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  • MASTER SHREWS
    Former Member
    • Aug 2016
    • 7
    • Manassas VA

    Turkey skin

    How's it going?

    I have a question for my fellow pit masters. I smoked my first turkey yesterday and everything was perfect except for the skin. It was about a 16 pound turkey that I cooked on my 22.5 inch weber smoky mountain. I spatchcock it, dry brined it with salt only, sprayed it down with vegetable oil and seasoned it with Italian seasoning, then cooked it for about 3 1/2 hours. Temp stayed above 300 for most of the cook and got up to about 330 at the highest temp. After pulling it off the cooker and carving it it was moist and juicy and delicious. However, The skin was rubbery and almost impossible to eat.

    I would very much like some advice on how to get a crispier skin next time. Almost everything I cook on my WSM is delicious but like I mentioned earlier, i'm not experienced with turkey and this was my first one.

    thank you in advance,
    Kevin
  • lschweig
    Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 983
    • Oswego, Il

    #2
    I dry brine, rub without oil (as spices dissolve better in water than oil as per Meathead) sprinkle some baking powder on and then put uncovered in the fridge for 1-2 days (2 days is better) on some sort of rack so it is not sitting in it's own juices.
    Then cook at a minimum of 325 and 350 is better.
    Since doing this with poultry the skin has been nice and crispy as a rule.

    Comment

    • 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

      #3
      One thing that has been working for me lately with poultry, in addition to what you've already done (skip the oil spray, and modify where you put the dressing) is to use my hand to separate the skin from the meat to form two pockets, one on each side of the breast center cartilage/bone. Start from the backside and work your hand towards the front, on the breast. Then put some veg oil and herbs and your seasoning in the pockets you've created. You can probably skip the italian dressing doing this, or replace the oil+herbs with the dressing - I'm just not sure what the moisture content is in the dressing, and you want no moisture for this kind of low-temp cook. Don't use butter instead of oil - it contains water and that defeats the effect. Much as I like a turkey slathered with butter.

      Comment

      • Willy
        Charter Member
        • Apr 2015
        • 1765
        • High Desert of the Great Southwest

        #4
        I usually do poultry on a rotisserie (around 375°F), which gives nice crispy skin. I THINK (not know) that you need to be around 350-ish to get crispy skin. Fer shure, you want to start dry as per EdF.

        Comment

        • 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

          #5
          Did a smallish bird Monday. Temp fluctuated +/- 15 around 330. Cook was only an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half Click image for larger version

Name:	20170220_181704.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	6.82 MB
ID:	280243 , and it came out nice and crispy. So in a similar ballpark here.

          Comment

          • Huskee
            Pit Boss/Manager
            • May 2014
            • 13889
            • central MI, USA
            • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

              Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

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            #6
            Welcome to The Pit, Kevin! I moved this to the Recipes > Chicken & Turkey channel since it's more of a technique question on poultry skin than an intro.. (on that note, pop back in and give us an intro about yourself when you can).

            I say skip the oil. Cook at 340-360 the whole cook. Funny thing is, when I wet brine my poultry I get crispier skin. Try it!

            Comment

            • 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

              #7
              Let the experiments commence! ;-)

              Comment

              • MASTER SHREWS
                Former Member
                • Aug 2016
                • 7
                • Manassas VA

                #8
                Thank all of you guys for the information and advice. Sounds like leaving the oil out and cranking up the heat a bit more is pretty much all I need to improve. I'm thinking about next time just doing a turkey breast instead of the whole bird since the white meat of the turkey is my favorite anyways.

                this seems like a really good site for cooking information because there are so many people to share ideas with. I look forward to chatting with all of you more. Again thank all of you.

                Shrews


                Comment

                • DWCowles
                  Founding Member
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 9760
                  • Smiths Grove, Ky
                  • Hi, my name is Darrell. I'm an OTR truck driver for over 25 years. During my off time I love doing backyard cooks. I have a 48" Lang Deluxe smoker, Rec-Tec pellet smoker,1 Weber Genesis 330, 1 Weber Performer (blue), 2 Weber kettles (1 black and 1 Copper), 1 26" Weber kettle, a WSM, 8 Maverick Redi Chek thermometers, a PartyQ, 2 SnS, Grill Grates, Cast Iron grates, 1 ThermoPop (orange) and 2 ThermoPens (pink and orange) and planning on adding more cooking accessories. Now I have an Anova sous vide, the Dragon blower and 2 Chef alarms from Thermoworks.

                  #9
                  Welcome MASTER SHREWS

                  Comment


                  • MASTER SHREWS
                    MASTER SHREWS commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks I appreciate it !

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