PDA

View Full Version : Turkey disaster


Amateur BBQist
11-24-2013, 10:59 AM
Lets start by saying my wife bought a butterball turkey for me to smoke so I didn't get to brine it.

I put the turkey in my WSM when the temp was between 325 and 350. But it was extremely windy and the temp dropped to 200. I tried to set up wind blocks, but wind still got in. Finally I moved the smoker to my front porch where there was much less wind. The temp got up to 275 then to 300. I used my new thermapen to check the temp in the smoker. I found out that the thermometer in the WSM is 30-40 degrees off reading cooler.

I checked the breast temp, it was 160, the thigh was about 170-175. Then I checked the leg and it was upper 130's??? With advice from my father in law, I took it out. My mother in law had another bird in the oven, and it wasn't going to be done for another hour. (We had thanksgiving early by the way) so I let the smoked turkey sit for an hour before slicing so it didn't get cold. I tried to pull the off and it was bloody. So in the oven it went. I guess due to the inconsistent temps, it did not cook evenly. Hours later when everyone was leaving, the smoked turkey was finally ready. I was nervous about the turkey being between 40-140 degrees for too long, so I didn't give it to anyone to take home. It was a disaster. I want to buy an ATC for it but I'm not sure if it can perform in the wind also?

Fwismoker
11-24-2013, 11:12 AM
22 inch just get a welding blanket from Harbor Freight. If you got a 18" pick up a 55 gallon plastic drum and cut out the top and bottom. It'll make a dandy wind block and the dead air space will be a great insulator.

Bbq Bubba
11-24-2013, 11:16 AM
Is it possible your bird still had some "freeze" in it?

Bludawg
11-24-2013, 11:23 AM
You nave two different meats that need to be cooked to different temps. My advice remove the Whole breast plate in once piece along with the wing tips (Save the tips) Now you will have a complete breast with wings and a Spine with two legs hooked to it. Cut through the spine just above the thighs( put the Spine with the wing tips) What you have is a pile of white meat and a pile of dark meat Pull the white at 165 and the dark at 175. Put the wing tips and spine in a pot with some carrot shallots and celery and pepper corn and a little sage make bone stock for gravy.

Grillman
11-24-2013, 12:12 PM
Lets start by saying my wife bought a butterball turkey for me to smoke so I didn't get to brine it.

I put the turkey in my WSM when the temp was between 325 and 350. But it was extremely windy and the temp dropped to 200. I tried to set up wind blocks, but wind still got in. Finally I moved the smoker to my front porch where there was much less wind. The temp got up to 275 then to 300. I used my new thermapen to check the temp in the smoker. I found out that the thermometer in the WSM is 30-40 degrees off reading cooler.

I checked the breast temp, it was 160, the thigh was about 170-175. Then I checked the leg and it was upper 130's??? With advice from my father in law, I took it out. My mother in law had another bird in the oven, and it wasn't going to be done for another hour. (We had thanksgiving early by the way) so I let the smoked turkey sit for an hour before slicing so it didn't get cold. I tried to pull the off and it was bloody. So in the oven it went. I guess due to the inconsistent temps, it did not cook evenly. Hours later when everyone was leaving, the smoked turkey was finally ready. I was nervous about the turkey being between 40-140 degrees for too long, so I didn't give it to anyone to take home. It was a disaster. I want to buy an ATC for it but I'm not sure if it can perform in the wind also?

The 130 leg temp may have been a false reading. There shouldn't be
any blood as the turkey would have been bled when it was slaughtered.
If the temperature reads 165 in the dark or white meat, it is done and
safe to eat. Some people like to cook the dark meat to a higher
temperature for personal preference, but it is done at 165.

If you saw any pink or red colored meat at the bone, or anywhere else,
it was just myoglobin, and is safe to eat as long as the temp was 165.

It is also possible that the turkey was not fully thawed out, and the center
of it did not get cooked properly as a result.

SmittyJonz
11-24-2013, 12:52 PM
For wind block I've seen Fellars use T posts and Cheap Metal Roofing Panels and build a semi circular or semi octangular(?) or even sqaure walls around WSM and UDS ..... Kinda of like the walls around trash dumpsters.

57borntorun
11-24-2013, 12:53 PM
The 130 leg temp may have been a false reading. There shouldn't be
any blood as the turkey would have been bled when it was slaughtered.
If the temperature reads 165 in the dark or white meat, it is done and
safe to eat. Some people like to cook the dark meat to a higher
temperature for personal preference, but it is done at 165.

If you saw any pink or red colored meat at the bone, or anywhere else,
it was just myoglobin, and is safe to eat as long as the temp was 165.

It is also possible that the turkey was not fully thawed out, and the center
of it did not get cooked properly as a result.

I love when people talk science.People confuse blood with fluids.

tpope
11-24-2013, 01:01 PM
Sounds like myoglobin causing the offending color to me.

Wind break can be 4 t posts with plastic sheeting (vis Queen) wrapped around the smoker on 3 sides. Or 5 posts and leave enough room to get in.

Amateur BBQist
11-27-2013, 12:00 AM
Thanks for your posts. I will make a wind block of some sort. As for the temp in the leg. I tried to pull the leg off. When it wouldn't pull off, I knew it wasn't done along with the initial temp. The color of the juices as I poked the thermometer in came out pinkish. All signs led to uncooked meat. I guess it is possible it was still frozen. I had it in the fridge for 4 days and the day before, I took it out for about 6hrs. I also had it out for an hour before cooking. I will try this again soon!

RichardF
11-27-2013, 12:10 AM
tried to pull the leg off. When it wouldn't pull off, I knew it wasn't done along with the initial temp.

the leg failing the wiggle test is a pretty good indication it's not done.

Grillman
11-27-2013, 03:08 AM
Thanks for your posts. I will make a wind block of some sort. As for the temp in the leg. I tried to pull the leg off. When it wouldn't pull off, I knew it wasn't done along with the initial temp. The color of the juices as I poked the thermometer in came out pinkish. All signs led to uncooked meat. I guess it is possible it was still frozen. I had it in the fridge for 4 days and the day before, I took it out for about 6hrs. I also had it out for an hour before cooking. I will try this again soon!


Pulling the leg off isn't the best indicator of it being done. I can't recall any
turkey leg coming off easily in the past 30 years, I always have to cut them
off the bird.

The color of the juice is NOT a good indicator of the turkey or chicken
being done. This is an old method that is not reliable anymore...if it
ever was. Turkeys are raised and fed, to reach the desired size in about
16-19 weeks. As a result their bones are not always fully developed, and
can often have myoglobin around the bones, and even when a
turkey (or chicken) is properly cooked, the juices can still be a pinkish
color.

The very best way to determine if a turkey (or chicken) is properly cooked,
is with an accurate thermometer. I always put the temperature probe in
the center of the breast, as the leg and thigh have lots of tendons and
thin bones that can give you a false reading.

The USDA says to cook turkeys to an internal temperature of 165 F.
Many professional cooks, like Alton Brown, say to cook to 160 F, and the
carry-over cooking will bring the temp up to 165 F. Which I can say
is true as I have cooked many turkeys to 160 F and the temp would
rise to 165 F.

.

Amateur BBQist
11-27-2013, 05:06 PM
I used my thermapen for the first time on this turkey.

muidaq
11-27-2013, 05:28 PM
I used my thermapen for the first time on this turkey.

And that's the important part...you got to play with your new toys. :)

Sorry the turkey didn't work out.

landarc
11-27-2013, 10:13 PM
My initial thought is that you need more time with your cooker. And less advice from well meaning relatives. I think you were on your way. Of course, you did the right thing in not feeding it to folks, but, i think you were still rolling. Get more practice with that WSM, and probably monitor is a little more in the wind.