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Cheeseclth, or no cheesecloth?

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    Cheeseclth, or no cheesecloth?

    Hi all,
    Just joined the Pitmaster Club and this is my first foray into the forum.
    I plan to smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving on my 18.5" Weber Smokey Mountain. Meathead's "ultimate smoked turkey recipe" looks sensational, and I plan to follow it to the letter. Having watched a Youtube video of a Canadian chap who did Meathead's recipe on a Weber kettle, I noticed that the turkey is VERY dark when done. Can any of you (especially Meathead) comment on my thought of covering my bird with a layer of cheesecloth for the first half of the smoke? I am hoping this would result in crisp skin, but with not quite so much browning.
    Good or bad idea?

    Thanks to all for comments!

    Nice permit! Cant help you about the cheesecloth though.


      I have never heard of this cheesecloth process but, if the goal is crispy skin, I would think that anything that gets between the hot air and the skin that is not highly transmissive, like metal, will prevent crisping. The color of the skin depends on the combustion byproducts: especially smoke. More smoke, darker skin. On my WSM I get beautiful skin by making sure the coals are well lit and not using any wood. Unlit coals put out more smoke so I want them well ashed over. Besides, even though I love smoked turkey, too much smoke will ruin it.


      • wahuwa73
        wahuwa73 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, Meathead. I'll go easy on the apple chunks and I'll make sure to use well ashed-over coals. Maybe I'll just tent the turkey for the last hour of the smoke......

      Wahuwa, you might want to do a practice turkey before the big day if you have time. Especially if you are going to your in-laws. LOL I did and am glad because there are things I will do different this time. Good luck and welcome to The Pit.


        Aluminum foil is not a good transmitter. May I humbly suggest that you simply follow my recipe for the Ultimate Smoked Turkey. I get HUNDREDS of comments every year that it is the best turkey they ever tasted. I cannot remember the last complaint.


          Hi Meathead et al......
          Cooked your ultimate Turkey and all extras this turkey Day on my 18'' WSM. The 13 pound Heritage Turkey, dressing and Gravy had my guests in a state for gastric rapture.

          You were right: the turkey was far better than brined, deep fried, roasted birds I have cooked in the past. And the thin gravy was simply other worldly.

          As reassurance to all who hesitate to take this on, follow Meathead's recipe to the letter and you will be afforded entry into The Thanksgiving Turkey Hall of fame!
          By the way, I did add two chunks of apple wood which seemed to impart plenty of wood smoke flavor to the bird.

          My kids have requested that in lieu of a prime rib this Christmas, we do another ultimate turkey-- a hearty endorsement, indeed!

          Thanks again,
          Manchester, MA



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