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Posted: 11/19/2012 1:36:55 PM EST
I am going to smoke a Turkey for Thanks Giving and would appreciate any tips that you Pro's may have. I have gotten comfortable with smoking Brisket and Ribs but have never done poultry before. Here is the process that I am thinking of using:

1: Brine (2 pounds of salt, 1 cup of honey, 2 pounds of sugar, Black Peppercorns, Rosemary, Tyme, Apple Cider and Ice Water) for 12-16 hours.
2. Pat dry and rub down with olive oil
3. Basic rub of black pepper Tyme and Rosemary
4. place directly on smoker grill (Charcoal) with some Cherry wood chunks
5. maintain temp of about 220-240 until internal temp is about 150 degrees.
6. remove from smoker and wrap in double layer of foil for about 30 minutes or until internal temp is 165 degree

As stated above this is my first time with poultry so if there are any suggestions or if you notice any flaws in my method I would greatly appreciate some feedback.


Link Posted: 11/19/2012 1:38:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/19/2012 1:41:14 PM EST by jerrwhy01]
Looks good, what time is dinner?

Personally, I use apple wood when I smoke a turkey, but that's me. I don't know if I can fault your brine cause I haven't tried it, I usually go with less salt, but I try to keep my blood pressure down. I've never thought to use honey in the brine so I might have to give that a try. In the end if it taste good then you'll know that you've done a good job.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 1:38:54 PM EST
Two pounds of salt? Are you brining 500 turkeys in a swimming pool?

Link Posted: 11/19/2012 1:39:44 PM EST
You forgot Mayo. Cover the bird in Mayo before the rub.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 1:40:13 PM EST
that's more or less how I do it. Smoked beats all other means of turkey preparation imo.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 1:41:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/19/2012 1:42:21 PM EST by cuttingedge]
I am guessing with the amounts for the brine. any recipes?

ETA: I have about 8 cords of Cherry that is the only reason that I would use it. If you tell me that Apple is that much better than I will go buy it.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 1:42:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/19/2012 1:43:16 PM EST by rebel_rifle]
Originally Posted By cuttingedge:
I am guessing with the amounts for the brine. any recipes?


Google Alton Brown, he is the man!

ETA: I would go with apple wood as well rather than cherry. Also allow plenty of time.

How big is the bird?
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 1:42:16 PM EST
Originally Posted By cuttingedge:
I am guessing with the amounts for the brine. any recipes?



Try here
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 1:45:28 PM EST
The bird is 14 pounds and the wife is going to do conventional oven for the "Big Bird" in case I fuck up.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 1:59:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/19/2012 2:03:05 PM EST by cjk]
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 gal water
Scale to cover turkey.
Use Ice instead of water if needed.
I have read that brine needs only salt as other flavors wont penetrate the skin, cells etc. Not sure if true. I use brown sugar also but have never tried without so.....

I have used this on chickens and turkey. They came out great.

Once you take it off and wrap in foil, put it in a cooler to finish cooking. The breast I took off at 155 turned out sooooo juicy.
I use maple wood. Yummy. Cherry should be Ok, but I have never tried it.

ETA If you want crispy skin, you will need to cook hotter. I didnt use any rub either, but it cant hurt. I just sprayed it with half olive oil, half apple juice.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 2:02:43 PM EST
We smoke turkey to 155 deg before taking it off. I can't comment on your brine recipe, never tried that one before. We do brine for 24 hours though.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 2:10:28 PM EST
This is what I did last year for TGiving and Christmas. Turned out great both times and is much easier than brining.

http://virtualweberbullet.com/turkey7.html
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 2:13:06 PM EST
I brine mine for 24 hours, and let it dry in the fridge over night. I also smoke mine hot at about 325. It makes the skin come out much nicer.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 3:46:36 PM EST
I dont put an;ything on it. I smoke it over mesquite that gives all the flavor it needs. I do use a thermometer and bring it up to 165 degrees.
LINK
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 4:18:03 PM EST
One cup of salt (kosher or sea) and one half cup of sugar per gallon of water is plenty.

Also add some celery and carrots to your brine!
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 4:19:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By dekeshooter:
One cup of salt (kosher or sea) and one half cup of sugar per gallon of water is plenty.

Also add some celery and carrots to your brine!


This, but I would up the amount of sugar, or add honey, since its going in a smoker.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 4:21:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/19/2012 4:21:52 PM EST by delemorte]
my brine is 1 pound salt one pound brown sugar.. keep it simple.



Its the AB turkey brine
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 4:28:14 PM EST
Fill up a clean squirt bottle with your olive oil. Once your cooking, spray the turkey down every with the olive oil every hour or so. It will keep your bird from drying out.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 4:31:12 PM EST
Originally Posted By cuttingedge:
I am guessing with the amounts for the brine. any recipes?

ETA: I have about 8 cords of Cherry that is the only reason that I would use it. If you tell me that Apple is that much better than I will go buy it.


1 cup of salt to 1 gallon of water works well for me.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 4:43:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By cuttingedge:
I am guessing with the amounts for the brine. any recipes?

ETA: I have about 8 cords of Cherry that is the only reason that I would use it. If you tell me that Apple is that much better than I will go buy it.


I have 5 of those applewood chunks left if you want them. I can bring them to work with me... you have two days left to let me know.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 4:48:16 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 5:23:10 PM EST
most important thng, let it sit, after cooking, overnight is best....
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 5:32:46 PM EST
Been doing smoked turkeys for about ten years now. I haven't changed it up in a long time once I found what works for me.

First, I use a smoker with a water bowl underneath the bird. This way the turkey comes out nice and moist if I don't fuck it up.

No brine, I'll stuff the bird with garlic under the skin and a little Pappy's seasoning. The cavity gets an onion, garlic, and more Pappy's. I sew up the cavities and the rub soy sauce and Pappy's on the outside skin. Once prep'ed it goes on the top rack of a Cabelas smoker.

I use either hickory or mesquite wood depending on what I have. Mesquite makes a better bird. I use low to medium heat for about 8 hours for a 14 pound bird. For my smoker I add wet chips every 90 minutes, and top off the water bowl every 3 hours. I never touch the bird until its done.

I'll be doing one in two days.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 6:03:06 PM EST

This is not a tag


Link Posted: 11/19/2012 6:04:13 PM EST
Originally Posted By ar-15envy:
Originally Posted By cuttingedge:
I am guessing with the amounts for the brine. any recipes?

ETA: I have about 8 cords of Cherry that is the only reason that I would use it. If you tell me that Apple is that much better than I will go buy it.


I have 5 of those applewood chunks left if you want them. I can bring them to work with me... you have two days left to let me know.


Pics of new AR not loading.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 5:05:58 AM EST
Got a bird going into brine right now.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 5:11:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2012 5:13:17 AM EST by OrARGB]
Not sure how big the bird is?
I would go 8 hours on brine (my preference on a 12/14 lb bird)
I'm a 325/350 deg f for 3 hours +/- kind of guy but you'll do fine with your temps, don't peek a lot
I do no water pan for turkeys...

The Virtual Weber Bullet forums have great info...google.

Go forth...
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 5:12:04 AM EST
Originally Posted By OrARGB:
Not sure how big the bird is?
I would go 8 hours on brine (my preference on a 12/14 lb bird)
I'm a 350 deg f for 3 hours +/- kind of guy but you'll do fine with your temps, don't peek a lot

The Virtual Weber Smokey Mountain forums have great info...google.

Go forth...
http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k50/outdoorgb/IMG_4561.jpg


pretty bird.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 5:15:23 AM EST
Originally Posted By DonKey153:
Originally Posted By OrARGB:
Not sure how big the bird is?
I would go 8 hours on brine (my preference on a 12/14 lb bird)
I'm a 350 deg f for 3 hours +/- kind of guy but you'll do fine with your temps, don't peek a lot

The Virtual Weber Smokey Mountain forums have great info...google.

Go forth...
http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k50/outdoorgb/IMG_4561.jpg


pretty bird.


Last years...we have a big gathering. Wife oven cooks, I smoke...have lots of homebrew and mead this year to share...

Link Posted: 11/21/2012 5:20:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2012 5:27:20 AM EST by 40xb-shooter]
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 5:22:35 AM EST
Originally Posted By cuttingedge:
I am guessing with the amounts for the brine. any recipes?

ETA: I have about 8 cords of Cherry that is the only reason that I would use it. If you tell me that Apple is that much better than I will go buy it.


Everything sounds pretty good. You can check out Alton Brown's brine recipe online. i used that. I second the suggestion of apple wood over cherry.

Just make sure you wash the bird off well after the brine. Also....and this is very important....go easy on the smoke. You can add more, but you can't take it back. If you hit it with to much it gets overpowering very quick. I hit it good in the beginning then let the coals do the work.

I did one last year for Thanksgiving. It was great. Everyone loved it. We are having dinner at the Inlaws this year and they tried to talk me in to hauling the smoker up there. . But this year I'm taking it easy and relaxing. Smoked turkey really is the only way to go. Tastes great and makes awesome sandwiches the next day. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 5:31:16 AM EST
brine:

1 cup non-iodized salt. Canning or Kosher.
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 TBSP morton tender quick
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp mace
1 TBSP white pepper
gallon water

Combine all ingredients and simmer for 15mins. Let cool. Brine for anywhere from 4 hours to 12 hours, depending on your tase. I do 12.
Pat dry. Smoke till done. I use citrus wood, grapefruit and orange. It compliments the Orange Blossom honey I use in the brine.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 5:36:20 AM EST
I've smoked several birds. Used to do it at work, and would have the Marine on duty plug it in at 0300 or 0330 to be ready by lunch time the next day.

I wrapped the bird in tin foil-not too tightly-after cleaning it out like you would as if you were going to bake it. Placing the bird on the lower rack of a Brinkman electric smoker allows it to cook faster, and outside temps can affect the time it takes to cook as well.

I believe I used Mesquite wood, as opposed to hickory or apple wood chunks. It costs less than seven dollars for one bag at Home Depot, and a bag will do at least three meals.

Leave it in there until the bird falls apart. Don't worry about the tin foil sealing out the smoke-turkey and chicken really pick up on the smoke flavor quite well. The tin foil keeps the meat moist.

Wife used to rub the bird with butter and pepper to season it prior to wrapping it up in foil. Sometimes, we even put orange, apple, and celery inside just for flavor. I never could tell the difference in the meat between the times we did and didn't.

One of the retirees in the office used to inject the meat with some kind of flavoring, but I never tried it. For the minimal amount of work (butter and pepper seasoning rubbed on the bird, wrap in foil, allow to cook overnight), it's a pretty good meal.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 5:47:34 AM EST
thanks

Originally Posted By bowhuntr09:
This is what I did last year for TGiving and Christmas. Turned out great both times and is much easier than brining.

http://virtualweberbullet.com/turkey7.html


Link Posted: 11/21/2012 8:52:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2012 9:01:35 AM EST by 220ST]
I'm doing my smoked turkey today. I took an overtime shift at work tomorrow so a family guy can be off. I sort of have a tradition at work for bringing in smoked turkeys on Thanksgiving.

Here's some pics of my own method:



Mesquite chips, Pappy's seasoning, garlic, onion, lemons, and dried apricots. The lemon is for the water bowl, cause it doesn't work well with mesquite in the bird. The dried apricots I had from a gift basket last year. I never seem to do the same recipe, and just use what's on hand.

Here is the bird stuffed and ready to go:


Close up of the carnage. I use bamboo skewers to seal up the cavities. The bird is only 11 pounds this year. Inside is slivered garlic, quartered onion, dried apricots, and some Pappy's. I stuff the garlic under the skin the best I can.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 8:54:09 AM EST
two pounds of salt is quite a bit, unless you're using the whole bathtub.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 8:55:17 AM EST
I use a Cabela's 7 in 1 smoker. Large chunks of mesquite with smaller wet mesquite in the charcoal pan:


I line the water bowl with foil for easy clean-up:
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 9:00:00 AM EST
Rub the bird down with soy sauce and more Pappy's:


Time to start smoking:


Got a good guard dawg to keep the FSA away:


All set for a few hours:
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 9:02:32 AM EST
Another one for apple wood, that seems like alot of salt but I caould be wrong.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 9:04:33 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 9:05:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By cuttingedge:
I am going to smoke a Turkey for Thanks Giving and would appreciate any tips that you Pro's may have. I have gotten comfortable with :

1: Brine (2 pounds of salt,

that should be 2 cups
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 9:07:20 AM EST
I inject mine with an apple juice brown sugar reduction.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 10:02:00 AM EST
My 2 12 lb birds will be going into the brine about 6:30 tonight, and going on the smoker tomorrow morning between 6:30 and 7.

The olive oil in a spritz bottle works well to keep them from drying out, but what I like better is to weave a lattice of bacon and drape that over the birds about an hour into the smoke.

TASTES GREAT and also my little FU to the turkey bacon crowd
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 10:17:20 AM EST
Originally Posted By cuttingedge:
The bird is 14 pounds and the wife is going to do conventional oven for the "Big Bird" in case I fuck up.


sounds like you will have a lot of UNSMOKED leftovers to me.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 10:22:35 AM EST
Got one cooking now.

Link Posted: 11/21/2012 10:50:34 AM EST
Here is the brine recipe that I used:
1 1/3 cups of salt, 1/2 cup of honey, 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, Black Peppercorns, Rosemary, Tyme, Sage, three large oranges cut in half and squeezed, Apple Cider and Ice Water. I am going to use Cherry wood to smoke it but will only do a light smoke for like 3 hours and then let the coals do the rest of the work. Thinking of doing a separate cranberry and sour cherry stuffing to enhance the cherry flavor.
Hopefully it comes out good.
I will report back...
Either way it gets me time outside with my dogs and my beer and away from the outlaws and the rest of the family coming over
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 2:52:19 PM EST
Needs another 2 hours or so:


Link Posted: 11/21/2012 2:59:38 PM EST
Originally Posted By cuttingedge:
I am going to smoke a Turkey for Thanks Giving and would appreciate any tips that you Pro's may have. I have gotten comfortable with smoking Brisket and Ribs but have never done poultry before. Here is the process that I am thinking of using:

1: Brine (2 pounds of salt, 1 cup of honey, 2 pounds of sugar, Black Peppercorns, Rosemary, Tyme, Apple Cider and Ice Water) for 12-16 hours.
2. Pat dry and rub down with olive oil
3. Basic rub of black pepper Tyme and Rosemary
4. place directly on smoker grill (Charcoal) with some Cherry wood chunks
5. maintain temp of about 220-240 until internal temp is about 150 degrees.
6. remove from smoker and wrap in double layer of foil for about 30 minutes or until internal temp is 165 degree

As stated above this is my first time with poultry so if there are any suggestions or if you notice any flaws in my method I would greatly appreciate some feedback.




Whenever I have smoked a turkey I stuffed the cavity with a mix of onions, fresh garlic, celery, mixed with olive oil and seasoning we like. Keeps the bird moist and juicy. You could also stuff it with apples etc...the idea is to keep it juicy.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 3:08:07 PM EST
Awesome thread , and thanks to all the contributors !

My experience with smoking a whole turkey is zero, but have brined up breasts and smoked them in a 'Little Chief' smoker with excellent results using alder chips.

Happy Thanksgiving !

Link Posted: 11/21/2012 3:12:41 PM EST
Originally Posted By cuttingedge:

I am going to smoke a Turkey for Thanks Giving and would appreciate any tips that you Pro's may have. I have gotten comfortable with smoking Brisket and Ribs but have never done poultry before. Here is the process that I am thinking of using:

1: Brine (2 pounds of salt, 1 cup of honey, 2 pounds of sugar, Black Peppercorns, Rosemary, Tyme, Apple Cider and Ice Water) for 12-16 hours.
2. Pat dry and rub down with olive oil
3. Basic rub of black pepper Tyme and Rosemary
4. place directly on smoker grill (Charcoal) with some Cherry wood chunks
5. maintain temp of about 220-240 until internal temp is about 150 degrees.
6. remove from smoker and wrap in double layer of foil for about 30 minutes or until internal temp is 165 degree


As stated above this is my first time with poultry so if there are any suggestions or if you notice any flaws in my method I would greatly appreciate some feedback.



A couple of things ...

First, I'd recommend keeping your cooker running at a much higher temp. At least 325*. Smoking a turkey is a lot different that smoking a pork butt or some brisket.

Also, I'd be very suprised if you get 15* of carry-over to reach your final temp - even if you let it rest for more than 30 minutes. You should probably shoot for something higher than 150 before you pull it off of the smoker ... I would go for at least 160.

HTH.



Link Posted: 11/21/2012 3:16:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By JAMES77257:

You forgot Mayo. Cover the bird in Mayo before the rub.


Wait, whut ... ?

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