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Smoked Turkey MH Style*

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    Smoked Turkey MH Style*

    I smoked a 13.5 lb turkey mostly using NH's "Ultimate Smoked Turkey" recipe. Bought the bird at Publix. $1.49/lb and that was the Publix brand. Everything else was $3.00/lb and up. If it isn't the holidays turkeys are not readily available. I was wondering on another thread how to tell if it was salted. Kathryn told me if the sodium was at 225 mg or higher on the ingredients label it was. And it was and on the front it said that.

    So after I defrosted it, MH goes into great detail on the defrosting procedure, opened it up and removed the neck and the giblets, I then removed the plastic that trussed the legs. I rinsed mine out to get all the yuckies out of the cavity.

    I then dried it out and put it in the fridge for the night to dry out the skin. I won't do that again as I then had to clean the fridge after that to make sure no buggies were in the fridge.

    Anyway the night before I mixed up some Simon and Garfunkel rub and mixed some with oil and let sit over night. The next day I got the smoker going set it on 325*F and then coated the bird with the oil and S&M rub mixture.

    After the grill stabilized at 325*F I placed the bird on my Frog Mat and realized I hadn't covered the leg and wing tips to prevent them from burning.

    So, I went and got some foil and wrapped the tip with them shiny side out on the foil and installed the IT thermometer.

    Closed it up and didn't touch it until the IT read 135*F. Why did I check it then? I didn't trust my Mav and wanted to use my Tpen to check varies places on the bird because there are so many different thicknesses.

    sweet, yeh that greater than 10 percentage on the sodium has to account for something.

    And concerning that broad breast....even salt can't help this!!

    "[The breast] protrudes quite a bit and physically gets in the way when the birds need to reproduce," said Long. "In the commercial turkey industry there are no birds that naturally mate."
    Last edited by Jerod Broussard; September 28, 2014, 01:03 PM.


    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      Poor birds.

    • _Keith
      _Keith commented
      Editing a comment
      Poor, tasty, tasty birds.

    Temperatures were all over the place from 138*F where I had my probe tp 180*F in the other breast. My gill must not have consistant temps so I lowered the box temp to 280*F to minimize the over cooked parts. At 160*F minimum IT in all parts of the bird I removed.

    I then promptly cut the bird up and stripped the carcass as much as possible.

    Put all the left over pieces and carcass in a stock pot and simmer an hour before going to bed. turned it off left the cover on and went to bed. It was still at 120*F when I got up the next morning. I immediately stripped the carcass, strained out the broth and proceeded to make soup. I added 1 tsp salt to the broth, 4 sliced carrots, 6 sliced celery, 1 med diced onion, 1 med lg diced apple, 3/4 tsp S&M rub, a handful of fresh green beans w/ends trimmed and sliced into 1" pieces. I had about the same amount of turkey off the carcass as is in the bowl in the pic above. Added it all and simmered for 20 min. I added 3/4 cp of barley and cooked for another 20 min and it was ready to serve. That is not potatos floating it is the apple. when cooked it sinks like everything else.

    ​My wi8fe says the soup is excellent. That means that it is really good and we will have some turkey breast for supper


      What would I do different next time. I would keep it in the fridge in the mid 30*F range. When I put it on the smoker iot was at 56*F and at 325*F it cooked to fast. I would also lower my cooker temp to 275*F for the first 2 hrs and then bump to 325*F. Iam not a huge fan of the S&G rub and will use something different next time. I will tell more after supper.


      • FLBuckeye
        FLBuckeye commented
        Editing a comment
        Hard to tell by your pic, but did you get the S&G rub under the skin as recommended?

      • Marauderer
        Marauderer commented
        Editing a comment
        No I didn't get it under the skin. I was to lazy and had goofed around so long I needed to get it on the grill. I have a hard time with yuckie as you can see with the nitrile gloves I wore. If I can figure out a way to do it I will try next time. The flavor was excellent as it was.

      Another great detailed writeup Barry, thanks! I just can't imagine a variance of 42* in the diff breast sides could for one- be possible, and two, be because of inconsistent grill temps. Was this what the Mav and T-pen both said?


      • Marauderer
        Marauderer commented
        Editing a comment
        Where I had the Mav I stuck the Tpen and they were within a degree of each other. I need to run the grill and set 4 probes around and see what I get at 325*F

      Thanks for that writeup, Barry. I also found that the Maverick probe temp in what I thought was the deepest part of the breast and the Thermapen temp in several spots around the breast did not match. I had large meat temp variations as well. I thought it was because I had hung the bird in my PBC with the breast facing away from me and found it difficult to see exactly where I was sticking the probe in.

      One thing I found was that for some measurements I was poking my Thermapen through the meat and into the cavity, which was giving me spurious readings. Like I say, I was doing it blind.

      I agree that perhaps Mr. Turkey should have been rotated a few times during the cook and will be eager to hear how that works out for you on your next whole turkey cook.

      Good idea about wrapping the ends of the legs and wings with foil. I'll do that next time, thanks to you.

      I make broth from the carcass and bits as well. I tie up the bones and bits in a big piece of food-grade gauze/cheesecloth so they can be removed easily. Then I toss in onions, garlic, celery, carrots, white wine, tomato paste, spices, water and some organic chicken broth and simmer it for 3 to 5 hours, let it cool an hour on the cooktop before putting it away in the fridge to finish cooling so I can skim the fat off. Usually there's not much fat. Finally I strain it and use it right away for soup or freeze it flat in plastic gallon bags.

      While letting it cool on the cooktop before putting it in the fridge, I'm careful to not let that broth temp fall below 150deg F just like we do when we faux cambro food. I'm leery of leaving food at temps from 140 to 40 for very long. In fact, if the broth gets down to 160 or so, I put it in the fridge to finish cooling.

      It's great that you took the time to detail your cook for us, Barry. You sure helped me out.

      Last edited by fzxdoc; September 29, 2014, 07:00 AM.


        Kathryn, I threw all the scraps on the broth. That include fatty skin and all. I was really surprised at how little fat was on the surface when done. I usually use one of these cups to remove the fat and they work great but couldn't find it. I will have to order another one. After I cooked it down for the hour I strained everything out of the broth and started over picking out all the debris and only keeping the meat to put back in it.


        • fzxdoc
          fzxdoc commented
          Editing a comment
          I have one of those fat strainers, too. With my 13lb turkey's bones, bits and bobs I got 24 cups of broth and bagged it in 8 cup increments. I get more broth because of course I add chicken broth to the mix keep the flavor going. Anyway, the separator I have would take forever to get the fat out of that much broth, so it's easier to cool the stock pot down in the fridge and skim any fat.

          I bet that soup was gooooood! Let us know how the turkey tastes at suppertime tonight.
          Last edited by fzxdoc; September 29, 2014, 09:47 AM.

        Awesome job Doctor B! Nothing wrong with being freaky about buggies IMHO


          We had 1/2 of a Breast for supper last night and I didn't get any pics. We had sauteed yellow squash with onions and a small salad with ranch buttermilk dressing. I sliced the turkey cross grain as per MH's suggestion and it was excellent. I was worn out after a long day so I just heated the turkey in the funny oven. Great meal with some fresh papaya and lemon for desert. We plan on making some turkey pot pies with the other meat and use the crust recipe I think Ernest posted on another thread. I don't like lima beans either (MH doesn't, but his darling wife makes him leave them in if she is there) but will put green peas in it


          • SaskatoonBusche
            SaskatoonBusche commented
            Editing a comment
            M - thanks for sharing your turkey adventure. How did you enjoy the taste of the smoked turkey? I did one on my Napoleon smoker for Cdn Thanksgiving and found that although I didn't mind the taste, I think I'm used to the regular old oven taste and I'm not too excited about smoked turkey. I just used charcoal (no wood), although I had temp issues and the temp went down so I had to add more unlit charcoal. Maybe I got too much of the flavour from new briquettes burning (hard to put lit coals in the Napoleon)? Turkey skin got to be more of a black (although not burnt) colour on top and still didn't really crisp up. I used the S&G rub (which I like), and I did put it under the skin on the meat. I'm thinking I'd do it in the oven next time. Had similar temp issues with the maverick probe vs my instant read. Glad I checked when I did as it was going to be overdone. Meat was still relatively tender.

            Totally unrelated side note - try holding the "alt" key down on your keyboard, and typing the numbers 2, 4, 8 in that order. You should get the ° symbol. See if it works.

          OK, so aside from commenting on Barry's story, here's how my turkey escapade went this past weekend (I tried to follow MH's directions as best I could).

          Turkey prep:
          Prepped it the night before: took out the giblets (threw away the liver), cut away the excess skin around the cavity, cut off the wing tips - it all went in the gravy. Dry brined and put it in the fridge on a rack. Didn't wash it, just patted dry with paper towel. I think I could have used more salt.
          Made the gravy as per MH's directions. (side note - people seem to have a hard time with the thin gravy. They can't seem to wrap their head around it).
          Next day - mixed S&G rub with oil and slathered it on the turkey and under the skin and let it sit for a few more hours.

          Smoker prep: (timings kinda sucked that day as unfortunately I had to attend a funeral).
          Used minion method and put lots of briquettes to get to 325°F. No wood. Let it heat up whilst at the funeral. Got the heat up to 325 no prob.
          Put gravy in the water pan. I was going to use a different pan and put it on the lower rack, but it wasn't going to fit, so I just used the water pan that is part of the smoker. I think that's where things went a little sideways for me.
          Put turkey in the smoker on top grate, one Mav probe in turkey and the other still in the grommet under the top rack.
          Smoker started to lose heat quickly. Should have removed water pan with gravy, but decided to add more (unlit) briquettes. Temp was below 200°F for a short spell,
          then eventually rose, but stayed in the mid 200's until I decided to remove the water pan completely. Eventually had temps around 350°, but was able to keep it around 325°F
          Turkey was cooking ok - mav probe was at about 150°F when I decided to use an instant read. Holy smokes! Breast temps were 170+, dark meat was 180+
          Turkey came off immediately!

          Carving went well, and things were timed relatively well (we were waiting on the turkey a little so the rest of the meal was ready). As it turned out, the meat was still juicy and relatively tender despite overshooting the desired temps (I'll have to do a double check on my thermometers). Skin was still a little rubbery and on the verge of being burnt (more black than golden brown). Overall taste was a little smokey for my taste, but not too bad. I think I prefer an oven roast flavour....

          Things I would do differently:
          I would go back to a regular oven. If room allows, I'd put the gravy pan underneath. If not, I'll just do the gravy on the stove and put a tray underneath to catch the drippings (mostly to avoid the fire department). Otherwise, same prep (dry brine, let the legs/wings fly free, S&G rub on and under, etc).
          If I were to try the smoker again (and I prob will just to see if the changes make a difference), I would have the water pan in, but leave it dry, and do the gravy on the stove. I think with steady heat the whole time (without having to add unlit briquettes), I might get a different flavour and maybe the skin will crisp up better. Just a guess, though.


            Sas, I am traveling and stuck using my IPad so I am struggling. The taste of our turkey was excellent. The wife especially enjoyed it. My next one I will do also on a pellet grill. I will use a different seasoning and not use the S&G rub in oil. I will probably use my Zues Greek seasoning and leave the skin dry as possible. I will again cook it at 325 and use my maverick to confirm box temp before I put th bird in and adjust the temp to keep it 325 while cooking. I am sure it will also be an excellent bird but I am striving for my perfection which we all do in our own way. I will also watch my IT to ensure I remove when it reaches 325 in the thick part of the breast.


            thanks for the input Barry. I guess we all have some tweaking to do with our efforts. I guess that's what makes it fun! Good luck on your next attempt.



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