first turkey!

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by joeyfine, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. joeyfine

    joeyfine Fire Starter

    Instead of deep frying I thought I'd smoke this bird for tomorrow. Any tips for a 13.5 pounder? Its brining now.
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Poultry benefits from a high temp smoke 350+. Air dry the skin prior to smoking to help crisp it up. Cook your bird to a minimum IT of 165 in the breast or thigh. Spatchcocking the bird prior to smoking will help speed up the cook time. Make sure and eat the bird wrapped in foil a good 45min - 1hour prior to carving. If you can't do a high temp smoke and want crisp skin pull the bird when the IT is 155 and finish in a 400+ oven.
  3. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ahhhh, turkey.  Love it!  Can hardly wait until the stores start stocking fresh birds. 

    The easiest thing to do is use your smoker like a smoky oven, smoking the bird as close as you can to the same temps you'd use in the oven. 

    Lots of folks like to splatchcock the bird.  It definitely speeds up the cooking/smoking.  I prefer a whole bird on a turkey cannon.  The cannon is the same concept as beer canning a turkey or chicken but the liquid in the cannon is exposed to the heat of the oven/smoker and definitely boils to give moisture to the bird and flavor to the drippings.  I use a cheap white wine in mine.  Sportsman's Guide online has Camp Chef Turkey Cannon's on sale for $10.39 with free shipping, best price I've ever seen.  Won't help you for tomorrow but you can check it out.     

    Keep us posted how it turns out. 
  4. sawhorseray

    sawhorseray Smoke Blower

    I'm pretty sure a lot of how to go about smoking a big bird depends on the type of smoker you are using. Gas and charcoal smokers I believe have a more difficult time maintaining lower temperatures, electrics don't seem to go as high and fast. I just put some turkey legs in my Pro 100 electric, a whole bird follows the same guidelines pretty much. RAY
  5. joeyfine

    joeyfine Fire Starter

    I've got a 30" masterbuilt electric smoker. maintaining the temp shouldn't be a problem. what kind of time am i looking at with that size of bird?
  6. sawhorseray

    sawhorseray Smoke Blower

    Check out the "18 Legs" thread I just posted, the same guidelines would apply to you. It's never a question of how long, might be anywhere from 14 to 22 hours total depending on the size of the bird and weather conditions where you live. The most important things besides having the turkey brined properly are pulling at right at 165º and not being in a big rush and jacking up the temperature. A bird that goes over 170º IT will start to dry out, fast, so just take your time and when you get up around 160º start pacing like a madman and watch the thermometer like a hawk.
  7. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All due respect, I'm gonna have to disagree with you. Advising the OP to smoke a whole, un cured bird in the same way you smoked your (hopefully) cured legs is creating a potentially dangerous situation. There is no need to have the whole turkey in the smoker for more than six hours, and it can be done in under four. It'll get plenty of smoke, have very nice skin and juicy, tender meat. I do agree with the target temperature, and that overcooking is the biggest culprit in dry turkey.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
  8. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There are always different ways to do anything when it comes to smoking. Hot, low, fast, slow, inject, brine, marinate, rub, etc etc etc.........

    I am old school and think that fowl especially large fowl like turkeys need low and slow to insure tenderness. I know, hot and fast gives a crispy skin but I want to guaranty more...... I am not saying that a turkey hot and fast will be tuff, but if I am smoking the bird I want to eliminate any chances. I have tryed hot and fast.

    Heres my experiment

    I can say now I have done more than a couple each way and I still prefer low and slow. Its what smoking is all about to me.

    Here is my brine.... I like it.

    But don't forget what I said there is always numerous ways to achieve the end result. The best way to do it I figure is first evaluate your smoker, which end is it more geared to, you can't reverse sear a steak on an electric smoker. Once you know how your smoker best works then try to bend it to how you want your end result. Then its experimentation or practice, whatever you call it, its good eats. Then you'll see something that someone else here did and you'll want to try and see what that does. It goes on forever, ain't it wonderful?

    Everyone here wants to help by telling you their way that works in their location with their pit. Its a wealth of knowldge, then you have to see which you'll want to try.

    There is no one way, there is no perfect one techinque, there is only what you cook and enjoy today.

    Bon Chance, and remember to enjoy the smoke.
  9. sawhorseray

    sawhorseray Smoke Blower

    I assumed that when joeyfine said he wanted to "smoke" a bird that was "brined" he had used the sufficient amount of cure #1 in the process. I stated in a previous post exactly what my "7-up" brine consisted of, here it is again, I only made half a batch for this project

    2 gallons water
    1 gallon 7-Up™ (soft drink)
    2-1/4 cups powdered dextrose
    1-1/2 cups salt
    1 cup Prague Powder #1

    I smoke my turkey in accordance with the recommendations of the makers of my Pro 100, PS Seasoning.

    I don't always consider that something, be it poultry, pork, or beef, as being "smoked" when 250º - 350º  temperatures are being used, that seems more like slow roasting to me. Like Rytec Kutas stated, "if it's to be smoked it must be cured".  I don't believe curing is required when cooking at those high temps over short periods, same as in a oven. Different strokes for different strokes I's say. RAY
  10. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I was referring to Rays method, where he had the smoker at 140 or below for the first 9 hours of the cook. With un cured poultry that's creating the PERFECT environment for bacteria to absolutely thrive.
    Back in the late '70's or early 80's some genius wrote an article in one of the women's magazines extolling the virtues of cooking the Thanksgiving turkey at something like 200f for 10 or 12 hours. The idea was that the meat would have time to break down and the risk of overcooking and drying it out was reduced. It was a sensation, and became a very popular method of cooking that year. Shortly thereafter, in response to the tremendous increase in cases of Salmonella and various other fun things, the USDA and the FDA started a campaign to inform the public on the safe ways to handle poultry.
  11. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My apologies Ray, I didn't see in this thread or the 18 legs thread where you mentioned anything about cure. As most folks on here don't include cure in their poultry brines I was just advising against leaving un cured poultry in the danger zone that long.
  12. sawhorseray

    sawhorseray Smoke Blower

    Heck, no problemo Mdboatbum! One of the best aspects of a forum is finding how different folks go about their business. The onus is actually on me for not considering that a brine wouldn't have cure in it because everything I smoke is cured with sodium nitrite. Botulism seems like a real hard way to die, I'd like to go a little faster. Actually, I'd really rather not go at all! RAY
  13. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Phewww, that was close . . .[​IMG]

  14. sawhorseray

    sawhorseray Smoke Blower

    Hey joeyfine, with all that was going on I forgot to ask if you used any sodium nitrite in your brining solution. If you did not use any sodium nitrite in your brine DO NOT PUT THAT TURKEY INTO YOUR MASTERBUILT ELECTRIC SMOKER. Put it into a weber kettle and indirect cook it, throw it in the oven if you like, but DO NOT smoke that bird. RAY
  15. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    DISREGARD this post. You certainly can smoke a turkey if you did not use a cure such as sodium nitrate in your brine. No disrespect but Ray you're spouting a bunch of misinformation in many of your posts and threads.
  16. sawhorseray

    sawhorseray Smoke Blower

    Sorry, but you aren't "smoking" anything at 350º, your just roasting it. Proper smoking technique requires temp control and time to allow the smoke to penetrate, it not only creates flavor, it's a preservative You can put a bird on a weber kettle at indirect, throw a few chips on the coals and create plenty of smoke that'll impart a little flavor, but that ain't "smoking".

    " No disrespect but Ray you're spouting a bunch of misinformation in many of your posts and threads."

    Such as what?
  17. sawhorseray

    sawhorseray Smoke Blower

    From Marianski in regard to poultry.

    "Products that are going to be smoked at low temperatures (below 200° F, 93° C) need Cure # 1 to be added to the brine. Cure #1 contains 93.75 % of salt which has to be taken under consideration. Using ½ cup of salt and 3 oz. of Cure #1 for 1 gallon of water we obtain a brine concentration of 5.6 % which corresponds to a salometer reading of 21 degrees.

    When the birds are dry or tacky to touch, they should be placed in a pre-heated smoker. Keep the damper wide open to allow moisture to escape. Once the birds feel dry, leave the damper in ¼ open position and smoke at 130° F (54° C) for about five hours. Then continue smoking slowly raising the temperature to 165-170° F (74-77° C) and hold until the inside temperature in the thickest part of the breast is 160° F

    Sodium nitrite (Cure #1) in the brine will cause the poultry meat to become pink when it is smoked or cooked. Keep in mind that nitrite cured meats develop a characteristic cured meat flavor and poultry will taste ham-like. To smoke turkey without Cure #1 higher temperatures are needed to eliminate food poisoning (botulism) that Cure #1 prevents. The turkey should be placed in a smoker preheated to 180° F (82° C) for at least one hour. Then the temperature should be increased to 200-225° F (93-108° C) and smoke is introduced. The turkey breast should be smoked/cooked to an internal temperature of 165° F (74° C). We are now smoking/baking the turkey without worrying about food poisoning." RAY
  18. sawhorseray

    sawhorseray Smoke Blower

    There's nothing BUT disrespect there dirtsailor2003. Please feel free to post the links to these many posts and threads of misinformation so that I might see the error of my ways. I mean, come on man, if your going to publicly post a statement like that, back it up. RAY
  19. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think maybe the important thing is just to specify very clearly if a recipe or method requires cure#1. There are a lot of new folks to these forums this time of year who might not be familiar with what is and isn't safe, so just consider that before posting.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  20. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    "If you did not use any sodium nitrite in your brine DO NOT PUT THAT TURKEY INTO YOUR MASTERBUILT ELECTRIC SMOKER. Put it into a weber kettle and indirect cook it, throw it in the oven if you like, but DO NOT smoke that bird. RAY"

    There is no basis for this statement. There are thousands of posts here where people have smoked poultry without cure in a MES and many other types of smokers. As long as the safety guidelines are followed 140° in 4 hrs, and a proper IT is meet there is no need to worry.

    In two of your poultry smokes you posted you failed to list that you used any cure in your brines until it was mentioned by other members and then edited. With all the new members daily this is a safety concern.

    You also seem very steadfast that there is only one way to smoke. While your method is sound it is not the only way to smoke meat. Low, slow, fast, hot, cold, cured, not cured all hold there place and are talked about here daily.

    To the OP I hope you're still and around and wish you the best of luck on your Turkey smoke. Remember there are many ways to smoke a bird and don't be afraid to step outside the box and go for it. Please Post some Q-view for us to see!

Share This Page