First Turkey Smoke - Q View

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by klarsen, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. I'm still very much new to this, so please be gentle and constructive with the criticism.  [​IMG]

    I did a bit of research into smokers before making my purchase and ended up going with an MES30 combined with the AMNPS based on reviews I found here.  I couldn't be happier with the purchase!  My first smoke was a pork butt that turned out great!  After that, I did a couple racks of ribs (one spare, one baby-back) using the 3-2-1 method.  Again, great results.  Third smoke was another pork butt.  Not as good as the first.  I found that I prefer it not foiled.  Still, not bad.

    For this smoke, we had a cheap pre-injected turkey in the freezer for a while.  So, my wife suggested I give it a try in the smoker.  She didn't have to twist my arm too hard!  I had always meant to do some q-view before, but finally got around to it.

    Since this was your garden variety pre-injected bird, I didn't mess with any brine or injection.  I rubbed with olive oil and then used Jeff's rub recipe.  Lightly stuffed with some apples and onions.  I have to say, I think it turned out pretty well!  The family all seemed to enjoy it also.  I had to move the turkey serving plate out of arm's reach, because I couldn't stop and was starting to get a stomach ache!  

    Here's the bird right before going in the MES30:

    And right after it came out of the smoker:

    A couple of pics of it being carved up:

  2. Klarsen,

    That bird looks real good. How long and what temp did you use to smoke that bird?

  3. Looks great!! I'm pretty new too and I'm trying to get up enough nerve to try this on the family Thanksgiving Day turkey this year!
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great job on your first turkey!

    When you do a holiday bird, go O Natural, brine it and smoke away! Fun to play with brines to add different flavor profiles. Hard to do with a MES but higher temps will get a crispy skin. I'd suggest smoking at your highest temp and then crisp up in the oven right at the end.
  5. Funny, my wife and I just had that very conversation over dinner.  Given the success of this smoke, we are going to give it a go!  I can't wait!
  6. Thanks for the tips!  The skin was good, but I would prefer a bit crispier, so I will try this next time.
  7. I smoked it at 230, thinking that the lower temps would preserve moisture better.  Not sure if that was the case or not, but it definitely wasn't dry!  I bumped the temp up to 235-240 towards the end, because we were running close to dinner time and I wanted to get it done.  Ended up taking about 6.5 hours total.  The bird was around 12 pounds, I believe.
  8. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is a great result. I would warn you. You are on your way to a smoking addiction.

  9. Don't I know it!  This forum is a great resource and it's nice having a lot of folks willing to help out and offer advice.  My wife and I talked about getting a smoker for quite a while before I went ahead and actually bought one.  Now, we wished that we would have done it sooner!  Now, I have almost no desire to go out to a BBQ joint.  I can make better at home and for a faction of the cost.  Plus, it's just sooooo much more satisfying knowing that you made it yourself.
  10. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Har! Your wife sounds like a keeper! Of course, smoking is better with family.

  11. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice. Keep up the good work. Remember "Practice makes perfect" ...[​IMG]

    Have fun and . . .
  12. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks delicious, klarsen!  I'd say its a very successful first turkey...For future birds, just know that you can easily smoke poultry at significantly higher temps and still get tasty, moist results.  I generally smoke turkey and chicken in the 275* range, then crank the temp up to around 325* for the last half hour to get a nice crisp skin.  I know 275* is the top end on your MES, but Case's suggestion about crisping the skin in the oven solves that.  In that temp range, I usually allow an estimated cook time of about 20-30 minutes per raw pound to get it done.

    Nicely done!

    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  13. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Next time try letting the bird rest uncovered in the fridge for 24 hours after brining and before smoking. It'll look pretty awful before it hits the cooker, but it'll make the skin much more tender and it will brown beautifully.

    Went from this:

    To this in 4 hours at 325˚. 15lb bird.


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