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QVQ Turkey For Thanksgiving

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  • mavrick300
    Club Member
    • Nov 2018
    • 7

    QVQ Turkey For Thanksgiving

    It is officially the time of year for Turkey Posts from the look of it!

    I have done some research on Sous Vide for turkey this year and have some questions for you experts on here.

    I plan on buying hopefully a decent quality turkey from Whole foods, I see they offer some heritage breed so will probably go that way if available!

    I will inject or dry brine myself or probably a little of both?

    Here is my plan of attack.

    Break Turkey into parts Breasts, thighs (deboned) and legs.

    Smoke on Camp Chef Pellet Grill Low Smoke setting for an hour or 2

    Sous vide Breasts at 140 legs and thighs at 150? This is where I am seeing a lot of different temps and times and wanted most imput on.

    Shock in ice bath and refrigerate (will probably do this Sunday before)

    Reheat on smoker at 325 to help crisp the skin

    Serve and Enjoy the fruits of my labor.

    Any thoughts?
  • Spinaker
    • Nov 2014
    • 9961
    • Land of Tonka
    • John "J R"
      Instagram: JRBowlsby
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    Looks good to me. When I make it QVQ, I generally will sear it in a cast iron pan with some tallow. Then I bag it and cook it SV. Then I will shock it, then smoke at a later time. Give it some heat at the end to crisp it up and its a hit!

    I cook SV at 150 F X12 hrs for the legs and then 131 F X 12 Hours for the breasts. All get shocked and then smoked and seared on the big day.

    This is all very similar to the recipe and instruction at Chefs Steps.


    • hogdog6
      hogdog6 commented
      Editing a comment
      I've done this chef steps version twice and IMHO it was excellent. It will now be my go to for traditional type turkey. What else is great, with the parts you cut out they are perfect for a delicious instant pot soup. Therefore getting the best of both worlds out of one bird.
      Last edited by hogdog6; November 29th, 2019, 06:57 PM.
  • Potkettleblack
    Club Member
    • Jun 2016
    • 1797
    • Chicago, IL
    • Grill: Grilla Original / Weber Genesis EP-330
      Thermometers: Thermapen / iGrill 2 / Fireboard
      For Smoke: Chunks / Pellet Tube / Mo Pouch
      Sous Vide: Joule / Nomiku WiFi
      Disqus: Le Chef - (something something something)

    I approve of 145 for the light meat and 165 for the dark. I think 150 is fine for the dark, though.

    The thing you have to figure is that you have to figure what you want on the plate at the end. Turkey confit of the dark meat? That's a higher temp. Traditional roast texture, that's probably 155+ for some amount of time <8 hours. Something uniquely sous vide... that's lower and longer.

    Always start with the end in mind. That's how you view the various turkey projects at various sites with SV time/temp combos... ChefSteps, Serious Eats, SousVide Resources, or even those Sous Vide Everything idiots.


    • mavrick300
      mavrick300 commented
      Editing a comment
      This has been the most confusing part of researching, lots of different temps and times!

      I would like a texture not too far from traditional with the added tenderness and juicyness of Sous Vide.

      on SE I see he recomends 145 for the temp but couldn't find much info for the dark meat.

      Is it advisable to do some test runs with chicken?

      I have not Sous Vided any poultry yet only pork and beef.

    • Potkettleblack
      Potkettleblack commented
      Editing a comment
      For traditional, white to 145-155 dark 155-165.
      Chicken test runs are not a bad idea at all.
  • RichieB
    Club Member
    • Apr 2018
    • 806
    • Western Mass

    Normally my wife is in charge of Thanksgiving and does most of the cooking. She's been having medical issues that will limit her participation this year. So my daughter will be taking on her part plus what she normally contributes. A typical bird is 28#. Not this year. In addition to the the bird and all the fixings there is the Italian side. That's ravioli, bracoile, ox tails and her "Thanksgiving Sauce". Not this year.
    So, I'm thinking 2 birds. One my daughter will do and I'll do another in some fashion on the Kettle or gasser with rotisserie.
    Thoughts ideas welcomed. I've spun chicken on the gasser and spatchcoked on the kettle. Happy with the results. I'm thinking 10-12# and my daughter similar size.

    Update. Today my wife said she had to pick a few things at the store. Came home with all the meat I mentioned plus some. Sauce already made. They
    ( daughter and wife) had a good chuckle on my take. So 28# bird and everything I said would not be done will be. I was told that I can grill a turkey anytime, just not Thanksgiving.
    So I'll just sit back watch football and sip on some bourbon, and have some select wines for dinner. I'd done that anyway, but now I'll feel more vindicated.
    Last edited by RichieB; November 1st, 2019, 07:04 PM.


    • SierraBBQGuy
      Club Member
      • Jan 2018
      • 173
      • Shingle Springs CA
      • Grills and Smokers:
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        Sapphire martini up (bone dry) olive and a twist
        Burbon barrel stout
        Jonny Walker Blue - if someone else is buying

      I have found times/temps all over the map. Just read a recipe from Forno Bravo (wood fired ovens) where the chef SVs the breast for 2 hr, leg quarters for 3 hr, both at 140° This was with a (small) 12 lb bird, but this seems way less than most everything else I seen. Very confusing!



      • rscurry
        Club Member
        • Aug 2019
        • 11

        Having now tried several of the more popular turkey SV recipes, including Meatheads, and ruined several complete turkeys in the process I share the following observations... there is a big difference between pasteurized safe done, and tender good done.

        the size of the turkey part makes a big difference in the needed SV time, but not the temp...i.e. breasts vary alot in size!!!...

        I have not had good success with ANY of the shorter times recipes.ie 2-6 hours The food may be safe, but it is not tender... my best success is dark meat at 148 for 16-20 hours and rib-on breasts at 135 for 12-16 hours... also browning the skin before SV seems to really enhance flavors...

        I know this seems much longer than recommended by many, but thats what has tasted best to my picky family...


        • SierraBBQGuy
          Club Member
          • Jan 2018
          • 173
          • Shingle Springs CA
          • Grills and Smokers:
            Engerbtrecht Braten 100 (wood and charcoal)
            Blaze Grill (gasser)
            Large Big Green Egg
            Large WSM
            Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett (pellet)
            Webber Jumbo Joe
            Webber Smokey Joe

            Sapphire martini up (bone dry) olive and a twist
            Burbon barrel stout
            Jonny Walker Blue - if someone else is buying

          Thanks for that, I’m thinking maybe I’ll skip the big meal for this, for a first try. I’ll do tried and true method for Thanksgiving.


          • Troutman
            Club Member
            • Aug 2017
            • 6511
            • Republic of Texallence

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            How come no one fries turkeys any longer?


            • Potkettleblack
              Potkettleblack commented
              Editing a comment
              Lotsa people fry turkeys. Also a subset of them create large, and amusing, fires.
          • treesmacker
            Club Member
            • May 2018
            • 629
            • Grants Pass OR
              • Rec Tec Trailblazer RT-340
              • O-Grill 600 Portable Grill with O-Dock
              • Cuisinart 360 Griddle

            So, I'm working on the suggestions posted by mavrick300 and Spinaker above...
            • cut up 20 lb turkey (9% saline/sugar injected from store)
            • sear in cast iron to brown some
            • season with sage, thyme, marjoram, etc... poultry seasoning.
            • vac pack breasts/wings, cold shock, store in fridge
            • vac pack and SV leg/thighs @150 for 12 hours; reduce temp to 131; add breast/wings and go another 12 hours
            • cold shock and store in fridge until next day
            • remove from vac pack, on to smoker @190 for 1 hour (pecan pellets)
            • raise smoker temp to 325; remove leg/thighs when internal 150; remove breasts/wings when internal 131
            • pack in zip lock bags and cold shock - store in fridge until next day and then vac pack for transport
            The plan going forward is to transport these to my daughter's place Wednesday and on Thanksgiving day, reheat in SV bath, followed by just a bit of high oven heat to dry the surface and final crisp on skin.

            This is my first try at this - hope it works out to be tender and juicy, and most of all easy to do on Thanksgiving, so I can spend precious time with my daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren.

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            Last edited by treesmacker; November 26th, 2019, 12:33 AM.


            • GDavis
              Charter Member
              • Jun 2015
              • 23
              • New Port Richey, FL
              • Southern Smoke!

              I just did 2 14 lb turkeys that were wet brined with honey for 12 hours, oiled and wet rubbed with Simon & Garfunkel. They were cooked whole on a Camp Chef Woodwind at 375 degrees for about 2.5 hours internal temp of 160 degrees. Question is any advice on reheating the left overs with sous vide. The birds were broken down into boneless whole breasts, thigh & leg quarters, and wings. Time and temperature would be helpful.

              Click image for larger version

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              • Potkettleblack
                Potkettleblack commented
                Editing a comment
                Reheat at maybe 135-145, time will depend on thickness.
            • mavrick300
              Club Member
              • Nov 2018
              • 7

              Here's how she came out! Juicy and delicious. I think i did myself in though because now the mother in law says she can never have another turkey again lo .

              Click image for larger version

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