First Whole Turkey Smoke

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by slimc, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. slimc

    slimc Smoke Blower

    I decided to try a whole turkey since I've never done one before on my Offset. 

    I thawed out a 19.8 lb bird, which was still a little frozen in the middle the day before and soaked it overnight in a brine (recipe below).

    The brine really helped it thaw out the rest of the way. I kept dumping ice in the water every few hours to keep the water in the high 30's in temp.

    The temp I was trying to maintain was above 300 degrees, and not above 330. There were a few times it rose to around 350 and I had to open up the lid of my firebox to let the heat out until I could move the fire away from the opening and then I got it under control by closing the damper on the firebox a little more.

    After 2 hours I opened it up to throw on a small chicken and I freaked out! The whole bird was black and I thought it was ruined for sure! I rushed around and found some juice to pour over the skin and put the turkey in a tray with foil to help slow down the burn that was occurring on the skin. Then I dropped the temp to around 280 and maintained for the rest of the smoke. 

    After another hour, I checked on the small chicken and OMG THE SAME THING, A BLACK BIRD!

    I use a maverick and also have a grate level thermo so I knew there was no way it was too hot, especially for poultry. So I grabbed some butter and rubbed the chicken and the turkey down with the butter, it was then I realized that it was just soot and not badly burned turkey, it was wiping away as I basted it with the butter. SWEW! Looking good from here on out.

    I cooked it until it reached 165 in the breast and thigh (legs were around 189) and let it sit for half an  hour uncovered, then kept warm with foil in my oven on my "keep warm" setting.

    It ended up coming out great and tasted great also. I learned how much the skin can soak up that smoke and not to get to alarmed by the color in the future.

    Total cook time 10:45 am to 3:30 pm for a 19 lb turkey.

    Recipe, soaked in a cooler for about 20 hours in brine, keeping water under 40 degrees.

    Applied rub lightly both on top and under the skin

    Put butter under the skin

    Cooked 2 hours around 325 

    Foiled with juice in pan and cooked the rest of the way at 280 until breast and thigh reached 165

    Let rest for 30 mins uncovered

    Foiled until serving

    Turkey Brine:
    2 Gal Water
    2 Cups Kosher Salt
    2 Cups Sugar (1 Cup white + 1 Cup Brown)
    4 TBS Black Pepper
    1 TBS Dried Rosemary
    1 TBS Thyme

    1⁄4 cup brown sugar, packed
    2 tablespoons chili powder
    2 tablespoons paprika
    1 tablespoon cumin
    1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (can use more)
    1 tablespoon garlic powder
    3 teaspoons mustard powder
    2 teaspoons salt
    2 teaspoons black pepper

  2. great looking turkey, and a great looking post with q view[​IMG]

  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great looking bird! Reminds me I have one in the freezer that is itching to hit the smoke! Maybe I'll thaw it out and give it a smoke.

  4. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Nice job on the big bird,now you can make a great smoked turkey soup.Beleive me it is good


  5. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    Good looking turkey cook! Looks like it turned out good.
  6. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great looking turkey, slimc. Points.


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