Quick Turkey Question

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by big b smokin, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. big b smokin

    big b smokin Newbie

    So I've done a bunch of research on the site for smoking a turkey! I'm doing a trial run today (13 LB bird) so the Thanksgiving bird isn't a disaster!

    So I brined the bird using the slaughterhouse recipe on this site - for 12 hours (didn't feel I needed a long brine as the bird is already brined in an 8% solution bought from grocery) - mixed up some olive oil/louisina cajun spice/pepper/garlic powder/onion powder/seasoning salt - and covered the bird in this stuff...

    It's now in the smoker at 275 - 300....

    Couple questions - I'm currently using the the water pan - is this needed? Or can I take out? I've seen both ways on the site...I don't have any sand right now...so it's either with water or without..

    I typically use a spritz of cider vinegar/apple juice when I do butts/ribs - do I need to spritz the turkey - or just let it smoke?

    Didn't twine the bird - will do that on TGiving day though

    Any help here would be greatly appreciated...always get GREAT advice here...Thanks!

    I'll do some Q View once done...

    Thanks again!
     
  2. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you can control your temp without the water pan you will be just fine.  The water pans main job is to help you stabilize your temp and to keep you from having huge temp spikes.   You can spritz a turkey again this is a personal preference.   I think you will find as long as you keep an eye on your temps and don't pull your turkey too early or too late this is a very easy very satisfing smoke.
     
  3. smokinal

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

     
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It sounds like you have everything situated pretty well. It's up to you weather you want to use the water pan or not. Some do some don't. I don't normally spritz my birds but some do so its a personal preference thing. Make sure you take some pictures.
     
  5. big b smokin

    big b smokin Newbie

    Okay - Great! Thanks for the feedback!

    One more question - bird has been in for 1 1/2 hours and IT is 110 degrees (in breast) at 275-300 degrees...does that IT sound about right? Or should I readjust the probe?
     
  6. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As long as you know your thermometer is accurate you need  to trust it. If you haven't tested it you really need  to. The more you poke the bird the more I worry about creating holes for juices to leak  out of. Are you sure you aren't touching a bone or anything like that?
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  7. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I believe that the bird it normally probed in the thigh as that is usually the part of the bird that takes the longest.
     
  8. smokinal

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

    It sounds about right, I usually put the probe in the thick part of the thigh between the thigh & breast being careful not to touch any bone. It needs to get to 175 in the thigh. When the breast gets too 165 you may want to re-position the probe to the thigh to see where that is at. Or if you have another probe put one in the thigh too.
     
  9. big b smokin

    big b smokin Newbie

    So best case scenario is 175 in the thigh & 180 in the breast?

    3 hours into the cook, bird is at 140 degrees
     
  10. big b smokin

    big b smokin Newbie

    pics to come
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  11. big b smokin

    big b smokin Newbie

    Alright - well definitely had the turkey upside down with the probe in the back!! That's pretty special!!

    Flipped her over - put the probe in the breast and reading 170 degrees - moved the probe to thigh and at 155...Foil covered the breast to keep in moisture

    Cranking heat up to 300 degrees and waiting for thigh to reach 160 degrees - then will pull and cover in blanket/ place in cooler...

    I guess that's why we do trial runs...right?!?!

    Wow!
     
  12. smokinal

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

    Hey B it sounds like your having a fun day. Hope the turkey comes out good for you!

    It's also refreshing to hear you admit to a mistake and post it . [​IMG]

    Were all friends here & no ego's involved, we can just laugh about it.
     
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Not exactly....Best case...Breast 165*F and Thigh at 175....The hard part is getting there...Icing the breast to have it colder than the legs going in to the smoker helps ....Not Tying or Trussing the bird helps to get heat to the Thighs....Covering the Breast with foil as it hits 150*F is good so the legs can catch up....Any temp much over 165* in the breast it will be Dry...JJ
     

    ...
     
  14. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

      X2, I usually foil the breast after a couple hours to keep the golden color and to slow the breast down a bit.
     
  15. big b smokin

    big b smokin Newbie

    Thanks everyone for the fantastic advice!! The breast came out a bit dry..hopefully tomorrow will go a little smoother!

    Here's a pic of the final product - I thought I got pics of the bird carved..but apparently not!

    Notice the impressive grill marks across the breast from placing bird upside down!! HA!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    [​IMG]
     
  16. smokinal

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

    Boy it really looks good! 

    The color is perfect!
     
  17. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Awesome color on the bird, Maybe it will be more juicy tomorrow

    It looks great [​IMG]
     
  18. Spatchcock the bird and cut into the joints, ala Jacques Pepin. That helps it cook much more evenly.

    Starting at 5:20 in this video....

     

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