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Not proud, but Turkey fail!

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    Not proud, but Turkey fail!

    I thought I did everything right. Spatchcocked whole turkey cooked @325, injected with butter, cooked breast to internal 164 degrees on my pellet smoker. Dry, very dry and legs\thighs were way overdone too. I’m about ready to give up on smoking turkey. The only time it has turned out in the past is when I’ve just done breasts. Poultry scares me a bit, so I want to make sure I cook it to proper temps..

    Am I the only one with a fail this Thanksgiving? I would love to hear about someone else’s fail, so I don’t feel as bad! 😀. I can cook awesome BBQ ribs, pork butt, etc, but Turkey is apparently my Achilles heel. Starting to hate turkey.
    Last edited by Mark-B; November 25, 2021, 05:11 PM.

    #2
    Did you baste or spritz?
    I use Malcom Reeds method of spraying aerosol on the boid every 40 mins or so.
    That being said I cook my boids whole I've never attempted a spatchcocked turkey and don't have a pellet smoker so I may be way off base here.

    Comment


    • Mark-B
      Mark-B commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, I spritzed with water every so often. It was a 14 # Natural Butterball.

    #3
    My Yorkshire puddings were not good so I tossed em and will make a new batch tomorrow. I will skip the butter (making them a popover) and cut the batter for six muffin size puddings maybe in half.

    https://www.seriouseats.com/the-best...popover-recipe

    Comment


      #4
      Honestly though, if the meat was overdone, this suggests the need for more probes in different parts of the turkey so you can track the temps of the breast and legs. Also, a water pan underneath the turkey would be good even if you are not using the drippings to make gravy.

      Comment


      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Never have used a probe in my ~60 years...

        Not again em, jus not a fan, neither...

        I jus use me an instant read thermo, an try my danged self to be a High Tech Redneck...
        Last edited by Mr. Bones; November 25, 2021, 06:01 PM.

      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah, I meant like 3-4 probes so you can do both breasts and thighs. Or just use instant ones to check all over. To me, the error seems to be in probe placement though as others have pointed out carryover could contribute to the original error. Turkey is very unforgiving work compared to other meats!
        Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; November 25, 2021, 07:31 PM.

      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        For context, i sous vide my turkey breasts today for 2.5 hours with the Joule at 145 and they were outstanding.

      #5
      My out of town guests requested to eat at 2 as they had long drives to get home. Everyone arrived around 2:30. Between holding the Turkey longer than expected and the quality of it not as good as previous years, I wasn't happy with my Turkey either. I could tell when I prepped it yesterday that it wasn't going to be as good as usual. It was the 29 cent per pound special with $40 other purchase special... First time doing the double smoked ham, that was great though.

      Comment


      • Mark-B
        Mark-B commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah, I thought .99 a pound was good from Walmart. We all joked that maybe that was the problem. It was a Butterball though. Thought it was a safe bet.

      #6
      Originally posted by Mark-B View Post
      I thought I did everything right. Spatchcocked whole turkey cooked @325, injected with butter, cooked breast to internal 164 degrees on my pellet smoker. Dry, very dry and legs\thighs were way overdone too. I’m about ready to give up on smoking turkey. The only time it has turned out in the past is when I’ve just done breasts. Poultry scares me a bit, so I want to make sure I cook it to proper temps..

      Am I the only one with a fail this Thanksgiving? I would love to hear about someone else’s fail, so I don’t feel as bad! 😀. I can cook awesome BBQ ribs, pork butt, etc, but Turkey is apparently my Achilles heel. Starting to hate turkey.
      Did you dry brine it? We dry-brined 26 hours in advance and only cooked to 155 per Meathead’s turkey e-book, and it was the best turkey we’ve ever cooked. It would have taken about two more hours to get it to 164, which is a lot of drying out.

      Comment


      • rickgregory
        rickgregory commented
        Editing a comment
        155 is fine. First off, it will carry over ~5 degrees or so. Second, it's about temp AND time. 165 kills bacteria in a few seconds. At 155 it takes aa few minutes. Given that the turkey is at that temp for a while, it's fine.

        Because of carryover you didnt cook until 164. You cooked to about 170F when carryover is accounted for. Carryover is easy to forget, but it can really make a difference.

      • Sid P
        Sid P commented
        Editing a comment
        Several websites including this one https://bbqhost.com/turkey-breast-temperature-150/ say that all bacteria are killed if the bird is at 150 for at least 3.7 minutes. Including cooking and resting, our bird was at 150+ for about an hour.
        Last edited by Sid P; November 25, 2021, 06:43 PM.

      • Mark-B
        Mark-B commented
        Editing a comment
        Interesting in that article, after going round and round about how it’s OK to take it off at 150, they say they still cook it to 165 to be sure. Funny! Next time, I think I will cook @355 and take it off when breast reaches 160. My breast were off as much as 7 degrees from one another at most points in the cook. I also rotated the bird a couple times for even cooking.

      #7
      Well I don’t have any advise other than what was already given. But very sorry for the bad results. It just happens I guess. Certainly has happened to me.

      Comment


        #8
        I think that 164° is too high. With carry over, the breast will probably go over 165°. All the nasties are killed instantly at 158°, so that's where I pull poultry.
        Last edited by RonB; November 26, 2021, 08:58 PM.

        Comment


          #9
          If’n ya cook it to 155 it’ll get to 160 on its own just like a steak pullin at 110-115, it’ll get there. IMHO I think 325 was to low, lending to a longer cook which that will dry it out also. I wouldn’t be upset at 375 ish. It’s a bird not Wibs. Then again, like was suggested on another post, fix it with lots of gravy, it wasn’t burnt.

          Comment


          • Mark-B
            Mark-B commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah, I think you may be right on the temp, 350 or 375. Went with 325 as that seemed to be suggested here. I didn’t expect the legs\thigh to be done so quickly, as usually it’s the opposite. Wonder if spatchcocking is the reason. Gravy made it sorta palatable, but still,a bit embarrassing and maddening.

          #10
          I cook to 165 in the breast with no issues. I inject at least 2 days ahead.

          Comment


            #11
            I use @Meathead’s recipe, but do it in the oven. Perfect every time. I know our common theme is smoke, but delicious is delicious.

            https://amazingribs.com/tested-recip...turkey-recipe/

            Comment


            • Panhead John
              Panhead John commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree. Nothing wrong at all with the oven. In fact, some of my best turkeys have been cooked in a cheap “electric roaster pan”. 😱😱😱 True dat!
              Last edited by Panhead John; November 25, 2021, 10:26 PM.

            #12
            My chef brother taught me to use two different probes when doing a turkey or prime rib. He said it is too easy for one to fail. I remove my turkey when the breast hits 157. Be sure your probes are accurate.

            Comment


            • fcy
              fcy commented
              Editing a comment
              Redwng do you put one probe in each breast? Does it make any sense to put a probe in the thigh? 🤔 (Kinda late but I'm reading these posts while planning turkey for Christmas)

            #13
            Definitely way overcooked. If the breast was 165 on the cooker, it likely would’ve been 175 when you ate it which is beyond overcooked. I take mine off at 155. No food safety issues as it spends a lot of time over 150 degrees which is plenty of time to kill the bugs

            Comment


            • shify
              shify commented
              Editing a comment
              Mark-B - I pulled my spatchcocked turkey at 155 and let it rest on the counter for 20-30 min. It was at 162 and still increasing when I took the probe out about ~20 min after the oven. I cooked it at 450 in the oven, so a lower temp would be less carry over but two degrees seems way to low unless cooking at 200 degrees

            • Mark-B
              Mark-B commented
              Editing a comment
              Yup, I’m convinced didn’t cook at high enough temp and didn’t pull it at 155 or something close. Makes me want to try another one very soon. I need to get this perfected!

            • Mr. Bones
              Mr. Bones commented
              Editing a comment
              Mark-B they oughtta be plenty of em on Sale, righta bout now, Brother!

              Knock a couple over th fence!

            #14
            I wet brine for 12 - 24 hours and cook the bird whole. I pit ice bags on the breast for network hours before cooking, so that the thigh at 175 and the breast at 160 finish at the same time.

            Comment


              #15
              Mark-B To make great turkey you have start with great turkey. Especially smoking. Every time I do not use a butterball I regret it. To date all my great turkey cooks have been butterballs. I could not get a breast only this year so I did jenie-o. It was just OK. It came off after being at 155 for 15 minutes and it was still a bit on the dry side. I agree with leaving it on until 165 is over cooking. 155 for 15 minutes fda safe.
              Last edited by lostclusters; November 26, 2021, 11:29 AM.

              Comment


              • Mark-B
                Mark-B commented
                Editing a comment
                Yeah, butterball breast were always good to me. I definitely over cooked it, but I think I went to low with my temp to. Next time, at least 350!

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