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16 Turkeys tomorrow, couple questions

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    16 Turkeys tomorrow, couple questions

    We are preparing a meal for the church tomorrow, and my buddy has a trailer with an Ole Hickory on it, so i was dumb enough to tell them we'd cook the turkeys!

    Here's the plan
    > 12 pound ish birds. Sams has Fresh Butterball turkeys for 99c a pound. They have a 4% injection in them.
    > Spatchcock them
    > S&G Rub
    > 325 Cook till 160 in the deepest part of the breast.
    > Cook some on my #WhoDat1 pit so we can capture the drippings and make Meathead's gravy.

    I did a test cook yesterday, all of that above, and these 2 questions arose:

    1.) Right before the cook, I did put some Kosher salt on, about 1/3 less than the 1/2 Tsp per pound than Meathead recommends. THE BIRD WAS NOT SALTY ENOUGH! I was eating it wondering what went wrong. Sprinkled some salt on there and it really helped!

    The reason I wanted to do the test bird is exactly this discovery: apparently not all injections have that much salt in them?

    Who else has "factory injected" birds that don't have much salt in them? I'm planning on doing a 2nd test bird tonight, if i can pull it off.

    Will dry-brining 18 hours ahead of time impact the amount of salt taste absorbed into the meat?

    2.) We're in Louisiana, so folks love injecting it with all the spices and such, the deep frying them. I have not injected with butter yet, but since my test bird was flat, I AM INJECTING! Butter, and maybe a hint of Tony's/Cajun Spice.

    QUESTION: How much butter do you inject in a 12 pound bird? I'm used to injecting bbq meats, and a whole chicken will take about one full cylinder in my injector?

    3.) I can't seem to avoid those pockets of S&G herbs gathering up, and those who are sensitive to over spicing, like my wife, really notice. I work my hands up under the skin beforehand, and can get the whole breast and all up on the thighs and much of the leg, since the bird is spatchcocked.

    Any tips on applying the wet rub and avoiding the pockets?

    How about using more oil in the wet rub, so the liquidity of it may help the herbs naturally flow out better?

    4.) I'm struggling to make a homemade chicken (and Turkey) rub with the Pop that you could use in competition. My current favorite is S&G combined with either Cherry or Desert Gold from Simply Marvelous/Big Poppa Smokers. My test bird has me worried...the flavor was off.

    I did a little cheat and used the Tone's Italian Herb mix as the base for my S&G, it has all the italian herbs in it except Bay Leaves and Parsley, and I added those. I've used the Tones as a base before and it seemed good. Maybe there was something else out of sync with my test bird?

    QUESTION: What are your fav's to supplement S&G on turkey?

    Isn't this fun!

    Ever bird I buy has that 8% solution and I inject with Tony Chachere's Butter Seasoning, then cover the skin with Tony Chachere's.....perfection....

    No herb people where I am at.....

    I just inject all over, even drop a dose in the wingette.....


      We don't do herbs, everyone here is too picky, they all seem to like my pork rub. As Jerod mentioned I usually see 8% but the 20 pounder I just did was one of these Sam's fresh ones with 4% as are the 5 i'm doing this week.

      I wanted to try something new, I can't ever leave well enough alone, so I made the gravy from MH post minus the carrots because the ones I had seemed off and I started at like 10PM. So I put all of the stuff in one of those big foil pans and tossed it in the oven for about 4 hours along with probably a gallon and a half of water and a half cup of the rub I use. I put a pot in the sink, punched a hole in the bottom of the pan and let it drain in, that filtered out the big stuff. I then boiled for about 2 hours reducing it by half and then jarred it. Now to the point finally, I melted a stick of butter (I typically use a whole stick on a 12 pounder and that is usually enough for breast, thighs and leftover to rub around the outside) and also added added a cup of my turkey jus and used that for the injection, this added quite a bit of flavor to the inside of such a large breast. I figured since it was just concentrated turkey love that it only add to the flavor, plus adding the rub I used on the outside into the jus and reducing brought hints of the external rub and skin into the center. This thing was very juicy and my best flavored one yet. The breasts were so thick on that one I knew it needed salt inside so I also used salted butter as my injection, it was just about the right amount of saltiness to me.
      They insisted on a brown gravy out of the envelope so I insisted that we use the turkey jus instead of water and included 50% more so it would be runnier, was really good, I probably ate half of it straight from the pan with dinner rolls.

      Since you are doing a test bird, give that jus a try and see how you like it, only have to inject 1 breast if you're worried. I didn't think I had enough learning from this cook to post it but maybe i did! I also saw a suggestion out there to cut a ring around the leg, about an inch from the end to sever all of the tendons as they said that is what caused the legs to kind of bunch up, I think it worked, it was only one test but the legs looked noticeably better to me.


        Yeah we've talked about that before regarding the solution of, say, 9% not being 9% straight salt. Great thoughts and good catch! Best to check the sodium content on the label. 200mg or less, brine as instructed. 300mg or more, limit the brining.

        I recently did a 9% bird and wet brined it per my usual, it still wasn't salty enough. I'm a big fan of salt with a turkey dinner though, but that can be a very subjective thing.


          I had a crew of 5 helping me at church last night, and it still took us from 5-9 to spatchcock, inject with butter (and 1 tspb of Tony's per 4 sticks of butter, we're in Louisiana of course!), loosen the skin so we could get to everything, salt (12-14 lb birds, to 6 tsp of Kosker each), rub with Simon & Garfunkle and either Desert Gold or Cherry from Simply Marvelous/Big Poppa Smokers, wrap each plan in plastic and put in the fridge. They were generous with the Gold & Cherry.

          It was fun!

          I'm going to make some at home on the #WhoDat1, and make some Meathead juice.


          • HC in SC
            HC in SC commented
            Editing a comment
            Am just wondering if the injected Tony Chacherie's will "play nice" with the S&G flavorings since they are so unlike. I love Tony's (as I am a coon-ass 1/2 removed - lol), but I did not like the S&G.

            Maybe I read it wrong and you aren't putting both seasonings on the same bird, but if so I hope you know what you are doing my friend!

            Laissez le bon temps rouler!

          went great! except were sliped and i sliced my palm open needing 5 stitches!

          lots of "best turkey ever!" comments. that was super fun.

          it was the best turkey i can remember

          i will do pics and more soon


            CONGRATS! on the successful cook!

            Sorry to hear about your hand!


              Yeah! I can post pictures! We preped 17 beautiful 13-14 pound fresh birds!

              Here is the prep Monday Night, done by 5 of us:
              1/2 tsp kosher salt per pound
              Injected with about 1 stick butter per breast, with 1 tbsp Tony Chachere's per 4 sticks.
              Rubed under and over skin with mix of Simon & Garfunkle and Cherry for half, and S&G and Dessert Gold on the other half. Click image for larger version

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              The Fridge is Full!
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              Here is my newest BBQ Apprentice, Dominique! He was great! He watched me, then did his own and got direction and asked questions. Then, when the next volunteer came in, I got Dominique to show them how to do it! Here he is proudly standing in front of the Ole' Hickory we used for most of the birds, with his finely prepped birds all ready for their sauna!
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              The Ole' Hickory was set for 325, and the skin got dark quick!
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              I brought 2 birds home to smoke in #WhoDat1 so that I could capture the drippings and make @Meatheads gravy. Yummy!!
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              As the birds were about to come out of the cookers, I was getting all the stations ready for my brothers from church to come and help carve them all up. I put the super-edge on all the knives with my new sharpener, and they were razor ready! I was putting one of my knives into the PVC blade guards, and that hard plastic sucker was a little tight, so I pushed and, POP, the knife blade came out the top of the guard and into my unsuspecting palm!
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              I stood there, and had this great look into the world of my hand underneath the surprisingly thick layer of skin on your palm. I could see the muscles underneath, all moving about...the picture above does not show how thick that skin is, nor how impressive the cut is in depth.
              Click image for larger version

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              I walked outside, rather irritated that the whole production had just gotten more complicated now that I was going to be one handed...grabbed an unsuspecting friend, the chairman of deacons this year, and tell him he was driving me to the urgent care, where these 4 stitched got into my palm. Took about 45 minutes. On the way there, I called Sam, my main BBQ apprentice, who was on his way to my house to pull the birds from #WhoDat1, and told him I was out of commission and he was in charge now.
              Attached Files


              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                Ouch! I hate getting cut. Hope you heal quick!

              Here they are pulling the birds from the Ole' Hickory, by flashlight!
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              And the Carving Begins!
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              Really Good Crew!!!
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              I was surprised to learn that, well, most of them had not-the-best-plan for carving a turkey, so there was a lot of one-handed pointing and words on my part to direct the efforts...but we got there quickly!
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              Like my net T-Shirt? @BishopofBBQ
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              Oh, and we reheated the Beef Ribs from the Saturday Before - they were still great!!!
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              Attached Files


                St. Pats??


                • PaulstheRibList
                  PaulstheRibList commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Lake Charles UrgentCare. I've been a good boy, however, kept it very clean and no ribs on the stitches! Removing them tomorrow.

                  It's taken some discipline to not work it too hard.

                So, how did the Turkey come out? #FABULOUS #AMAZING

                The best birds I have ever had. One friend saw these pic's on Facebook and asked my how it came out? I said, "How can I put this? It's the kind of meal that you want to eat every day for 2 weeks. I'm on day 5 now."

                These are my favorite slice pics!!Click image for larger version

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                When i froze the remaining leftovers a few days ago, I took the beautiful juice I collected, microwaved the gelatin a minute, then poured it into ice trays - i have 3 trays of Turkey juice Cubes for future Amazingning Action!


                • richinlbrg
                  richinlbrg commented
                  Editing a comment
                  GREAT pictures, PaulstheRibList !! And it looks like a great carving job, too! Looks like your crew learned quickly!

                  NICE JOB!

                Nice !



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