First go at a turkey

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by rbrinton2373, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. rbrinton2373

    rbrinton2373 Fire Starter

    Well here goes. I have my turkey in a brine solution of roughly salt, Pure maple syrup, garlic and onion. It's about a 13 and half pound bird that I was going to smoke at about 270 but after reading other threads I think I am going to up it to 300-325. Going to use Hickory and Apple or maybe cherry haven't quite decided and if I can find some left over apple from my spring trimmings. My only concern is getting the heat up that high and consistent using briquettes in my Char-Griller smoking pro with SFB. Any hints would be fantastic. I will also document exactly what I do and keep ya'll posted. If it fails ya'll can let me know where I went wrong. And if it's good even better. Thanks everyone you have all been a great help.
     
  2. cajun_1

    cajun_1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You'll do fine ... Keep us updated...
     
  3. crewdawg52

    crewdawg52 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    To get and keep the temps that high, keep the air vents open more than usual until you get to the temp you desire, then close them alittle and adjust from there. If you are having a hard time getting to temp, add more charcoal/wood, and keep a flame going on the wood. That will help getting you to temp. You dont want the wood to smolder heavely and put out the dreaded thick, white, creosote filled smoke.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. tinlemon

    tinlemon Newbie

    I'm a bit confused myself. If you use a water smoker then the highest the temp can get is 212 degrees. If you don't use the water then isn't that just considered grilling? Then how do you get the heat up to 300-325 while still maintaining the smoker characteristics?

    I guess the more that I think about it the water is to maintain a low and slow smoke, but since we don't want low and slow then no water is the way to go.

    What about sand... will sand get up to the 300 degrees?
     
  5. billybones

    billybones Smoke Blower

    I myself was way paranoid when I smoked my first turkey with my ecb, but I think the guidelines are a little strict. I had my ecb cranking and I never reached more than 275. I smoked a 12lb bird for six hours and there were no problems at all. It was delicious and no one got sick. So I'm pretty confused as well as to why people are saying crank up the heat to 325.
     
  6. i use water in my gas smoker and i hit 300 easy the knob is only a little past med
     
  7. martin

    martin Fire Starter

    I think the whole idea is to get the turkey up past the 140 internal mark in a relatively short period of time. I did two 12 lb turkeys two weeks ago at 270 and they turned out great. The skin was rubbery but the meat fantastic. If you smoke higher at 300-350 you will get crispy skin and be done sooner.

    Smoke on!

    Martin
     
  8. dejacks

    dejacks Fire Starter

    I have a question as to whether you guys put the bird in a pan or right on the grill? I want the juiciest bird I can get! Breast down as well, right?
     
  9. i put min right on the grate
     
  10. I asked that question (pan or no pan) last night

    Can anyone say "Weber?"

    and got mixed reviews. Someone suggested that the bird might not get as much smoke...? I am not all about that answer, but I'm doing my first bird tomorrow, so I should not say. Other people said "Go for it" I'm going in the traditional "On Grate" method for tomorrow because I'm to scared!! Let me know how it works.
     
  11. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My charcoal ECB can easily obtain 300º but seems to settle on 250 to 275º. There is no reason you cannot get above 212º with that smoker and a water pan. Yes, your water will do a slow boil, but nothing wrong with that. Replace when needed.
    Want higher, more consistant temps....use playbox sand. Need to finish your meal, pull the water/sand pans and you are basically grilling, but will get the food done sooner.
    Breast down, yes. White meat cooks faster than dark. Turkey on grate, yes. Turkey will not soak in its juices....of course, you may like that.
     
  12. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Basically only for Crispy skin. You need 325 to 375 for this to happen, otherwise skin is usually alittle rubbery. Of course the meat, the most important part is still extremely good.
     
  13. dejacks

    dejacks Fire Starter

    Well for my first out on a Turkey I'm gonna try 275-300 for temps. I don't have a problem reaching and holding the higher temps. I think I'm gonna just put a drip pan underneath and lay the bird on the grates. I am wanting some crispy skin and juicy breasts! Thanks for all the input! You guys are great!
     
  14. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Since that is alittle below the temps for crisp skin, you can try a little mayo on the outside of the bird. then apply your rubs. That's what I will be doing. Drip pan is great idea if you want those drippings.
     
  15. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    TinLemon –

    You said “I'm a bit confused myself. If you use a water smoker then the highest the temp can get is 212 degrees. If you don't use the water then isn't that just considered grilling? Then how do you get the heat up to 300-325 while still maintaining the smoker characteristics?

    - Not so – it will help maintain or stabilize the temperatures when the temperature range is in the normal “low and slow range†of 230 to 250ºF. It can not keep the temperature down to 212ºF.

    I guess the more that I think about it the water is to maintain a low and slow smoke, but since we don't want low and slow then no water is the way to go.

    - You will still want to use water in your water pan. It also help prevent grease fires!


    BillyBones –

    You said â€myself was way paranoid when I smoked my first turkey with my ecb, but I think the guidelines are a little strict. I had my ecb cranking and I never reached more than 275. I smoked a 12lb bird for six hours and there were no problems at all. It was delicious and no one got sick. So I'm pretty confused as well as to why people are saying crank up the heat to 325.â€

    - Guidelines are just that guidelines that worked well for others. You have a choice between “low and slow†or hot and crispy. Another alternative is to use mayonnaise at low temperatures to get a crispy skin. Search fr a thread by AjthePoolMan taking about this method.

    - Can’t remember you use electric or charcoal. In either case a wind break or shield will help to get your temperatures up and save fuel at the same time.


    Dejacks –
    You said â€I have a question as to whether you guys put the bird in a pan or right on the grill? I want the juiciest bird I can get! Breast down as well, right?â€

    - I never do a bird breast down, can’t say I’ve even heard of it. As for on the grate or in a pan … why not do both? Place the bird directly o the grate and place a pan beneath the bird on the next lower grate with aluminum foil in the pan but not touching. This will give you plenty of smoke and allow you to catch the juices from the bird to later make gravy.


    Dan Hamel –
    You said “I asked that question (pan or no pan) last night

    Can anyone say "Weber?"

    and got mixed reviews. Someone suggested that the bird might not get as much smoke...? I am not all about that answer, but I'm doing my first bird tomorrow, so I should not say. Other people said "Go for it" I'm going in the traditional "On Grate" method for tomorrow because I'm to scared!! Let me know how it works.â€

    See the response I gave above to Dejacks.

    Also no need to be scared! Brine your bird, keep you eyes open, use your water pan to shield the bird from flare ups and pull the bird at about 160ºF.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
     
  16. dejacks

    dejacks Fire Starter

    Wow Deb way to answer some questions! I thought I saw somewhere on here where it said to put the breast down, no problem, I can flip the bird. If that's the way you have done it in the past, then thats good enough for me[​IMG]
     
  17. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I've heard it before and the premise is sound. Now Deb did say pull at 160, atleast the dark meat, although if you take a temp of the dark meat, it is probably not 170, which I think is what poultry should be cooked too, atleast according to your chart Deb? I have a chart that says 175º at the leg, but I can pretty much say if you go for that, the breast meat will not be at the optimum moistness you might want. Pretty simple to run a test, except I am only doing a bone in breast tomorrow....no legs [​IMG]
    The idea is that breast meat is further from the heat so when thigh/legs are done, the breast meat will hopefully be 160 to 165º
    If this link doesn't work do a google search....."Turkey Breast up or down"

    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-

    Most of their reasoning is the bird will stay juicier due to moister flowing down into the breast.
     
  18. dejacks

    dejacks Fire Starter

    Well then.....[​IMG] I'll just wing it?
     
  19. shnrbckman

    shnrbckman Newbie

    I am new and this is my first post. I have done several turkeys on my Brinkman water smoker. There are several post that state 212 degrees. True that is the boiling temperature of water, but that is no means the max temperature of the smoker with the water pan in. The introduction of the water pan is primarily for humidification and moistness. All of the turkeys I have done have been excellent and moist. I dry rub them with my favorite rub, and slap them on the Brinkman. Generally in 6 hrs or so they are done, moist and tender...no brine, no baste, no mop. I use a remote thermometer that alerts me of the internal temp of the breast I pull...I rest for 20 and serve. The idea if I am correct of utilizing a smoker/low heat source is to cook for a long period of time at a low temperature. This imparts moist and succulent meat. Cranking the bird up into the mid to high 300's will evaporate the moisture and thus drying out the bird. I will add a picture later tomorrow of my finished product. Sorry for the rambling..it is late and I have an early day mannana.

    PJ
     
  20. ron50

    ron50 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    NY
    No need to be worried, either way will turn out a great bird. There are many differnt paths to get to the same great result.
     

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