna be a great day!

You could wrap up the WSM in a blanket or canvas tarp (just make sure the leave space for the vents to breathe) to help block the wind too if you need to.

Rover24
11-20-2012, 02:18 PM
For all of you 22" WSM owners...will a spatchcocked 22 lb. bird fit?

My brother picked up the bird, and I'm worried about time. Not sure I'll have the time to do a 6 hour cook.

Gonna have the turkey on the bottom shelf and a ham on the top, and trying to keep the temp around 300 so I don't dry out the ham.

sdpike
11-20-2012, 03:15 PM
I'm trying to catch up on this thread and have found a lot of great info especially the cannon. I'm smoking a 21 pounder (fresh) and am going back and forth about brining or injecting. I've always brined and then roasted. But, this being the first smoked turkey I'm not sure. I appreciate any suggestion

Thanks, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Pron on Thursday

Unfathomable Bastid
11-20-2012, 03:44 PM
I never carve at the table. I break down the whole bird, dark meat goes onto one platter, white meat onto another platter and the Pope's nose into my belly.

+1 for Pope's Nose

sash501
11-20-2012, 07:54 PM
Do I truss the bird before I brine? Does it matter?

Rover24
11-20-2012, 07:57 PM
Do I truss the bird before I brine? Does it matter?

I've never trussed before brining...if you do, it'll make it harder for you to apply rub under the wings and between the legs/breast area. I always truss before smoking, mainly to have a better appearance when it comes off the smoker.

MS2SB
11-20-2012, 08:47 PM
+1 no need to truss before the brine.

Open the bag, pull the giblets out and then toss it in your bucket.

TravelingJ
11-20-2012, 11:22 PM
That's how I've done it. If you use bricks or something as a way to block the direct heat from scorching the thighs you won't have to worry about uneven cooking and having to turn the bird 1/2 way through. If you put coals RIGHT up against the drip pan, they can be kinda close. That's why I've put bricks by the drip pan, THEN coals outside the bricks to block the heat a bit.

I don't put dressing in the bird, but if you do, treat it like if it were in the oven....you'll have to let it cook longer. Make sure you check the temp of the stuffing inside.

I usually just stuff aromatics in the cavity (1 onion halved, 1 orange halved, 1 lemon halved) if I'm not using the cannon.


Got it. Thanks again!

We just watched the Alton Brown show on turkey that we DVR'ed earlier this week. I don't think I learned a single thing, that I hadn't already read on this thread! The show did convince the lil lady to stuff with aromatics, and not dressing. It was pretty awesome to say Altons facts and tid-bits right before he did-so thank you to everyone that has contributed to this thread.

Wampus
11-20-2012, 11:56 PM
I'm trying to catch up on this thread and have found a lot of great info especially the cannon. I'm smoking a 21 pounder (fresh) and am going back and forth about brining or injecting. I've always brined and then roasted. But, this being the first smoked turkey I'm not sure. I appreciate any suggestion

Thanks, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Pron on Thursday

If you have an oven roasting recipe that you like, just replace the oven with your smoker! Cook at same temps, same recipe, same brine, whatever, just smoke it instead of baking it. You only add another dimension to the flavor with the smoke.

Wampus
11-21-2012, 12:00 AM
For all of you 22" WSM owners...will a spatchcocked 22 lb. bird fit?

My brother picked up the bird, and I'm worried about time. Not sure I'll have the time to do a 6 hour cook.

Gonna have the turkey on the bottom shelf and a ham on the top, and trying to keep the temp around 300 so I don't dry out the ham.

I don't have a 22" WSM, but I've fit a spatchcocked turkey on my 22" UDS grate:

http://i840.photobucket.com/albums/zz327/wampusbbq/Turkey/Spatchcocked%20Turkey%2011-4-12/IMG_6201.jpg

AustinKnight
11-21-2012, 01:22 AM
I've got my bird brine n for Thursday used PatioDaddio'$ "The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Brine" (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=72774) it's a must try cause it will change your chity turkey into a really farkin good turkey, that's all. Using B&B oak lump with 1 split of pecan for fuel birds tend to take on smoke.

15# der
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-p9o_FdLFwac/UKw3i9u3eZI/AAAAAAAADJM/bPmiu7lwYlY/s512/20121120_200653.jpg

The rest
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-0yUsVV-EAuY/UKw86fxKc-I/AAAAAAAADKM/4Hz7sZZddoQ/s512/20121120_203020.jpg

thoraudio
11-21-2012, 08:42 AM
Cooked one Sunday in The Big Easy. You seriously can't get any easier. Pulled the fresh 14 lbs bird from the fridge. Opened the bag, pulled the neck and giblets, rinsed it, rubbed it, 2:45 later it was perfect.

Only problem was my rub. It was a 'chicken barbecue rub' my parents had given me. (I was out of Yardbird). It had a good aroma and flavor but it burned in the Big Easy. I even made sure it didn't have sugar, because TBE is a high heat cooker.

I'm gonna hit Bass Pro this afternoon to get some Yardbird, and tomorrows should be quick and easy.

Also, I always cut the bird for tenderness instead of appearance (remove the breast, then cut across the grain), and my wife always gives me grief about it.... oh well, she never complains about the taste, at least. :doh:

twinsfan
11-21-2012, 09:08 AM
Good luck everyone. We only have three for Thanksgiving unlike usual so we're going out to dinner tomorrow. Saturday I will smoke a 14 # and do a mini-Thanksgiving.


Going to try a crazy brine with peppercorns, ginger, and oranges and some wacky glaze/gravy. Figured that since we have formal Thanksgiving covered, I can mess around and try some new stuff.

Ekim Neems
11-21-2012, 10:16 AM
Has anyone ever wrapped their turkey in bacon? Last year I used a cheese cloth soaked in butter to drape over the turkey so the skin wouldn't get too dark, but I found the cheese cloth would start to actually burn up. Was thinking bacon would do the trick.

It's only a 14 lb bird, so my thought was either smoke the turkey at a low temp (250 or so) and leave the bacon weave on the whole time. OR, smoke with bacon on until the bacon gets crispy, and then remove and give the skin time to get more brown.

Any warnings/advice? Thanks

MS2SB
11-21-2012, 12:00 PM
Also, I always cut the bird for tenderness instead of appearance (remove the breast, then cut across the grain), and my wife always gives me grief about it.... oh well, she never complains about the taste, at least. :doh:

I'm with you on this one.

Baboontyme
11-21-2012, 12:17 PM
When do you rub the bird? If I am going to let it rest in the fridge overnight after taking it out of brine, should I apply the rub just before putting on the pit, or before going in the fridge tonight? I don't remember.

dadsr4
11-21-2012, 01:37 PM
Haven't seen it posted lately.

Scottie's Creole Butter
- can of beer
- lb. Butter
- 1 tsp. Bonesmokers Big Time BBQ Rub (any mild BBQ rub will do)
- 2 tsp. Paprika
- 1 tsp. White Pepper
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1 tsp. Coleman's Mustard
- 1 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
- tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- tsp. Tabasco
Warm mixture on stove until ingredients are fully dissolved. Let mixture cool a bit (but not too cold) and then inject. Or rub on or under the skin.

jbenien
11-21-2012, 02:16 PM
I will be doing my first turkey on my Green Mountain Grill. Smoking it on saturday and it weighs 18 lbs. Thinking a slow cook, any ideas or hints would be great

Blackened
11-21-2012, 02:20 PM
Has anyone ever wrapped their turkey in bacon? Last year I used a cheese cloth soaked in butter to drape over the turkey so the skin wouldn't get too dark, but I found the cheese cloth would start to actually burn up. Was thinking bacon would do the trick.

It's only a 14 lb bird, so my thought was either smoke the turkey at a low temp (250 or so) and leave the bacon weave on the whole time. OR, smoke with bacon on until the bacon gets crispy, and then remove and give the skin time to get more brown.

Any warnings/advice? Thanks

I would use foil.. the skin will never crisp up with the bacon and will be inedible, unless you like rubbery skin

Imperial_Jim
11-21-2012, 02:33 PM
Hi Everyone!

First post to the site!

I've been brining and than injecting mine for years with stellar results. I was at first worried about salt overload or flavor from injection not coming through but haven't ran into this. Have my bird brining right now and doing the cajun injector tonight after I get home from work.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Jim

carpboy
11-21-2012, 06:44 PM
Any poultry I do the skin sucks, just plain sucks. I've tried just about everything and get nothing but tough old rubbery skin. Any thoughts as to how I can break this trend? Unrelated - I always just smoke open on the grill, should I try bird in a pan, I see a lot of pics that way. Thanks!

Baboontyme
11-21-2012, 07:49 PM
Any poultry I do the skin sucks, just plain sucks. I've tried just about everything and get nothing but tough old rubbery skin. Any thoughts as to how I can break this trend? Unrelated - I always just smoke open on the grill, should I try bird in a pan, I see a lot of pics that way. Thanks!

Hot and fast is the key to non-rubbery skin. Also be careful when resting it after it is done before serving. Cover loosely with foil and I wouldn't let it sit longer than 20-30 minutes. If you really want to get crazy I suppose you could do a quick reverse sear of the bird when you get within a few degrees of your desired temps. You'd almost have to hold it in place on each side while over the coals I would think due to it's shape, unless you have it butterflied or spatchcocked. I don't think a pan is going to do much for crispy skin. Good luck.

Baboontyme
11-21-2012, 07:52 PM
I will be doing my first turkey on my Green Mountain Grill. Smoking it on saturday and it weighs 18 lbs. Thinking a slow cook, any ideas or hints would be great

I would follow the recipe and method in the first post in this thread. It's damn thorough and it will be hard to screw up your bird if you follow it closely.

carpboy
11-21-2012, 08:44 PM
Hot and fast is the key to non-rubbery skin. ....

Any thoughts to the opposite - that soft buttery chicken skin? I ran into a shack in S Georgia a couple years ago and spent an hour talking with the owner. He said his secret to the chicken skin was very low temp, all night long, something like 180. He would put the birds in the night before and when he came back in the next day they were perfect. I wonder if that would translate to a turkey?

juslearning
11-21-2012, 10:18 PM
Time restraints!!! Anyone ever use Tony Chachere's Creole butter marinade?

Or constraints? Whichever is the correct word to use.

TravelingJ
11-21-2012, 11:09 PM
When do you rub the bird? If I am going to let it rest in the fridge overnight after taking it out of brine, should I apply the rub just before putting on the pit, or before going in the fridge tonight? I don't remember.

buuuuuuuuuuump. Curious about the same thing.

Baboontyme
11-21-2012, 11:22 PM
buuuuuuuuuuump. Curious about the same thing.

TJ, I've done some more research. I knew that I knew this answer, I just have killed too many brain cells since I smoked my last bird. :doh:

Rub it when you pull it out of the fridge in the morning, about 30 min - 1 hr before you put it on the heat.

God speed my friend.

Baboontyme
11-21-2012, 11:24 PM
Any thoughts to the opposite - that soft buttery chicken skin? I ran into a shack in S Georgia a couple years ago and spent an hour talking with the owner. He said his secret to the chicken skin was very low temp, all night long, something like 180. He would put the birds in the night before and when he came back in the next day they were perfect. I wonder if that would translate to a turkey?

No clue from me, dude. Never tried that. Doesn't smoking chicken at 180 seem like it might be dangerous? Don't know. Give it a run. Just feed it to some friends you don't really like and see if they get sick before you try any.

LostSoul
11-22-2012, 02:00 PM
Brined my 13# Butterball in the Williams Sanoma brine for 24 hours, rinsed it off and it is now nestled in the fridge. I'm gonna stuff with apples, rosemary and thyme. I'm off to the Depot for some apple wood! Good thread folks!

seadad9903
11-22-2012, 02:56 PM
Here's my two birds. Dry brined, one with Trader Joe's 21 Spice Salute and salt, the other with Bragg's Organic Sprinkle and salt.

The one with Bragg's got cut into pieces for a braised turkey recipe, the other was left whole for smoking.

72745

Pulled them out of the bags after 30-ish hours, and into the fridge overnight to dry the skin.

72746

The whole bird 2 hours in, WSM purring along at 280-290. Burning briquettes with pecan chunks.

72747

No pics of the braised bird yet, just put it on the gasser for a 2 hour sauna.

TravelingJ
11-22-2012, 03:13 PM
I've had non-stop issues with the grill. The Jumbo Joe is entirely too small for a 10lb bird. So, I had to get out the sawzall and cut down the grate to lower it. Now I don't have much room to keep the charcoal on the sides. Temp has been a struggle the entire time.

Whatever it is that people use to make these like a WSM, I'm buyin that on Monday.

JonM106
11-22-2012, 10:00 PM
Love it. It's the color of a pretzel and it was juicy and tender and perfect.

HighLife
11-22-2012, 10:32 PM
Thanks to this thread, this is the result of my first try. It was great. Had problems keeping the WSM @ a steady 325*. Had to open the door a bit... Even with a pit controller. I think that the gallon of hot water in the bowl was holding the temps down.

72782


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

dadsr4
11-23-2012, 02:57 PM
Found this a day late. A step by step walk through cooking a turkey on a Weber kettle.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Weber-Kettle-BBQ-Turkey/?ALLSTEPS

Wampus
10-15-2013, 10:27 AM
BUMP for the upcoming holiday cooks!

daninnewjersey
10-15-2013, 10:37 AM
BUMP for the upcoming holiday cooks!

Greatest time of the year....

Wampus
10-15-2013, 11:05 AM
Oooooh....something that I have purchased since I put up this thread is The Briner!

AWESOME tool for brining. I've done as many as 5-6 whole chickens in this bad boy and a pretty big dang turkey too.


Check it out:

THE BRINER (http://www.thebriner.com/)

ATLSean
10-15-2013, 11:43 AM
Williams Sonoma has heavy duty brine bags (ziploc on roids). You get four bags (2 large, 2 small). They are great!

Thermal Mass
10-15-2013, 12:11 PM
Oooooh....something that I have purchased since I put up this thread is The Briner!

AWESOME tool for brining. I've done as many as 5-6 whole chickens in this bad boy and a pretty big dang turkey too.


Check it out:

THE BRINER (http://www.thebriner.com/)

^^^FARKING BRILLIANT!! ^^^


Thanks Wamp! Oh and thanks for the bump, some of us new farkers would have not found this map of genius! :clap:

jshull
10-20-2013, 09:40 AM
I'm pumped to cook my first turkey!

Wampus
10-21-2013, 11:54 AM
^^^^ YOU, sir, are gonna LOVE IT!



Pretty tough to beat a smoked turkey, IMO.


http://i840.photobucket.com/albums/zz327/wampusbbq/HOLIDAYS%2009/IMG_4644.jpg

Smokeat
10-25-2013, 08:28 PM
Smoked a 13 lb turk last year on the kettle. Taking temps with the thermapen in the thigh, like always, and I kept getting low temps. Took an hour and a half longer than it should have.

Bird was way overcooked, but the taste was awesome. Smoked turkey is the best.

Smoke Dawg
10-25-2013, 09:38 PM
Do we get a turkey TD for the month of November?

Crotonmark
11-03-2013, 01:39 PM
How do you setup the charcoal? Snake or indirect to the sides of the bird ? When do you need to reload the charcoal ?

Thanks
Mark

dadsr4
11-03-2013, 02:06 PM
How do you setup the charcoal? Snake or indirect to the sides of the bird ? When do you need to reload the charcoal ?

Thanks
Mark
Here are instructions for a kettle that are very basic.
Thanksgiving Dinner Part II:
How to grill a turkey

http://www.farmandfleet.com/uploads/project_library/133/project133.pdf

Crotonmark
11-03-2013, 02:21 PM
Here are instructions for a kettle that are very basic.
Thanksgiving Dinner Part II:
How to grill a turkey

http://www.farmandfleet.com/uploads/project_library/133/project133.pdf

Thanks. That's what I've done before.

dadsr4
11-03-2013, 02:34 PM
Thanks. That's what I've done before.
I cooked my first turkey on a kettle using a one page version of those instructions from Butterball. I still have a copy, it is dated 2002. For an enhanced turkey, I think just rubbing the outside with oil - I like to use sesame oil - and a simple rub is best.

Doublebeetx
11-03-2013, 09:08 PM
I am new to the site. Built a UDS a month or so ago. I have smoked some fatties, ribs and a pork butt so far. Still experimenting, but have really enjoyed the experience. My next project is to smoke a turkey for the holidays. I'm learning to debone a turkey this year also. I have picked up some great information reading through this thread. My question is deb owning it going to cause it to cook any differently ? Also, besides citrus and herbs in the cavity, has anyone ever put bacon in there to promote juiciness from the inside out, or is it necessary ? Any thoughts or ideas are appreciated.

noclss2000
11-04-2013, 11:08 AM
wonderful write-up sir.
I've been debating trying one this year. I do believe im going to do a trial run first so can get an idea if what to expect. Seems I always underestimate my cooking times.

silverfinger
11-04-2013, 12:40 PM
HA,
This thread is on its 3rd Thanksgiving! So glad to see its not lost. Looking foreword to cooking up some great stuff this Thanksgiving. Can't wait!

spinningwheel
11-04-2013, 01:27 PM
Wampus; thanks very much for starting and bumping this thread. We had discussed smoking our first turkey this year a couple days ago and low-and-behold there is all the info I could possibly use...:thumb:

Tom Sr
11-04-2013, 02:44 PM
Wampus: thank you I just ordered my turkey cannon. Got my BPS west coast offense last week so I'm all set. :thumb:

noclss2000
11-04-2013, 03:01 PM
Wampus; thanks very much for starting and bumping this thread. We had discussed smoking our first turkey this year a couple days ago and low-and-behold there is all the info I could possibly use...:thumb:
:lol: I know, right? The exact same thing happened in my house the other night. I started looking around and BAM!

Humble Soul
11-04-2013, 03:37 PM
I'll once again be in charge of the bird this year. The last couple of thanksgivings I did a savory brine which turned out well, but always cooked in the oven. This year I was thinking of trying it on the grill, but didn't know if it was possible as I've never done it before. All I have is an 18.5" weber kettle. Doable??

Wampus
11-04-2013, 09:15 PM
I am new to the site. Built a UDS a month or so ago. I have smoked some fatties, ribs and a pork butt so far. Still experimenting, but have really enjoyed the experience. My next project is to smoke a turkey for the holidays. I'm learning to debone a turkey this year also. I have picked up some great information reading through this thread. My question is deb owning it going to cause it to cook any differently ? Also, besides citrus and herbs in the cavity, has anyone ever put bacon in there to promote juiciness from the inside out, or is it necessary ? Any thoughts or ideas are appreciated.

I've never deboned a gobbler. Not sure how it would affect the cook really.
I've seen where people have deboned and then trussed up a turkey or chicken into a nice tight "roll" so it would cook evenly throughout. While that makes a lot of sense, I'm not sure how it would affect overall cook length.

The one cool thing about NOT deboning and just leaving it "au natural" is that you get more surface area that way which means more smoked skin! :thumb:

I've also never tried bacon at all on a turkey. Personally, I think if you brine a bird, you'll not have the "juiciness issue" that's usually a challenge for a lot of roasted or smoked turkeys. I'm a BIG proponent for brining in general, but especially for turkeys.

Wampus
11-04-2013, 09:18 PM
I'll once again be in charge of the bird this year. The last couple of thanksgivings I did a savory brine which turned out well, but always cooked in the oven. This year I was thinking of trying it on the grill, but didn't know if it was possible as I've never done it before. All I have is an 18.5" weber kettle. Doable??

I think so.

I've done turkeys on the kettle before and the challenge always seems to be to prevent the sides (legs and thighs) from getting scorched due to the more direct heat from the coals on the sides.

Obviously, it depends on the size of your turkey and how you set up the kettle with charcoal. Perhaps a nice diffuser with coals UNDERNEATH is a good plan of action? You'd have to either lift your diffuser up or hang it from the cooking grate to prevent the direct heat, but I think it may be worth the effort.

ANYTHING is possible. Just depends on the prep and amount of effort you're willing to put into it.

seadad9903
11-05-2013, 10:31 AM
I've never deboned a gobbler. Not sure how it would affect the cook really.
I've seen where people have deboned and then trussed up a turkey or chicken into a nice tight "roll" so it would cook evenly throughout. While that makes a lot of sense, I'm not sure how it would affect overall cook length.

The one cool thing about NOT deboning and just leaving it "au natural" is that you get more surface area that way which means more smoked skin! :thumb:

I've also never tried bacon at all on a turkey. Personally, I think if you brine a bird, you'll not have the "juiciness issue" that's usually a challenge for a lot of roasted or smoked turkeys. I'm a BIG proponent for brining in general, but especially for turkeys.

Deboning would shorten the cook time, even with the bird rolled and tied into a roast. The bones seem to soak up a lot of heat and slow down how fast the meat absorbs the heat. As an example, a couple of days ago I made a boneless pork loin roast that cooked in 1 1/2 hours. The recipe I used calls for a loin roast with the ribs still attached, and it takes 2 1/2 hours. Same temp, same oven, add bones = more time.

Having said all of that, use temp as your guide for done-ness and you'll be golden.

I wouldn't worry about the bacon for juiciness. It might add flavor, which is always good. Brining is the way to go, but I usually dry brine with salt and pepper instead of wet brining. In terms of flavor and juiciness between the two I don't see much difference, I dry bring because I don't have the room in my fridge for a turkey in a pot.

I think so.

I've done turkeys on the kettle before and the challenge always seems to be to prevent the sides (legs and thighs) from getting scorched due to the more direct heat from the coals on the sides.

Obviously, it depends on the size of your turkey and how you set up the kettle with charcoal. Perhaps a nice diffuser with coals UNDERNEATH is a good plan of action? You'd have to either lift your diffuser up or hang it from the cooking grate to prevent the direct heat, but I think it may be worth the effort.

ANYTHING is possible. Just depends on the prep and amount of effort you're willing to put into it.

Never done a turkey on a kettle, but have done an 8 lb chicken. I took an aluminum pan and cut and shaped it so the sides reached all the way up to the bottom of the cooking grate. When I started the charcoal I used the aluminum pieces to corral the coals on the sides and the height acted as shields to limit the amount of direct heat to the chicken. It should work the same for a turkey with some adjustments for the size difference.

dadsr4
11-05-2013, 11:35 AM
I'll once again be in charge of the bird this year. The last couple of thanksgivings I did a savory brine which turned out well, but always cooked in the oven. This year I was thinking of trying it on the grill, but didn't know if it was possible as I've never done it before. All I have is an 18.5" weber kettle. Doable??
I have done many on a 22.5 inch kettle. The trick is to get a bird that will fit between the coals. Trussing the bird can help. Perhaps you could practice with a large chicken to see is it will work.

Wampus
11-05-2013, 04:06 PM
I have done many on a 22.5 inch kettle. The trick is to get a bird that will fit between the coals. Trussing the bird can help. Perhaps you could practice with a large chicken to see is it will work.

You could also try and use a brick or couple of brick stacked on each other to act as heat deflectors. It's the space that I see as a challenge on the 18" kettle.

49erUDS72
11-07-2013, 12:16 PM
Im doing my first smoked turkey on the UDS this year, and wanted to know what temp everyone cooked their bird at. I have a brine, and truss down. From what I see everyone is cooking in the 325-400 range. Wouldnt a lower temp, and longer cook provide more smoke flavor? Thanks brothers for the info.

dadsr4
11-07-2013, 12:33 PM
Im doing my first smoked turkey on the UDS this year, and wanted to know what temp everyone cooked their bird at. I have a brine, and truss down. From what I see everyone is cooking in the 325-400 range. Wouldnt a lower temp, and longer cook provide more smoke flavor? Thanks brothers for the info.
In my experience, longer smoke time does not provide more smoke flavor. I is easy to over smoke poultry. Also, higher temperatures create crisper skin, if you like to eat the skin. An option would be to crank up the temperature at the end to crisp the skin. Also, how much work is it to run your cooker at a low temperature? For most people, higher temps are easier to maintain.

MS2SB
11-07-2013, 12:44 PM
I'm with dasr4 on this one. It doesn't take long or much wood to get a nice smoke flavor into poultry and it's pretty easy to oversmoke it and have it come out tasting like a tire fire. A hot cook keeps everything moist and skin crispy. When it comes to turkey, put the spurs to it and run WFO!

Crotonmark
11-07-2013, 12:48 PM
So I should run my weber charcoal at 300 or so?

MS2SB
11-07-2013, 01:31 PM
So I should run my weber charcoal at 300 or so?

Kettle? I run mine as hot as I can get it, I never take a grate temp because all I care about is hot. I would guess that it's in the 350-375 range, possibly as high as 400

dadsr4
11-08-2013, 08:50 AM
So I should run my weber charcoal at 300 or so?
I aim for at least 350 degrees, but I always start with all the vents open and about 25 lit coals per side.

Crotonmark
11-08-2013, 09:00 AM
Thanks

Smoked Nachos?
11-08-2013, 12:07 PM
I see in the post a few recommended woods for smoking turkey, but I wonder if you guys have an absolute favorite?

I've got access to some dry as a bone hickory that might not give off that much smoke, then some cherry. Haven't had luck finding any seasoned pecan or apple.

MS2SB
11-08-2013, 12:11 PM
Cherry goes great with turkey and also provides a really nice color to the bird.

dadsr4
11-08-2013, 04:06 PM
Butterballs instructions for cooking a turkey on a covered grill that I printed out in 2001.
This is how I cooked my first turkey and many more before I switched to the minion method. Otherwise, I still use this method for all but the fanciest occasions.
87243

Wampus
11-09-2013, 03:10 AM
In my experience, longer smoke time does not provide more smoke flavor. I is easy to over smoke poultry. Also, higher temperatures create crisper skin, if you like to eat the skin. An option would be to crank up the temperature at the end to crisp the skin. Also, how much work is it to run your cooker at a low temperature? For most people, higher temps are easier to maintain.

I'm with dasr4 on this one. It doesn't take long or much wood to get a nice smoke flavor into poultry and it's pretty easy to oversmoke it and have it come out tasting like a tire fire. A hot cook keeps everything moist and skin crispy. When it comes to turkey, put the spurs to it and run WFO!

+1!

:thumb:

aquacop
11-09-2013, 11:41 AM
Anyone have a good Turkey recipe for the Large Big Green Egg? It will be my first attempt and don't wanna screw it up! Cheers

dadsr4
11-09-2013, 01:22 PM
Anyone have a good Turkey recipe for the Large Big Green Egg? It will be my first attempt and don't wanna screw it up! Cheers
Try here.
The BIG GREEN EGG Recipe Book of The BGE onLine Forum
http://www.nakedwhiz.com/WiseOneRecipes.pdf

Humble Soul
11-10-2013, 03:27 PM
Got lucky and scored a 22.5" kettle on CL for $40, so I'll be doing the bird on that instead of bickering with the 18.5" :-D

dadsr4
11-10-2013, 03:43 PM
Anyone have a good Turkey recipe for the Large Big Green Egg? It will be my first attempt and don't wanna screw it up! Cheers
"how to cook a turkey on a Kamado Joe"
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=175018

Jonathanmmurray
11-10-2013, 06:00 PM
First timer here and a big THANKS to all of the contributors!

Quick question: has anyone ever done 2 turkeys on WSM 18.5? Think the temp would hold at >300?

Visioneer
11-11-2013, 02:05 PM
Cherry goes great with turkey and also provides a really nice color to the bird.

+1 on the cherry wood! That's all I use anymore. Awesome coloring and flavor. Used too much hickory one year and it tasted more like ham than turkey.
I did 10 eighteen pound birds last year on my Lang 84 for 12 hours @225/250 with nothing but cherry wood and they came out awesome. That was for a senior dinner the day after Thanksgiving. Gearing up to do it again this year.

Humble Soul
11-12-2013, 02:16 AM
Would using lump instead of charcoal on my kettle be a total headache? I have a bunch of royal oak laying around am wondering if that would work with the bird..

Crotonmark
11-12-2013, 05:47 AM
I have used it using the indirect heat method

bigjake690
11-12-2013, 12:03 PM
+1 on the cherry wood! That's all I use anymore. Awesome coloring and flavor. Used too much hickory one year and it tasted more like ham than turkey.
I did 10 eighteen pound birds last year on my Lang 84 for 12 hours @225/250 with nothing but cherry wood and they came out awesome. That was for a senior dinner the day after Thanksgiving. Gearing up to do it again this year.

I am part way through building my UDS, so I can use it for Turkey Day and it looks like I will be getting some cherry wood....thanks for the tip guys!

CErnst
11-12-2013, 12:16 PM
I have a cut up frozen turkey from after 2012 t-day sales. After reading this thread...I think I know what I'm doing this upcoming weekend.

dadsr4
11-12-2013, 03:33 PM
What is a "frozen turkey"?
I thought this was interesting. Its from http://bbq.about.com/od/turkey/a/aa110709a.htm

"Fresh vs Frozen: Thanks for heavy lobbying by the Tyson Corporation the definition of "fresh" when it applies to poultry means it has never been cooled to lower than 26 degree F. Now I promise you, if you pick up a turkey at 26 degrees F it is hard as a rock so the term "fresh" doesn't really mean anything when buying a turkey at your local store. It just means that it hasn't been hard frozen. Truth is, flash frozen turkeys (frozen fast to below 0 degrees F) can be fresher tasting that many "fresh" turkeys that have been sitting around for a few months.

To further complicate matters the USDA definition of frozen means that the turkey has been brought to a temperature no lower than 0 degrees F. Turkeys stored at a temperature of 5 degrees F can actually be labeled "not previously frozen", though they can not be labeled as fresh. These turkeys are considered "hard-chilled" or "deep-chilled". Personally I call temperatures between 0 and 26 degrees F something other than chilly."

"One quick note about hormones and antibiotics. The rule with poultry is that it can not be given hormones of any type. As for antibiotics, they can only be used for the health of the turkey if a withdrawal period is given to allow the antibiotics to leave the birds system. So if you find someone marketing hormone free turkeys point and laugh at them, then walk away."

MS2SB
11-12-2013, 07:12 PM
Would using lump instead of charcoal on my kettle be a total headache? I have a bunch of royal oak laying around am wondering if that would work with the bird..

Cook with what you got!

dadsr4
11-13-2013, 10:14 AM
My wife came home with a 20 lb turkey, for over a decade I've always bought 12 lb max for the grill. Anyone ever cook such a large turkey on a kettle?

Wampus
11-13-2013, 11:21 AM
I think I've done a couple of 16 lb'ers on the kettle, but not quite that big.
You just have to worry a little bit more about diffusing the direct heat from scorching the thighs and legs. If you don't already, use some bricks to hold the coals closer to the outside of the kettle The bricks will not only keep the coals from moving in on you, they'll shield that big turkey.

BecknCO
11-13-2013, 08:58 PM
I'm going with injecting versus brining as this will be my first smoked turkey. We only like a spicy flavor profile and I can't get the chica to like anything other than hickory for smoke wood. I think we're going to use her spicy rub that she always makes when she does it in the oven, and it's awesome.

The question is whether or not to inject using just butter (and maybe some other things you guys recommend), or try out the cajun butter that we find easily in the grocery stores - thoughts?

HankB
11-14-2013, 09:52 AM
My wife came home with a 20 lb turkey, for over a decade I've always bought 12 lb max for the grill. Anyone ever cook such a large turkey on a kettle?I did a 28 lb bird on my 18.5 WSM. I stood it on it's head and used butcher's twine to guy it in place. :laugh:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-nRVuTGiCiuY/UPA-7ar01HI/AAAAAAAAN1g/5-3uaMF4ys4/s800/P1010128-PP.JPG

I think your biggest concern is fitting it under the lid. I suggest putting the lid on and measuring to the grate from the lid vent and checking that against the size of the turkey. If it doesn't fit, you can always spatchcock the bird but then you may be constrained by grate space. If you have (or can borrow) a second kettle you should be good to go. This is also one of those places where the 26" Kettle really shines!

I plan to use my rotisserie this year. I did a trial run with a 12 pounder yesterday and it worked well.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-EZsch-hOi3Q/UoQFDNUP4kI/AAAAAAAAT3s/qiaP7RkuA7M/s800/DSC_8122-PP.JPG

Done in 2:10 at a lid temp of 300F! I used apple and cherry for smoke wood and that gave it the mahogany color without an oversmoked flavor.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-jbIwAOHux78/UoRLQgILQMI/AAAAAAAAT38/Jw28i2_0WuM/s800/DSC_8127-PP.JPG

Wampus
11-14-2013, 02:54 PM
I'm going with injecting versus brining as this will be my first smoked turkey. We only like a spicy flavor profile and I can't get the chica to like anything other than hickory for smoke wood. I think we're going to use her spicy rub that she always makes when she does it in the oven, and it's awesome.

The question is whether or not to inject using just butter (and maybe some other things you guys recommend), or try out the cajun butter that we find easily in the grocery stores - thoughts?

I've injected a doctor'd up butter and also with plain butter. Just depends on what you're going for really. I injected one year with an herb butter. Beware of glogged injectors!

I'd guess the other way to get the "spicy" is just in the rub used as it will cook into the skin as well.

Riz58
11-14-2013, 06:46 PM
I'm going with injecting versus brining as this will be my first smoked turkey. We only like a spicy flavor profile and I can't get the chica to like anything other than hickory for smoke wood. I think we're going to use her spicy rub that she always makes when she does it in the oven, and it's awesome.

The question is whether or not to inject using just butter (and maybe some other things you guys recommend), or try out the cajun butter that we find easily in the grocery stores - thoughts?

I use a Creole Butter injection, and put Tony's Creole seasoning on the outside. Man, I love that flavoring along with the smoke.

1MoreFord
11-14-2013, 08:47 PM
I read thru most of this a few days ago and sorta caught up the last few days tonight. If I missed anyone posting about how to carve the bird I apologize. Here's one of the best tutorials I've seen about carving.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDaPbpokDHk

k9paws
11-15-2013, 07:57 PM
Wampus, what is the largest turkey you have smoked on the Turkey Cannon?

Thanks
Gary

dadsr4
11-16-2013, 10:14 AM
Butterballs instructions for cooking a turkey on a covered grill that I printed out in 2001.
This is how I cooked my first turkey and many more before I switched to the minion method. Otherwise, I still use this method for all but the fanciest occasions.
87243
I ran across a video of someone using this technique.

Bill grills 20+ pound turkey on a Weber grill
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mR7vG7Ij4_I

BigWoodGuy
11-16-2013, 11:45 AM
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/C:\Users\David\Pictures\Smoked Turkey.jpgI usually fry, but I've been smoking so much meat lately and haven't smoked a turkey in years, I decided it was time. I didn't brine because the package said "flavor added", so I figured someone had already, but I did inject Tony Chachere's buttery stuff (the same I used when I fry). I also made sure to squirt some between the skin and meat, and rubbed it all over the outside of the bird too. Then I sprinkled generously with herbs de provence. Smoked over apple wood on my kamado joe at 325-350 until the breast was 165. Rested it as long as I could stand it. Wow. It was just as juicy as any fried bird I had ever done, but had that touch of smokeyness we all love. It was awesome. I will do this a lot more often. Best of all, I didn't have to deal with 3 1/2 gallons of peanut oil. I hope the picture comes through. Not sure I've figured out how to add them yet.

Heffneil
11-17-2013, 08:04 AM
For turkey day I was considering smoking on turkey and a bunch of breasts. I figure the breasts will be easier to slice and not make a terrible mess when having to dissect the turkey. Anyone else take this approach?

daninnewjersey
11-17-2013, 08:53 AM
For turkey day I was considering smoking on turkey and a bunch of breasts. I figure the breasts will be easier to slice and not make a terrible mess when having to dissect the turkey. Anyone else take this approach?

I've done a few whole turkeys and they came out great. As of an hour ago, I have a breast (with wings) in my UDS...along with a 9 pound butt. I'm very interested to see how the breast comes out since just about everyone in my family likes that part the best. Did not brine since it was an "enhanced" breast...

UF_Aero
11-17-2013, 10:34 PM
This year I figured on passing on the brine and just doing an injection (Butterball butter creole injection marinade). Since in the past I've always purchased "unenhanced" birds and brined them myself, any thoughts on enhanced vs. unenhanced if I plan skip brining and just inject? Going to smoke about a 16lb bird on a 22.5 Weber kettle @ around 350.

Wampus
11-18-2013, 10:06 AM
This year I figured on passing on the brine and just doing an injection (Butterball butter creole injection marinade). Since in the past I've always purchased "unenhanced" birds and brined them myself, any thoughts on enhanced vs. unenhanced if I plan skip brining and just inject? Going to smoke about a 16lb bird on a 22.5 Weber kettle @ around 350.

I've brined enhanced birds before. I don't think you get as big a change with brining enhanced birds, but I also think that it does help some.

I've even brined AND injected!


I usually just inject with butter. Sometimes the butter is seasoned, sometimes not. I wouldn't inject with a lot of flavor AND brine though. Do one or the other unless your injection is pretty simple.




Here's my opinion on enhanced turkeys:
The "enhancement" is usually a salty brine solution that's added. The packaging may say "up to 8%" or "up to3.5%". So, there's a big variable as to how much they injected and of what.
Let's say that brining adds a total of 10% "enhancement". (I really have no idea how much brining adds, but let's say 10%). Brining works by equilibrium and osmosis. So if you start with a raw, fresh turkey with 0% enhancement and you brine you end up with 10% enhancement due to the brine.

IF, on the other hand, you start with a turkey that has been "enhanced with up to 5% salt solution" and you brine it for 18-24 hours, you'll end up with what? Yep....a 10% enhanced bird. Because the whole process of brining first extracts any salt in the meat (whether natural or previously enhanced) and THEN through equilibrium, the salt level equalizes between the brine and the meat, yielding flavorful turkey meat. I don't think that brining an enhanced bird makes the turkey way more overly salty. I think you don't get AS MUCH improvement by brining an enhanced bird, but you still get benefit. They say "up to 3%", so what actual percentage of the bird got "enhanced" Who knows?





Now.....these are just my thoughts on this. I really have no concrete evidence to defend this right now, other than what I've read and learned along the way. Someone could pop in here and tell me I'm off my rocker.

All I know is that I've brined enhanced and non-enhanced birds and they both turn about the same: AWESOME.

UF_Aero
11-18-2013, 12:05 PM
Great thoughts, Wampus. Thanks. I was trying to avoid brining at all though to avoid the space in the cooler and/or refrigerator. Sounds like an enhanced turkey + injection is better than unenhanced + injection, both of which are of course inferior to a brine + injection.

Wampus
11-18-2013, 01:04 PM
Great thoughts, Wampus. Thanks. I was trying to avoid brining at all though to avoid the space in the cooler and/or refrigerator. Sounds like an enhanced turkey + injection is better than unenhanced + injection, both of which are of course inferior to a brine + injection.

Oh there's different schools of thought on that. Some suggest that injecting INSTEAD of brining is the way to go. A lot of flavor can be added with an injection for sure. Personally, I think that since brining acts on a cellular level, you can get a more complete, evenly distributed flavor with a brine vs injection where you have different "pockets" of injection in and among the meat fibers. I think that once both are cooked, one would be hard pressed to really tell a difference though.

Smoked Nachos?
11-18-2013, 01:52 PM
Here's my opinion on enhanced turkeys:
The "enhancement" is usually a salty brine solution that's added. The packaging may say "up to 8%" or "up to3.5%". So, there's a big variable as to how much they injected and of what.
Let's say that brining adds a total of 10% "enhancement". (I really have no idea how much brining adds, but let's say 10%). Brining works by equilibrium and osmosis. So if you start with a raw, fresh turkey with 0% enhancement and you brine you end up with 10% enhancement due to the brine.

IF, on the other hand, you start with a turkey that has been "enhanced with up to 5% salt solution" and you brine it for 18-24 hours, you'll end up with what? Yep....a 10% enhanced bird. Because the whole process of brining first extracts any salt in the meat (whether natural or previously enhanced) and THEN through equilibrium, the salt level equalizes between the brine and the meat, yielding flavorful turkey meat. I don't think that brining an enhanced bird makes the turkey way more overly salty. I think you don't get AS MUCH improvement by brining an enhanced bird, but you still get benefit. They say "up to 3%", so what actual percentage of the bird got "enhanced" Who knows?





Now.....these are just my thoughts on this. I really have no concrete evidence to defend this right now, other than what I've read and learned along the way. Someone could pop in here and tell me I'm off my rocker.

All I know is that I've brined enhanced and non-enhanced birds and they both turn about the same: AWESOME.

I'd love to hear some more opinions on this. I have an 8% enhanced turkey I plan to cook next week. I won't be injecting, but I'm hesitant to brine as I thought the 8% + brine + some salt in my rub would make for way too much sodium.

moe1967
11-18-2013, 05:48 PM
Wampus,

Would you inject an "enhanced" turkey with store bought creole butter? Reason I ask is because we don't use hardly any salt on my food and I'm concerned that the store bought creole butter, which almost certainly is loaded with sodium, plus the enhance bird would end up with an overly salty meal.

Or, would you make you own butter injection, minus the salt?

Thanks in advance