Noobie with a 30" MES and a few questions

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by heygreene, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. heygreene

    heygreene Newbie

    Hey everybody... I scored an MES 30" electric smoker from my job thru some Corporate perk rewards program... best thing that ever came out of that place!  [​IMG]   I've had it around 4 weeks and I've smoked twice on it.  The first time I just did some chicken legs, thighs and bone-in breasts with mesquite wood and SPOG.  The bone in breasts were the steroid type, so they got kinda tough and overcooked.   However, the legs and thighs were GREAT!  The second smoke went much better... I did two beer-butt chickens (5lbs each) with some random rub I found online at another site (it was good, just gotta locate the link again).  I used hickory wood this time with a PBR up the butt.  I let it smoke pretty much the whole 2hrs or so and never opened the doors (just prayed everything was okay inside).  These chickens were GREAT!   I'm so pumped up now I can't wait to learn more.

    I'm currently starting my 3rd smoke tomorrow, so I have a 10lb turkey in the Slaughterhouse brine (first time brining) right now.  Tomorrow I'll do the Slaughterhouse injection before I start cooking.   I just had a few questions if someone doesn't mind to answer them.  Sorry for asking so many things in one thread, but I learn quickly, so I'll only have to be told once (hopefully)!
    • Should the breast temperature be 170 or 180?  I see many different opinions.  I did 167 on the chickens and they were nice and tender, but around the bone there was more red than the wife wanted to see.  I am still clueless as to how to hit the thigh with the thermometer without hitting a bone, so I pretty much need to go off of the breast.
    • I think it's possible to "beer can" a turkey this size, but is it suggested to do so?  If not, I'd assume I just smoke it breast-side up on the rack?
    • Should I apply any type of rub since I've already brined and I plan on injecting it also?  If so I may just do EVOO and a SPOG of sorts that mimics the brine. 
    • I made too much brine, but it never touched the bird.  Is it okay to freeze?  I probably wont' use it again for at least 2-3 weeks (right around turkey day).
    • How much water or other type of liquid do you suggest putting in the pan?  When I did the first smoke, I had only about 1 cup of H2O and the bottom items got way too done too quickly.  The second smoke went better with 1/2 pan full of water. 
    • What kind of wood do you recommend for a turkey?  The mesquite and hickory were both very good, but they make the meat resemble barbeque somewhat.  I have a dead apple tree and some wood from it, along with a live pecan tree that I'm eyein' to limb soon.  [​IMG]
    Thanks again and sorry for such a long first post!


    PS:  Trying to QVIEW some pics... misc chicken parts is the 1st smoke, 2 birds standin' up is the 2nd smoke

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  3. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Al X 2

  4. Those are some good lookin smokes. I did however happen to notice in the 1st pic 

    that part of a chicken leg was missing........ Did someone get hungry??? lol

    Glad to have ya with us.

  5. heygreene

    heygreene Newbie

    Thanks for the quick replies everybody... I'm planning to put the bird on around 10am this morning and pulling it around 2:30-3ish (depending on the temperature, of course).  Mike, yes... that chicken leg was the victim of a lil' samplin' along the way.  Man, smoked meat is out of this world... being it was my first time, a few other pieces fell by the wayside too as I tried to get it all to the table!  Al, thanks for all of the information... I would've NEVER thought of sand! 

    As for the 165 temperature, I keep seeing where people say to get it around 10 degrees hotter for the legs thighs... so that would be 175ish I think.  Can anyone confirm?  I have two thermometers, so I can do one in the breast, one in between breast/thigh and I'm assuming if the breast is getting done too fast, I could possibly wrap it in foil to keep it from reaching temp too quick? 

    Also I was wondering if laying the turkey down (breast side up) would be better for ensuring the darker meat like the legs, thighs, etc actually got done before the breast, since in theory the heat's coming up from the bottom.  I was thinking of using one of my smaller beer can racks, but they only hold a normal 12oz, and I don't think Mrs. Bird is going to want to stand for that (although some folks here have done it and apparently it is possible). 

    One other thing... I plan to smoke the first 2-3 hours, then just cook the other 2 or so... from what I've seen here.  I'll be using mesquite per Al's suggestion, and I know it's a pretty flavorful wood, so let me know your thoughts.

    Thanks again!!!
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Al knows Birds!!!

    Good info above!!!!

  7. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    First off welcome to SMF. You'll like this place for there are alot of folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking meat. You will find alot of good recipes and techniques here also. so with all that said:

    Welcome to your new Addiction.
  8. heygreene

    heygreene Newbie

    Thanks again for the warm welcomes.  Something strange happened... I did the bird lying down with the breast up on the middle rack and the breast got to 165, yet the thigh/breast area was only 159.  I finally gave up at 170 breast, 159 thigh and just pulled it and tented it to rest for 30 minutes.  I hope everything will be okay... I'm carving it up for a get together this evening, so I'll keep my eyes peeled for any type of pink that doesn't look like smoke!  ;-)

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