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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.

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Old 06-25-2013, 12:49 PM   #1
Got rid of the matchlight.
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Join Date: 05-21-13
Location: Auburn, MI
Default Smoking a turkey

Any hints on smoking a turkey. It's a 21lb turkey. I'll be sure to get the temp up fast a little worried about contamination.

Thanks for your help
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:55 PM   #2
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Search for a gatorade brine, my FIL was talking about me smoking a turkey for them this year like last year. He said the gatorade brine was strange but delicious.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:56 PM   #3
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If it was me I'd spatchcock it, brine it, smoke it at 325-350 with a fruit wood.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:06 PM   #4
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You didn't say what type of smoker you're using, but I'd try to keep the temp near 300°. I'd also get a good probe thermometer and not rely on the popup button that are in most of the turkeys.



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Old 06-25-2013, 01:50 PM   #5
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I do mine at 225 -240 in my vertical smoker. Figure maybe 12 hours for a bird that size. If you use a butterball turkey, you do not need to brine. They always turn out fantastic.
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:06 PM   #6
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I have not yet smoked a turkey, but I've read that you should not brine birds that are labelled as "self-basting" will be too salty.

Others can validate or tell me I'm wrong.
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:15 PM   #7
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I have brined Many enhanced birds. Just cut back on the salt if ya want but you can still do it to change the flavor profile to your choice.

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Old 06-25-2013, 03:29 PM   #8
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I've smoked two turkeys. Practice on a whole chicken to get it right. I bought a turkey holder that holds a turkey in the same position as a beer can chicken. I like it and bought it at Cabelas.

I like the hotter cooks, 325F-350F, as it crisps the skin better (I don't lke rubbery skin). Never cooked one as large as yours.....mine have been around 15lb birds. The breast cooks faster so if you cook in the normal position (breast down) then you may want to ice down the breast before putting it on the smoker so it gets done around the same time as the thigh.

Do a search and there are a lot of good suggestons for brining, rubs, etc. Just pull when the thigh is around 160F-165F as you don't want to dry the meat out. It will be good!
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:33 PM   #9
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Brine it overnight, and smoke it at 300 - 325. Use an thermometer probe, definitely don't rely on the pop-up thingy it comes with. I put the probe in the same place the pop-up was. After about 45 min to an hour, foil the legs and wings so the meat there doesn't pull back from the bone too much.

You want to use Pecan Wood. Trust me, pecan is magic on turkey for both color and taste.
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:35 PM   #10
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TALKIN' TURKEY!! (The official/unofficial turkey thread)
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:51 PM   #11
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PatioDaddio's brine is excellent. Just reduce the salt by 1/3 if the bird is already "enhanced or self-basting". Oh yeah, and post pr0n!
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:54 PM   #12
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If you use an enhanced turkey like a butterball you could just butterfly it and get up under the skin with an oil/rub mixture to put more flavor on the meat. I start low and slow (225-250) for two or three hours to get more smoke into the breast meat, then crank it up to about 300 to finish it and crisp the skin.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:44 PM   #13
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It is definately worth doing a brine I like to cook mine at 325 indirect You have to be careful Pultry takes in smoke flavor quickly and will be bitter. I also like to ice down the breast for an hour before the cook- ziplock bags with ice. This allows the white meat to be done at the same time as dark meat. Go to the naked wiz site. look at ceramic cooking and chjeck recipes Mad max has a great way to do a turkey PattioDaddio has a great brine Google Turkey brine 101 that is really good too
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:22 PM   #14
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Looks of good suggestions here...will keep an eye on this as Thanksgiving is at my house this year!
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:31 PM   #15
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Instead of brining may I suggest you inject it with some creole butter?
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