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BecknCO
11-17-2013, 10:57 PM
Hey guys and gals,

I'm pretty new to smoking, and sometimes my spatched chickens turn out tasting a little hammy with just rub and oversmoking them (usually hickory and sometimes a mix of hickory and applewood). Definitely my fault, as I'm still learning. I'm planning on doing the turkey on the OTS this year, and I just want to be 100% sure I am not going to screw this up and have it taste like ham.

My chica does not like the smoke profile of anything but hickory on poultry, and I think this in particular is what is making the birds a little hammy tasting ( I would prefer to just use applewood, but she thinks THAT is what makes it taste like him). Good grief :drama:

I'm scared of trying brining thinking that will exacerbate the problem with the salt/curing effect of the brine, so I just want to inject and use some kind of spicy rub/injection combo.

What can you masters of the thin blue suggest? :becky:

J'ville Grill
11-17-2013, 11:16 PM
Well I wouldn't use hickory but it's sounds like your between a rock and a hard place.

Fwismoker
11-17-2013, 11:18 PM
Ben sometimes less is more...in this case meaning less smoke and less time in the smoke.

Try i simple rub, smoke at 325-350 as poultry doesn't need much time in smoke. Try dropping the hickory and just use a little apple... it's a mild smoke.

If it's enhanced just try smoking it and if it isn't then go ahead and brine. Hopefully the less is more approach will give you better results. :becky:

landarc
11-17-2013, 11:28 PM
First off, start of with something other than a leg of pork... :-P

Seriously, Cut way back on the wood, poultry requires very little smoke, it takes it in just fine. Brineing is fine, use a proven brine recipe and go with that. Now, that being said, if the turkey has been enhanced, or injected, then you don't have to brine, it won't hurt it, but, it is a waste.

I also suggest a simple seasoning program. It is most likely the fact that you are going to heavy on the smoke. Also, I like to cook all poultry at or above 300F, 350°F is a good place to be.

BecknCO
11-17-2013, 11:29 PM
Thanks guys - I think I'm just going to use a SINGLE fist size chunk of hickory and bury it in the coals. I'll definitely get an unenhanced bird, and want to inject. I'm also definitely plannng on the 325-350 range .

I was thinking of just melted butter with a little cayenne and old bay for the injection. What do you think about that, or will the salt from the old bay make it hammy?

landarc
11-17-2013, 11:34 PM
I wouldn't worry about it

Okie Sawbones
11-17-2013, 11:39 PM
Yes honey, I used hickory... (as I hide the apple wood chunks) :twisted:

Fwismoker
11-17-2013, 11:39 PM
Ben it was probably the smoke and amount of time in the smoke that gave you that taste...no problems with the old bay imo....The butter sounds real good ))

What temps were you cooking at?

BecknCO
11-17-2013, 11:54 PM
Yes honey, I used hickory... (as I hide the apple wood chunks) :twisted:

:pound:

she would seriously beat my azz lol.

I think I'll shoot for 350 temp in the OTS, and if the skin somehow comes up rubbery due to my idiocy, I'll try and make some cracklins a la meathead :clap2::clap2:

grantw
11-18-2013, 12:27 AM
Back way out on th wood, try using only lump charcoal on your next cook, then add very small amounts after you see what that tastes like.

BecknCO
11-18-2013, 12:37 AM
That's a good call with just some good lump - plenty of smoke from that as is. I usually use RO lump for grilling and I think I might have enough. I was planning on doing a mix of that and stubbs briqs but maybe I will just do lump and see what happens.

It seems the general consensus is that it's the damn oversmoking that's causing the ham taste and not the spices in the rub or injection - do I have that right?

Bludawg
11-18-2013, 12:44 AM
Start out low like 180 for two hrs with 1 chunk of hickory then dump a 1/2 chimney of lump and a 1/2 chimney of lit lump open the intake and let it finish.

bbqgeekess
11-18-2013, 02:37 AM
Well I wouldn't use hickory but it's sounds like your between a rock and a hard place.

I just use apple wood for everything--it all tastes good no matter I cook with it and it keeps things simple. Got two 10lb bags of apple wood for $7.99 a bag at Ace Hardware today :) Sale is going on to late December I believe.

chambersuac
11-18-2013, 03:28 AM
While I would use Apple or Cherry wood, I think you should use hickory, but only a title. If your lady likes it, you wanna please her, huh? The above advice to cook hot and fast with little smoke is your best bet. If you brine, DON't OVER-BRINE. Relax and enjoy your Q. Post pics if you can.

sliding_billy
11-18-2013, 03:28 AM
No brining (if already enhanced) or injecting. Cook hot and fast so that it takes on as little smoke as possible. White oak for the wood. Try to find a charcoal that does not overpower the meat. No ham profile when cooking with just splits IMO, but that is not an option.

HankB
11-18-2013, 10:09 AM
It seems the general consensus is that it's the damn oversmoking that's causing the ham taste and not the spices in the rub or injection - do I have that right?
That seems to be the consensus. Faced with this issue I would start with a blank slate and add parts to see what you like or don't like. IOW start with an unseasoned bird (simple brine should be OK) or seasoned lightly with S&P. Smoke with no extra wood and see what you get. I think you will be surprised by how good it tastes. Then run additional trials adding (one at a time) smoke wood, rubs, aromatics in the cavity, injection and such. Then you can decide which you and SWMBO prefer and go with that.

I'm sure it will be a fun learning experience.

Grimm5577
11-18-2013, 10:45 AM
Start out low like 180 for two hrs with 1 chunk of hickory then dump a 1/2 chimney of lump and a 1/2 chimney of lit lump open the intake and let it finish.
I did a similar thing this weekend, started at 200* for 2 hours then bumped it up to 300-350. I like pecan on my birds though.

MeatCandy
11-18-2013, 11:30 AM
No extra wood...You'll get plenty of flavor from the lump...My .02

bbqgeekess
11-18-2013, 12:16 PM
I just bbq'd a turkey the other day in my kettle. I used a handful of wood pellets at the start and another handful after a bit. It was nice and smoky but definitely not overdone.

El Ropo
11-18-2013, 12:26 PM
1 part hickory to 3 parts apple (or 1 pt hickory, 1 pt apple, 1 pt pecan). You can still say you used hickory and won't be dishonest. Some of the best q I've ever made was done by mixing woods. And I agree on keeping the smoke wood to a minimum. 3 small chunks that equal a single large man's fist should be plenty for poultry.

SmittyJonz
11-18-2013, 12:42 PM
Just grill some Burgers if you think Bird tastes like Pig :roll:

Mark
11-18-2013, 03:18 PM
Just boil it and then hit it with a weed burner to crisp up the skin.

16Adams
11-18-2013, 03:33 PM
Your answers are here. Several great ones. I had the same dilemma one year. I cooked the nasty bird half on the smoker half in the oven. Made them happy. Cheating you say??? Not by a long shot. I don't eat turkey. Not when I have a 12 oz 2" filet that I cook for myself every year. And by the way. Guests get Lord Calvert and Smirnoff. I get Makers, Balvenie and Stoli.

The day comes once a year. Bust your hump to make "them" happy. But take care of yourself as well.

BecknCO
11-18-2013, 03:34 PM
Just boil it and then hit it with a weed burner to crisp up the skin.


I'll give it a shot! :laugh:

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
11-18-2013, 05:11 PM
Not for this time, but try using dried corn cops in the lump next time. Cob-smoked turkey is very traditional here in Vermont. It gives a very mild smoke flavor and is pretty much all I use now for smoked poultry.

dport7
11-18-2013, 06:16 PM
I have to agree with everyone on "cut back the smoke" hickory is a powerful one anyway.

fabmaster911
11-18-2013, 08:31 PM
Yes honey, I used hickory... (as I hide the apple wood chunks) :twisted:

+1 on that:clap2:

JS-TX
11-18-2013, 09:19 PM
Sounds like your girl is a fan of oversmoked Q. It will take a while to cure that. Cut back on the hickory and try some pecan. Good luck!

mbshop
11-18-2013, 09:26 PM
most turkeys have salt injected already. don't brine ! if you have to then leave the salt out. I use pecan for smoke and it tastes great.

IamMadMan
11-18-2013, 09:59 PM
The other said it best, sometimes less smoke is better.

Yes honey, I used hickory... (as I hide the apple wood chunks) :twisted:

:pound:

she would seriously beat my azz lol. :clap2::clap2:

Save your empty bag of hickory chunks and fill it with apple chunks.. (LOL) It says hickory on the label...

BecknCO
11-19-2013, 01:32 AM
The other said it best, sometimes less smoke is better.





Save your empty bag of hickory chunks and fill it with apple chunks.. (LOL) It says hickory on the label...


She says she'd know if I used something like apple and would beat me senseless with a turkey leg :roll:

I agree with her oversmoked tastes. We smoke cigarettes and that certainly doesn't help anything - I have cherry, pecan, applewood and others and all she cares for is hickory on poultry and mesquite on fish and seafood
(which is all she eats) :sad:

It's not worth the fight, and I'm only cooking for the two of us this year. One tiny chunk of hickory with some lump should be good. Thanks for the advice - I would have never thought to use corn cobs either - maybe I'll give it a shot sometime soon!

dadsr4
11-20-2013, 12:43 PM
This might be a factor. A sugar brine is what is used by many companies to create their hams.Too much sugar to a brine you'll get a hammy taste.

BecknCO
11-20-2013, 02:10 PM
That's interesting about the sugar - I always thought it was salt, or rather being too long in the salt from an injection or brine that made it hammy (too much hickory as well).

I'm going to try to keep it as simple as possible this year and just inject, since I've had good results doing that with pork butt. I'll probably just inject with butter, do a light spicy rub, and hope for the best. Thanks for all the insight!

Bludawg
11-20-2013, 02:19 PM
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/images/buttons/firstnew.gif (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=175494) How can I be 100% sure my smoked turkey won't taste like ham?

Don't use tender quick or sugar cure in your recipes.:razz:

BecknCO
11-20-2013, 02:37 PM
thanks, dawg - I won't! I'm definitely going to take your advice about the mayo and rub on the skin. As it turns out, my chica does the same thing when she cooks it in the oven. When she caught wind of this idea last night, she threw out the full fat mayo, and is insisting that I only use the low fat. I hope it works just as well.

Bludawg
11-20-2013, 02:52 PM
The words> lite, low fat, sugar free, no fat, skim do not exist in my vocabulary. Buy a small jar of good old Helmans with olive oil full of good omega 3 heart health fat and play it safe.