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Learning the Turkey.

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  • sos2979
    Club Member
    • Jan 2017
    • 123
    • Lubbock, TX
    • Deep in the MCS zone.
      Currently have
      Gas: Weber Genesis 330
      Charcoal: Weber 22 Premium
      Smoker: PBC
      Toys: DigiQ, Thermapen thermometer, Lodge Griddle/Grill
      Looking to acquire: SNS, and one of everything else

    Learning the Turkey.

    Have smoked several turkeys over the years with mixed results, but decided to give one a try this past weekend. Armed with Meathead's book and a bunch of charcoal this is what I did.

    Spatchcocked the turkey and salted it for a dry brine. Original weight was 20lbs so I estimated 18 after trimming and removing the backbone and used 9 teaspoons kosher salt. Went in the fridge for 18hrs.
    Started charcoal with one mini-log of pecan and seasoned the meat with Simon and Garfunkel seasoning rubbed under and on top of the skin. Back in the fridge while I prepped the smoker. I have a homemade drum smoker. Layered unlit coals and 3 pieces of pecan wood around outside and dumped hot coals and wood in middle. Used a DigiQ controller.
    After 30 minutes or so temp was near 300 so the bird went on cavity side down. Held between 300-325 for first 2hrs, but then had some controller problems and temp started to slowly drop as the fan stopped. The cooker was at 245 when the meat-probe read 150 in breast, 165 in thigh and I moved it to my gas grill for finishing. Used 2 of the 3 burners on my Weber to keep temp around 325 until probe read 160 in the breast, thigh was 175. I didn't cut immediately as my wife wasn't home from work yet so I left it uncovered in the oven to rest.

    Meat was very juicy, but the flavors were mild. May have gone too light on the seasoning, but I also think the size of the breast played a role. Hard to get flavor in the middle. Will consider book's advice and try smaller bird next time. Smoke flavor was fairly intense so could probably cut down to 1 lit and 1 unlit next time. Overall I was very happy for trying a very different technique from what I had been doing. Any additional advice for getting flavor into big breasts and other techniques is greatly appreciated. Meant to take more pictures, but only got this one after the cook was done.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by sos2979; February 22nd, 2017, 10:11 AM.
  • customtrim
    Former Member
    • Dec 2016
    • 1123
    • stow ohio

    #2
    Looks really good. Can try injecting, i normally do

    Comment

    • Thunder77
      Founding Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 2602
      • Halethorpe, MD
      • Weber 22.5" Kettle with SnS Brinkmann 5 burner gasser. Akorn Kamado, and Akorn Jr kamado. Love grilling steaks, ribs, and chicken. Need to master smoked salmon Favorite cool weather beer: Sam Adams Octoberfest Favorite warm weather beer: Yuengling Traditional Lager All-time favorite drink: Single Malt Scotch

      #3
      That is a beautiful bird! +1 on what customtrim said. I like to inject my birds as well. How about a picture of your smoker??

      Comment


      • sos2979
        sos2979 commented
        Editing a comment
        Don't have any on my phone, but I'll update later. It don't look like much, but it works. Been thinking about buying another drum as this one is about dead. Can move over the firebox and grates so it's cheap.
    • EdF
      EdF
      Club Member
      • Jul 2016
      • 3139
      • Atlantic Highlands, NJ
      • Uuni Pro (new kid in town)
        Karubeque C-60
        Large BGE since 2002 + plate setter + pizza stone + upper grid + stainless paella pan for drippings (the best!)
        TEC Cherokee FR since 2014 (portable infrared grill - does a mighty sear)
        Polyscience Sous Vide Pro since 2012 (wasn't much else available in those days)
        Thermapen
        Thermapen Air
        ThermaQ (or its predecessor)
        Thermoworks Hi temp IR
        BBQ Dragon & Chimney of Insanity
        Various other stuff

      #4
      Definitely very nice looking. The smaller bird idea can help with the breast meat flavor.

      Comment

      • Steve B
        Club Member
        • Jun 2016
        • 2612
        • Rockland county New York
        • Lonestar Grillz 24x36 offset smoker, grill, w/ main chamber charcoal grate and 3 tel-tru thermometers - left, right and center
          Yoke Up custom charcoal basket and a Grill Wraps cover.

          22.5 copper kettle w/ SnS, DnG, BBQ vortex, gasket and stainless steel hinge kit.

          Napoleon gas grill (soon to go bye bye) rotting out.

          1 maverick et-733 digital thermometer - black
          1 maverick et-733 - gray
          1 new standard grilling remote digital thermometer
          1 thermoworks thermopen mk4 - red
          1 thermoworks thermopop - red

          Pre Miala flavor injector
          taylor digital scale
          TSM meat grinder
          chefs choice food slicer
          cuisinhart food processor
          food saver vacuum sealer
          TSM harvest food dehydrator

        #5
        Very nice looking bird. Only thing would be to inject and maybe some more simon and garfunkel rub. Otherwise it looks perfect.

        Comment

        • Steve R.
          Club Member
          • Jul 2016
          • 1900
          • Elizabethtown, KY
          • Current line-up of cookers: Weber 22.5" Original Premium kettle w/ SnS and BBQ Guru adapter; Old Country Over and Under smoker; PBC; Weber Ranch Kettle w/ Guru adapter.

          #6
          From the title, I didn't expect to scroll down and see something that looked so outstanding. Nice work! I'm definitely in favor of the smaller turkey idea, if flavor is an issue. I don't even bother injecting a 13 pounder and they always turn out great.

          Comment

          • Baker Dan
            Charter Member
            • Nov 2014
            • 336
            • North Eastern IL. McHenry County

            #7
            Good lookin bird

            Comment

            • BBQbot
              Former Member
              • Dec 2016
              • 77
              • California

              #8
              That's a nice looking cook!

              Comment

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              Meat-Up in Memphis 2020

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