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To bacon or not to bacon

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  • Mudbeaver
    Former Member
    • May 2018
    • 457
    • Marathon NY

    To bacon or not to bacon

    So, last year I smoked a turkey breast for Christmas, now family says I’m the man for the job. Last year I did a wet brine and smoked for around 6 hours. This year I have a whole 15 lb turkey. Plan on buttering under the skin. But thought, well by golly, y don’t I just stuff some bacon up in there n butter skin for crisp? Also doing a dry brine. So what do you guys think?? Any advice on smoking a whole bird will be appreciated HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!
  • jfmorris
    Club Member
    • Nov 2017
    • 2937
    • Huntsville, Alabama
    • Jim Morris

      Cookers
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      • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

    #2
    Mudbeaver, I smoke whole or spatchcocked turkeys most Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. This year I smoked two 20 pound birds for Thanksgiving, and a 15 pounder the following week (got it for half price on Black Friday).

    Nothing wrong with that butter under the skin, but bacon under the turkey skin will never crisp up in my opinion. While it might impart some flavor to the breast meat, I also think it will interfere with crisping of the skin on the turkey, or that is what I think will happen.

    My advice is to skip the bacon - just eat it or use in another recipe, and dry brine and season your turkey. I would dry brine with kosher salt the day before the cook and leave it on a pan in the fridge, and then season generously both over and under the skin right before putting it on the smoker. Include the butter if you like. Leave off the bacon under the skin part. Smoke at 325 to 350 for crispy skin.

    I don't know what temp you smoked at to take 6 hours to smoke a turkey breast or turkey. Unless you are putting it on the smoker still partially frozen, a 15 pound bird should take 2.5 to 3 hours whole, and 2 hours or close to it if spatchcocked. I leave a probe in the deepest part of the breast, and set my alarm for 160F.

    Comment


    • Potkettleblack
      Potkettleblack commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree with JF... The bacon will mess up the skin... if you want that bacon flavor, render some bacon fat and inject with it, though I think the smokiness and porkiness will overwhelm the turkey flavor.

      Making stuffing with bacon lardons in it, on the other hand... that's where to put the bacon.

    • EdF
      EdF commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, that stuffing idea could work, but then I tend to go for the traditional sagey sausage!
  • jfmorris
    Club Member
    • Nov 2017
    • 2937
    • Huntsville, Alabama
    • Jim Morris

      Cookers
      • Camp Chef FTG900 Flat Top Grill (2020)
      • Weber Genesis II E-410 w/ GrillGrates (2019)
      • Weber Performer Deluxe 22.5" w/ GrillGrates & Slow 'N Sear & Drip ‘N Griddle & Party Q (2007)
      • Custom Built Offset Smoker (304SS, 22"x34" grate, circa 1985)
      • King Kooker 94/90TKD 105K/60K dual burner patio stove
      • Lodge L8D03 5 quart dutch oven
      • Lodge L10SK3 12" skillet
      • Anova
      Thermometers
      • Thermoworks Smoke w/ Wifi Gateway
      • Thermoworks Dot
      • Thermoworks Thermapen Classic
      • Thermoworks RT600C
      Beverages
      • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

    #3
    A good time guide is in this article:

    https://amazingribs.com/tested-recip...dapted-cooking

    Comment

    • BriggsBBQ
      Former Member
      • Feb 2016
      • 299
      • Dallas

      #4
      My biggest things about Turkey is high heat. I would do 375-425 F. Also the smaller the better you are good with 15lb. The 20+ one's are hard to get up to temp without them drying out.

      Out of all the stuff I have done to turkeys the easiest was deep frying. If you can get it tied up right rotisserie is pretty easy too.

      Comment


      • BriggsBBQ
        BriggsBBQ commented
        Editing a comment
        Also I wet brine. To me it is just easier to dump it in the cooler with some salt. 1 cup per gallon.
    • Mudbeaver
      Former Member
      • May 2018
      • 457
      • Marathon NY

      #5
      Man I’m not sure I can run much over 300 with the ol okie. I cannot remember exactly how long it took or what temp. I almost feel like I did 275 250

      Comment


      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        I had the same problem with my old offset on Thanksgiving. I just had to throw tons of charcoal and wood chunks into the firebox to keep it over 325. Thankfully, especially if you spatchcock, you only gotta keep it hot for 2 hours.
    • Mudbeaver
      Former Member
      • May 2018
      • 457
      • Marathon NY

      #6
      Any recommendations on seasoning? I think I used kickin chicken last year

      Comment


      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        If I don't use Simon & Garfunkel I like Lawry's Chicken & Poultry Rub. It's salted, so I just use it as my brine and push it up under the skin too.

      • Bumby
        Bumby commented
        Editing a comment
        Agree with jfmorris re Simon & Garfunkel. I like that as a base and will frequently add a little Spanish paprika, chili powder, chipotle powder and/or cumin to add a little kick and character.
    • Murdy
      Club Member
      • May 2018
      • 460
      • North-Central Illinois

      #7
      Another thought on bacon: while virtually everybody loves bacon, it is a very strong taste and will materially change the turkey, which is fine, as long as that's what you want and think everyone will be happy with -- holiday meals are, to a certain extent, about tradition.

      Comment

    • Mudbeaver
      Former Member
      • May 2018
      • 457
      • Marathon NY

      #8
      EdF I totally read that recipie, and love it.

      Comment

      • fracmeister
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 1216
        • Sprang, TX
        • Dances with lemmings

          (and smokes on a Yoder 640, raises bees and shoots a .408 WIndrunner) "come la notte i furti miei seconda"

        #9
        Crisping skin... my secrets.

        Dry brine like you mean it. Spathcock. Poke holes in the skin. Seperate the skin from the bird putting your gloved hand all up there to make sure some salt get on the flesh. Put whole herbs under the skin...not for flavor per se but to seperate the skin from the meat. Cook at 375F will breast meat at 160 (never had a problem with dark meat being at 170 when I do this). When removing the bird slice the skin between the leg and body (releasing steam which could sog things up.)

        I use to add some baking powder in the dry brine (NOT SODA) but I don't need it with this.

        Ultimate crispy skin... remove it all, cut the bird up and sous vide to perfection (about 140F for 2 hours depending on size), searing on removal and deep frying the skin in cut up pieces... crispier than potato chips.

        Comment

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        Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

        Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Space is limited to 400, secure your spot by booking early!
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