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gracklemann
12-11-2017, 07:17 PM
I smoked a Turkey for T-day on a UDS.

Basics of the smoke:
- fresh, whole bird - 12 lbs
- Brined 24 hrs in apple juice brine
- sat uncovered in fridge overnight to dry skin
- rubbed with EVOO and a basic rub
- Fired up UDS to 325 with 3 fist-ish sized chunks cherry wood mixed with the charcoal.
- Bird was up to temp in just under 3 hours.
- rested an hour tented in foil pan

Results:
Turkey was super moist, good flavor overall. Skin was great. However, it basically tasted like a normal oven-roasted bird with a more flavorful, smokey skin. The smoke did not penetrate much into the meat.

I've purchased whole smoked birds before where the meat was really smokey all the way through.

How do I get deeper smoke flavor penetration?

My first thought is to cook it a bit slower. Maybe lower the temp for the first 2-3? hours, then crank it up toward the end to finish it and crisp up the skin. My other thought is to spathcock it to expose more of the meat to the smoke. The other option is to use more wood or a stronger flavored wood.

Any thoughts? pro-tips?

Thanks!

Joshw
12-11-2017, 07:23 PM
To get more smoke, you need to increase cooking time, and time exposed to smoke. I would suggest 225 to 250 for the first couple of hours, before jumping temp to 300. Add chunks to keep the smoke going for the whole cook. Spatchcocking will give you more surface area, but it will also speed up cooking time. Cherry also adds a fairly mild smoke, you might consider, doing a 50/50 with cherry and hickory. That would add a more pronounced smoke flavor.

16Adams
12-11-2017, 08:36 PM
I Blend hickory-mesquite-oak or pecan. Not “more” wood I just blend the same amount of these.

Others think mesquite and poultry are a sin. I pray for those that hold that belief.

Happy Hapgood
12-11-2017, 08:38 PM
Yep, Mesquite and Pecan will do it for sure. In a bird, I would go with Pecan only.

Rockinar
12-12-2017, 03:23 AM
Im a big fan of mesquite, but no way Id put that on a turkey. Birds I would go with a fruit wood or oak.

16Adams
12-12-2017, 03:37 AM
I’ve always found it interesting mesquite. And when you blend with Hickory and Oak or Hickory and pecan ( The Big 4 imho). But alas, I only cook for 2 and often MSU as I go.
I don’t brine or inject either. Maybe that’s where I missed the Uber. Honestly, to me cherry smells like soap.


OP- Google “mesquite smoked turkey” Boars Head, ButterBall, Oscar Meyer, tons of popular Q Joints- blend it in.

****not “more” wood just different species****

IamMadMan
12-12-2017, 05:45 AM
I smoked a Turkey for T-day on a UDS.


- Fired up UDS to 325 with 3 fist-ish sized chunks cherry wood mixed with the charcoal.
- Bird was up to temp in just under 3 hours.

Results:
Turkey was super moist, good flavor overall. Skin was great. However, it basically tasted like a normal oven-roasted bird with a more flavorful, smokey skin. The smoke did not penetrate much into the meat.

I've purchased whole smoked birds before where the meat was really smokey all the way through.

How do I get deeper smoke flavor penetration?

My first thought is to cook it a bit slower. Maybe lower the temp for the first 2-3? hours, then crank it up toward the end to finish it and crisp up the skin. My other thought is to spathcock it to expose more of the meat to the smoke. The other option is to use more wood or a stronger flavored wood.

Any thoughts? pro-tips?

Thanks!

I think spatchcocking would give you smoke on both sides, and it also makes carving the bird much easier.

My questions:
Keep in mind that your actions around the smoker has flooded your sensory perception of smell with overwhelming stimuli from the smoke. It will numb your sense of smell and will dull your sense of taste to smoke. So was it just you that thought the smoke was mild, or everyone else as well?

Was the turkey a dark mahogany color from the cherry wood?

If not try adding another chunk or two. I cook turkey at a higher temperature and I get a deep beautiful mahogany brown color when I use an apple/cherry mix. It gives a nice complementary smoke flavor without masking the natural flavors of the poultry.

You could also try a different wood as suggested above.

Pecan, oak, maple, and fruit woods are good, but as far as mesquite; yes mesquite will produce a stronger smoke flavor, but you also don't want to over-power and mask the delicate flavor of the turkey. But if all you want is a strong smoke flavor, mesquite will do the trick for you.

The other option is; if it's cold enough outside, you can cold smoke the turkey for a couple hours before you coat it with your EVO and rub. The A-Maze-N pellet smoker works as a cols smoke generator in every smoker I have seen without any problem. Some like the tube, I prefer the maze, because I can get a 10 hour cold smoke time out of the maze.

Remember, taste is a balance of all things without one flavor factor overpowering the other, every flavor component (smoke, rub, brine) should compliment each other without masking natural flavors of the meat. It's all trial and error to get the personal results you prefer.

tenpenny_05
12-12-2017, 08:18 AM
I did a turkey breast on Sunday and accidentally stumbled upon your answer. I put the turkey on my Kamado prematurely, the smoke was going but the temp was only 225.
I let the grill come up to about 350/375 at the dome and pulled the breast at 165.
The skin came out super crispy and had a nice pink smoke ring about a half inch into the breast meat. Perfect.

brdbbq
12-12-2017, 08:50 AM
Gave mine a boob job

gracklemann
12-12-2017, 09:25 AM
Thanks all for the replies.

@IamMadMan - the bird was a deep mahogany color, but I can't tell how much of that was just from the heat/cooking vs wood smoke. As for the perception vs reality.. I'm going by next-day leftovers as well, which also had the not-much smoke flavor.

Everything I read going into it warned about not over-smoking poultry. But maybe people's tastes are different than mine. I like a really smokey flavor in turkey/chicken. Next time I'll experiment with some stronger woods and a slower cook and see what happens. Will report back..

Bigdawg580
12-12-2017, 09:57 AM
To get more smoke flavor use greener wood 30% - 20% moisture

IXL
12-12-2017, 10:33 AM
......
........ Next time I'll experiment with some stronger woods and a slower cook and see what happens...

You do both of those things, and Bob's your uncle!