Smokin' a Turkey

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by geds, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. geds

    geds New Member

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    Alright, it's that time of year to put a bird on the smoker. Before I do it this year I figure I should ask some of the TFF chefs for suggestions. I plan to smoke a 9 lb breast rather than the whole bird. I have a Brinkman smoker with a separate fire box.

    Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!
  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    i use the easy wider's you can lay one one strip and gum the edge , then lay doiwn another strip and double the width , keep going until you have enough to roll your turkey ,

    but how you gonna light it ??
  3. geds

    geds New Member

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    I was lookin' for ZigZag papers, but couldn't find any this size!...;)
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Turkey breats are easy on the smoker. Careful, they dont have any fat aside from the skin if its still there.. I wrap mine with thick strips of bacon and smoke til its done. I use those little red button popper thingys to tell me when its done. works perfect.

    If I smoke a whole turkey I have the wife rub him down with garlic butter real good and then i just smoke him in a shallow pan until the button pops up.
  5. geds

    geds New Member

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    Is there a rule of thumb for how long per lb?
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    depends on temp. Thats why i use them poppers. And chek it every 30 minutes or so.
  7. Clipper

    Clipper Member

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    I keep the temp around 250 in my smoker, use a meat thermometer. Breast is probably going to be dry unless you "lard" it with something. It may take up to 8 hours, depending on your smoker.

    ks
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I use an offset barrel smoker, keep the temp around 250-275, and most turkeys, 15-20 pounds, are 'popped' around 4 hours. I keep a pan of water at the firebox outlet for moisture, which also helps reduce cooking time. Which is the trick with turkey, the faster you can get it to cook without burning it, the more moist and tender the meat will be.
  9. Fast Forward

    Fast Forward Member

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    I understand they become soggy and hard to keep lit
  10. geds

    geds New Member

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    Do you use a rub or basting while cooking?
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    depends. Normally Ill have the wife make up a garlic butter rub and Ill inject it into the bird as well as rub it all over the skin and under the skin on the breasts.

    I dont much care for dry rubs on poultry. Basting works far better. But i do sometimes sprinkle a bit of seasoning around the outside for a tasty crust. Again it just depends on whats gonna be served with it.
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    The wifes garlic butter rub tho, will actually help the skin brown in the oven. My kids always eat the skin off the wifes baked chickens and turkeys.
  13. geds

    geds New Member

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    I found a similar recipe on the web and that sounds like the route I'm going with. Do you use fruit wood?
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Pecan or Mesquite
  15. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

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    That is too simple. You have to put some kind of complicated formula or something into it.:D
  16. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

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    Pecan and apple.
  17. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Dont much care for fruit woods. The sap is just as bad as sugar about caramelizing and causing a sooty black smoke. They have to be harvested for smoker wood in the dead of winter while the sap is out and they have to season for a year or more before you can burn em.

    I smokes a ham once with peach and pecan. it came out great but the peach was seasoned for over 2 years. Then i did a ham with just pecan, I like it better.

    Pecan is my favorite smoker wood. Its heavy and dense like Oak, but has a better flavor than Oak, no bugs like mesquite. Mesquite gets full of beetles. and then i have these annoying yellow and black beetles all over when im smokin. But mesquite makes a wonderfully hot fire with an excellent smoke flavor. burns fast tho. Ill kill a 1/4 cord of mesquite in half the time id use a 1/4 cord of pecan. I like hickory too, but its more of a noreaster wood product and harder to find cheap enough around here. But when i find it I try to buy some. A pecan fire with a wet mesquite or hickory split on top is an unbeatable porkbutt smokin combo..

    Speakin of which, im headn to grab a 1/4 of pecan today. Got a buncha smokin to do over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

    And BBQ doesnt have to be elaborately complicated. When folks experiment is when BBQ gets nasty. My boss is a great example. His first brisket ever was perfect. lightly seasoned and smoked for 16 hours. delicious. Every single one after that was either way way over seasoned or smoked too long, or injected with some drunken concoction that didnt go well with the smoke. He did a whole hog once, It was fantastic til he decided it needed 14 pounds of seasoned salt on it. Luckily I cut and removed the Loins before he ruined it. Those were delicious. We cooked that dude on a cinderblock pit stretched over a steel grate we made from a cattle fencing panel. and just wrapped him with a foil blanket. The pit was about 4'X6' and about 3' high and we built 4 small fires inside. One in each corner with mesquite charcoal. and left a hole just big enough in each corner to drop new briquettes inside when the fires got low. Took 8 hours to roast a whole hog that way. The skin peeled right off and the meat was delicious before the massive salting.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  18. geds

    geds New Member

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    Sounds delicious JLA!

    For a bird, I don't have access to a lot of wood so I planned to use charcoal briquets and season the briquets with chips or shavings of either mesquite or fruit wood. It sounds like mesquite is the way to go there.

    Any suggestions on the charcoal? I usually use Kingsford.
  19. Airdale

    Airdale Member

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    Re: Smokin' a Turkey-- CAUTION!!

    Guys, Be careful with temps when smoking poultry!!!
    Here's a little blurb from a BBQ website on turkey smoking that may be helpful.

    Cooker Temperature

    Turkey is naturally tender and does not benefit from "low and slow" cooking the way a tough old brisket does. I've cooked turkeys from 225°F all the way up to 350°F and I'm convinced that 325-350°F is the way to go. This temperature gets the fat under the skin hot enough so that it sautés the skin. At lower temps, the fat just renders out without crisping anything, and the result is rubbery skin.

    Another benefit of cooking at 325-350°F is that the turkey will cook as quickly as if you did it in the oven. Don't worry, the turkey will have plenty of time to pick up whatever smoke flavor you choose to impart to it.

    If you insist on cooking at a traditional barbecue temp of 225-250°F, Butterball says that to assure food safety the turkey must reach an internal temperature of 140° within the first 4 hours of cooking. A turkey weighing 12-15 pounds should be fine, but a turkey over this weight should either be cooked at 325-350° or flavor brined in a solution that includes a curing agent like Morton Tender Quick to slow the growth of bacteria.

    Why gamble? Just smoke that turkey at 325-350°F. You'll be glad you did.

    To achieve a temperature of 325-350°F, you'll have to cook with an empty water pan. Methods for running the Weber Bullet at 325-350°F can be found on the Firing Up Your Weber Bullet page.

    This site is dedicated to they Weber Bullet but has really good general info. on smoking all knds of meats. Has articles on breast only smoking:
    http://virtualweberbullet.com/index.html
  20. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

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    I love my fruit woods. My stash of apple is probably six or seven years old.
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