First time with wild turkey breast, any tips?

Discussion in 'Wild Game' started by jsharlan, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. I have a wild turkey breast in the freezer I want to try smoking. Does anyone have experience on how to get the most of this? I was thinking of brining it before hand and maybe using apple wood. Any suggestions on brine? What final temp should I look for, and how long does it usually take?
  2. smoke happens

    smoke happens Smoking Fanatic

    I did a wild turkey breast and absolutely ruined it. I did not brine it at all, just seasoned and smoked. Terrible, ended up somewhere in between jerky and shoe leather. I was pissed, it was my first turkey kill and I wanted it to be really good. Had the family over to enjoy it with me, thankfully I had the smoker full of backup food as I knew I did not know what I was doing. I also did that prior to learning about this forum, which would have saved me too I think.

    If I were to do another one, I would brine for sure. Get as much moisture into that VERY lean meat as possible. They are thin compared to most other commercial poultry breast, so your cook time will be shorter. I think I would probably wrap in bacon too, just no moisture content to work with.

    I mounted the fan from the bird, which is the only thing that turned out well. I love it hanging on the wall, it also reminds me of what a miserable failure the cook was though... oh well. Live and learn!!!

    Sorry, probably not much useful info in this reply. Good luck, post methods and pics when you decide to do it.
  3. smokeamotive

    smokeamotive Smoking Fanatic

    Smoke Happens, As your failure may have been quite a dissapointment to you, It does serve a useful porpose to others. We have all had our failures but sharing them lets others learn from our mistakes.

    AS far as smoking a turkey breast ,this is something that is still on my to do list. I would definatly brine it and prehaps I might try injecting it with some kind of fat content. Wether its a high quality oil or melted butter. This may help with it being so dry. As a Turkey hunter myself (and Deer) I have found that finding the perfect recipe for these meats is a trial and effort process. Some work and some............Well, you know!!![​IMG]  Let us know what you do and how it turns out as inquiring minds want to know!

    BTW while were on the subject of wild Turkey, I have found a good recipe for the dark meat that is very easy and quite good. Use it as a substitute for ham in ham and beans. Just toss the hind quarters in a pot of beans and cook till it falls off the bone  Remove the bones and put the meat back in the beans...........Mmmmm..........Good! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  4. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      Definately use a brine!  Check out the 'slaughterhouse brine' in the search bar. Then smoke at 225-240 to an IT of 160-165. Remove, foil and rest for 15-20 mins. Don't forget the Q-view!

  5. smoke happens

    smoke happens Smoking Fanatic

    yeah, that's why I posted it...[​IMG]   figured someone could use the info. I will try again this spring if I can bag another one.
  6. Thanks for the heads up. I was hoping to avoid a bacon wrap, but with all the warnings about drying out, I might not have a way around it.
  7. smoke happens

    smoke happens Smoking Fanatic

    Sounds like you probably could get away with no bacon after looking at a few other posts, main point thus far is you definitely want to brine though.
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Harlan, morning....   There is a tool made called a larding needle.... It is used to pull threads of fat into the middle of meats...  Might be worth a try....

    I have never used one but someone designed them for a reason...  [​IMG]
  9. bkleinsmid

    bkleinsmid Smoking Fanatic

    Morning JSHarlan.....

    A brine is a must.....injection is a help but not mandatory. You really want the skin on but many times that is not an option. Each year I smoke a wild bird......leg quarters are cut off and smoked for a longer time. For me, if I'm doing just the breast, I will wrap it in seasoned butter soaked cheese cloth. This will help to keep moisture in.....but will hinder the smoke a bit. Personally I don't want a heavy smoke on a wild bird so this works very well. I think that the number one thing that I watch out for is internal temp. I will pull the bird out at about 160 to 163 F, wrap loosely in foil, and let rest for about 20 min. The leg quarters get wrapped in foil at this point and go back in until they are least an hour longer. My smoker temp is about 275 F (as high as it will go).

    Now, if this bird has the skin still on it and I want a crispy skin, I have been known to pull it out of the smoker at about 120 F and put it on the BBQ with an indirect fire to finish. Don't forget to take the cheese cloth off before the BBQ if you used it.

    Good someone has said.....

  10. smoke happens

    smoke happens Smoking Fanatic

    That thing is sweet! Going to have to get one of those!!!!!!
  11. What kind of brine mixture did you use for the breast?
  12. i did my first breast a month ago.  it was amazing.  one of my bet smokes ever.  i brined it overnigh. and i also didnt want a bacon flavour to my turkey so i used thick sliced uncured pork belly to wrap it.  i will be posting a thread about my experience soon.  been so busy this summer i have a few smokes i want to post and havent got the chance. a couple of beer can chickens made the pics too

    bestsmoker36 likes this.
  13. I'm doing this tomorrow. I'll let you know how it turns out!:grilling_smilie:
  14. Before: standard smoking rub with a some Penzys spices for a little kick. Then wrapped in bacon. I'm smoking two venison backstraps and four wild turkey breasts.

  15. Two hours in the venison is done and may be over cooked. One read 149 IT and the other 157. It's my first time smoking venison. I was shooting for 140 and waited too long to check. Live and learn.

  16. Finished product: 165 IT. It took less than 3 hours to make all four breasts. They are nice and juicy but still a bit tough in places. I assume this is due to it being wild. Nice smoky flavor though!

    bountyhunr likes this.
  17. I brined them and maybe injected them. No game taste, tasted like ham.
  18. bountyhunr

    bountyhunr Newbie

    I've never brined anything in my life. We don need no stinkin brine...or injection...unless you just want to...

    I always use a water pan for my Wild Turkey. I want my Wild Turkey, to taste like Wild Turkey not ham so, I just use one of those throw away metal pans, a shallow one. No vinegar or beer or whatever, just half full of water, maybe throw in some chopped onion and garlic. Get my grill going, bring it up to around 275, slide the pan in under my grate on the cold side, close the lid and let it get hot in there. Add some GREEN Hickory or applewood, not a lot, just a light smoke at the start. I'll put my rubbed and ready breast directly over the pan, then, since the breast is so lean, I'll lay 3 or 4 slices of maple bacon on top. Don't pin it or toothpick it, poking holes where you don't need'em to be, just lay it and leave it. Then close the lid and leave it alone. Unless my fire drops way off, like less than 225, theres no reason for me to open the top again. I'll let it cook for a couple of hours (2 hrs maybe 2 1/2). Then check the IT. Its gonna be done. If you've kept the grill temp stable, its done. Poke it to make sure, the juice will skeet out clear as a tapwater. take the bacon away and eat it while you stand there drinking a cold one and smiling at your perfect Turkey Titty lol. Roll it off gently and make sure no crustys are hanging off. Take it off the heat, let it sit uncovered for a few minutes to settle, then start slicing. Great on the plate or in a bun or onion roll as a sandwich. This is supposed to be fun, no need to make things so complicated with a lot of ciphering and figuring. Stressing over things the night before then worried weather its done right or not. I like it my way, try it and you will too.

     I got the rub, if somebody wants to try it. A dry over wet. Its awesome. Let me know... 
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  20. wildcat706

    wildcat706 Fire Starter

    Soak completely cover that turkey in chicken broth soak for 24 hrs and inject it will take that wild taste out I do it all the time.

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