Smoke Turkey Breast with tough Leathery skin

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by headgeek, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. headgeek

    headgeek Newbie

    I am new to smoking. I have a MES and so far am getting very nice results. I am carefully following the instructions and recipes on this forum and in the book. I did my first Turkey breast. It was small -- about 4 1/2 pounds (just my wife and I). I brined it for 14 hours, Put on a commercial rub and cooked it at 425 for about 5 hours until it was 164. I used Jeff's Apple butter mop spayed ever 45 minutes or so. Mix of 50-50 Pecan and Cherry. The meat was juicy and flavorful. Lots of smoke flavor but the skin was tough and leather. I know the skin in an Electric smoker is an issue but I would have expected more soft than tough and leathery. Am I doing something wrong or is that just the way it is? Thanks in advance.
  2. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What temp did ya smoke it at, ya state 425* but my MES will go to 275* ! That being said, if ya want a crispier skin... I'd suggest not mopping & after the bird is prepped let it sit in the fridge at least over nite for the skin to dry out. Ya can also pull it a few degrees before done & toss it on a hot grill to crisp the skin up a little more as well ! Doesn't take long !

    Other than that suggestion, everything else sounds great ! Glad the flavor turned out for ya, brining a bird is a great way to go !
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  3. bubba96

    bubba96 Fire Starter

    i smoke any kind of poultry meat on my masterbuilt smoker and the skin never turns leathery. i did a 25lb turkey last thanksgiving for 6+ hours and turn out great! I think you might be smoking the poultry at too high of a temp. whenever i smoke poultry i always smoke at 275. and the skin is nice and tender!
  4. Bubba96: is 225* to low for chic breast? Masterbuilt propane smoker
  5. headgeek

    headgeek Newbie

    Sorry that is a typo. It should be 225 degree NOT 425
  6. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    I've got a MES 30 and just did a whole turkey. Brined, set in fridge uncovered overnight, smoked at 275(actual 260-280) and the skin still didn't crisp like I was hoping, but it was tender, not leathery. Maybe 225 was too low. I think to get crisp skin with a MES you have to sear it on a hot grill after smoking.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  7. bubba96

    bubba96 Fire Starter

    i smoke chicken  breast at 250
  8. headgeek

    headgeek Newbie

    OK. I will try a little bit higher next time. I was just going by what I read. Thanks for the help.
  9. bubba96

    bubba96 Fire Starter

    no problem!
  10. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I , too was skeptical of the 425^F in an Watt Burner . And , yes , grill a bit before serving . . . 

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