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Need Guidence on Smoked Turkey breasts

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    Need Guidence on Smoked Turkey breasts

    So my neighborhood has had a hankering for smoked turkey. I'm not doing the whole bird but I am doing 10 breasts. I have never smoked just turkey breasts and would like to know ideas on time and temp. Thanks

    #2
    Hi Florida: I just spoke with one of the guys here at work who used to be the head chef at the Banff Springs Hotel.

    This is what he told me:


    First are you going to brine the breasts or not? If you're going to brine the breasts an interior temp of 160F is a good temp. If you're not going to brine the breasts, then go for 165F. Keep your smoker at about the 250F temp.

    Are the breasts on the bone or off? This doesn't seem to matter as much, but no touching between the breasts bone or no bone.

    You'll find that each breast will smoke based on it's size and weight. Start off with your meat thermo in the smallest breast, and when it gets to temp, check with your thermo pen all the other breasts that are about the same size. Anything that is not near that temp can be left in the smoker, and move your thermo probe into the next largest size that hasn't come up to temp.

    It's either that or overcook some of the smaller breasts when you put the thermo probe in the largest breast.

    There are a LOT of variables involved, your smoker, any hot or cold spots in it? If you do have variances in temp, rotate the meat to keep those to a minimum.

    That's the info my chef friend gave to me so I could pass it along.

    Comment


      #3
      no cold spots at all.......what should be my constant temp ? meaning my grill temp

      Comment


        #4
        Keep your smoker about 250F

        Comment


          #5
          Cadmentr gives you some very sound advice. Meathead recommends smoking chicken & turkey at 325. This does two things- speeds up the cook time and helps retain moisture by a shorter cook, and helps crisp the skin. You can certainly do a lower temp like Cad suggests, but be aware of the rationale behind the higher temp.
          Last edited by Huskee; October 2, 2014, 11:37 AM.

          Comment


          • Pork Lord
            Pork Lord commented
            Editing a comment
            I did that(smoke at 325) for two chickens on my pit last weekend. (I used to slow and low on chicken) and they were by far the best birds I ever turned out! Crispy skin and the meat wasn't overcooked and falling off the bone.

          #6
          thanks for the input

          Comment


            #7
            Poultry - 325F until it hits 165 (white meat). Instead of a traditional brine, I prefer MH's dry brine method, you get really crispy skin that way. Check out the Ultimate Smoked Turkey, it can easily be adapted to breasts only.

            Comment


              #8
              While on the topic, I'm about to smoke a 12 lb double-breast on the weekend. Typically I brine my birds in a solution, but I'm intrigued if anyone's had more success with a dry-brine instead. I'll be smoking them without the skin (rather remove and roast it to make turkey skin chicharonnes, which I luuuuuuuuurv!).

              Comment


                #9
                Originally posted by biggreenmatt View Post
                While on the topic, I'm about to smoke a 12 lb double-breast on the weekend. Typically I brine my birds in a solution, but I'm intrigued if anyone's had more success with a dry-brine instead. I'll be smoking them without the skin (rather remove and roast it to make turkey skin chicharonnes, which I luuuuuuuuurv!).


                Dry Brine with salt. Inject with butter. Best turkey ever.

                Comment


                  #10
                  Yeah, if you dry brine the skin and cook at 325, you should have great skin. Either way, for a whole breast, I would stick with dry bringing. Obviously injecting with butter is a must!

                  Comment


                    #11
                    Thanks for the reply, guys.

                    I'm not worried about the skin- it's my complete intention to take it off and cook it separately. Frankly, I don't like smoked skin. Rather have it crisp and beautiful straight out of the oven.

                    My concern is juicy, plump, perfectly done, smoked poultry meat. Is this better accomplished with a brine or salt?

                    Comment


                      #12
                      Originally posted by biggreenmatt View Post
                      Thanks for the reply, guys.

                      I'm not worried about the skin- it's my complete intention to take it off and cook it separately. Frankly, I don't like smoked skin. Rather have it crisp and beautiful straight out of the oven.

                      My concern is juicy, plump, perfectly done, smoked poultry meat. Is this better accomplished with a brine or salt?
                      Dry Brine (Salt)

                      Comment


                        #13
                        BGM, I have done them both ways. When I do chicken pieces they're always skinless, and whole birds I tend to do skin-on. I wet brine skinless pieces in a solution of 1 gal water, 1C salt, 1C sugar, for 1 Hr <--- I've tried many brines and this is my personal favorite FWIW. I cook skinless usually at 225, it still develops a nice (thin) bark layer, similar to skin anyway. When I do whole birds I dry brine and cook at 325 (because of the skin). I am not knocking dry brining breast pieces, simply sharing what I do. A good dry brine on skinless will result in likely the same outcome but be less hassle and waste less salt for sure. Experiment!

                        Comment


                          #14
                          Originally posted by bbantel View Post
                          Yeah, if you dry brine the skin and cook at 325, you should have great skin. Either way, for a whole breast, I would stick with dry bringing. Obviously injecting with butter is a must!
                          The turkey that I did a couple of weekends ago overall was great. But the skin was not crispy. I cooked at 325*F, I used the S&G rub and applied all over the exterior skin mixed with oil. I think that was my problem. Maybe if I had put the rub under the skin it would have crisped up??

                          Comment


                            #15
                            I agree with Pit Boss and others. Dry brine, inject with butter, and run at 325 deg F. The butter is key in my opinion.

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