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Need help with this turkey phenomena. (Pics)

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    Need help with this turkey phenomena. (Pics)

    So turkeys are so cheap I decided to get a couple to take off the bone for gumbos and jambalaya. I did one in the Big Easy Oil-Less Fryer that turned out great. Spatchcocked the other and smoked it. The guru probe hit 160Ëš in the breast so I went to thermapen probe it. I was getting different readings in different parts of the breast so I let it cook longer. When it got to 167Ëšon the guru probe I thermapen probed it again and was getting from 152Ëš-162Ëš. I didnt want to dry the breast out so I pulled it. It was done, juicy, no pink and the juices were clear, so I ask...why do I get different readings in the breast like that? I know its cuz of different thickness but what do you do...do you wait until the entire breast reads 160Ëšand risk drying it out? Puzzles me. Oh yeah I smoked some ribs too. Peace. Click image for larger version

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    I would calibrate both thermo's with a glass of ice water, stirred, not shaken.

    I tend to trust the Thermapen over my other ones.

    That is exactly what we are doing Thanksgiving. I found a 13 pound fresh turkey today. Thank goodness. I didn't want to fight a 17-22 pound bird.

    I'll smoke ribs on the offset since I want to run 325+ in the Pit Barrel.


      Yup. Calibrate all your probes together in an ice slurry, then calibrate them in boiling water (whatever that temp is for your elevation, 212 minus 2 degrees for every 1,000ft above sea level). Make notes of what they all say in each. Then you'll know which ones are off, and by how much on the low end and on the boiling end. then if you know one is off by, say 10 degrees, then you file that away for future cooks and you're good.


        Both probes are spot on in the same glass of ice water slurry.


          Originally posted by Cayenneman View Post
          ...but what do you do...do you wait until the entire breast reads 160Ëšand risk drying it out? Puzzles me. ...
          This is a bit of a judgment call. The answer is that you need all of the meat cooked to your minimum safe temp. The reality is that it's meat and doesn't cook uniformly. I like to make sure I'm comfortable whatever I'm cooking will get to a good final temp (throughout the meat) either while it's on the grill or while it's sitting at the table waiting for me to eat it. For example, I cook bone in chicken breasts to 160F. Sometimes when they are close to getting done I'll read a range of temps in the meat that go from 157F to 163F. At this point I feel it's safe to take off the grill because I know all of the meat will "rest up" to a final temp of 160F or higher by the time the meat has rested a couple of minutes off the grill and the heat averages out throughout the meat.


            There are plenty of folks who pull a turkey at 150f if they are going to let it sit a while. I prefer 160 but if I stab 155 some place I am not concerned. The legs are of course usually hotter.


              I've been seeing that more and more, too, fracmeister--recommended temps for turkey breast at 150 and thighs at 165. Chefs like Rick Bayliss and Kenji Lopez-Alt are recommending it for a moister bird.

              I've never done it, but the idea is supported by the concept that Meathead talks about--safe food is based both on temp and time.

              Apparently if the bird's breast stays at 150 for 3.8 or more minutes, the salmonella is dead and the meat is safe to eat. That said, there are the usual warnings about feeding food at these temperatures to children and the elderly.

              I'm going to stick with 160 for the breast/ 180 for the thighs, though.



                I pulled one at 150F but there was some meat just at the bone that looked underdone. I just tossed that little bit in a warm oven as it was less than 1/2 lb...the rest of the bird was perfect. Nonetheless for my pterodactyl (26 lb turkey) I am looking for 160 even though I am sure that will mean the exterior is a bit too dry. The cost of a giant bird perhaps



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