Utility turkey

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by tardissmoker, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. About a year ago, we bought 2 utility turkeys at $0.75 / lb. First one we cooked like a regular bird in the oven and it was the toughest, driest buzzard we ever had. The other eventually migrated to the bottom of the freezer. Until this week when I was told to do something with that thing , we need the space in the freezer.

    Internet to the rescue. Saw a thread on pastrami and thought, why not turkey pastrami. So now I gotta try. Why not, the whole 17 lb bird only cost $12 and it's been taking up space since then. 17 lbs of dog food would be more expensive and I'm sure our 2 dogs wouldn't mind a bit of turkey if it didn't work out.

    Step 1: Defrost in fridge. Damn thing took 4 days to thaw.

    Step 2: Mix up some of Pop's brine. Now known here as Miracle water. Recipe here: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/110799/pops6927s-wet-curing-brine

    Step 3: Butcher the bird. Legs and wings in one pot. Breast in another.

    Step 4: Inject the legs and thighs with brine. Cover with brine, weigh down so they stay submerged and into the reefer for 3 days.

    Step 5; Toast up some pickling spice and add to the brine. Mix well. Inject the brine into the breasts, cover with spiced brine, weigh down to keep submerged and into the reefer for 3 days.

    Step 6: Wait 3 days. Enjoy a refreshment(s) for all the exertion!

    Step 7: Out of the brine. Thought pictures would be nice. So forgive the quality, done in situ with a camera phone and wet hands. Legs and wings on a grate ready to smoke.

    Breast on the board to be deboned.

    Step 8: Debone breasts.

    Step 9: Dust inside of breasts with gelatine powder. Got this idea from Len Poli's site and decided to give it a try. Transglutaminase being so expensive and all. Might be hard to see, but it's there.

    Step 10: Put the 2 halves together to form a roll and encase in netting or tie as you would a roast. I use netting and use a placemat, 2 elastics and the netting to get an even stuffing. No pictures on this as I was "Home Alone" and had my hands full. Next time I'll get pictures and do a step by step.

    Step 11: Slather with mustard and roll in Chef JimmyJ's Better 'en NY Pastrami Rub. I found it here, which is where this whole thing started. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/243100/starting-a-pastrami. I'm sure it can be found elsewhere too.

    Step 12: Hang pastrami in smoker, put rack of legs and wings in too. Smoke at 200 till legs at 165 and pastrami at 155. Keep an eye or temp probe alert out, they finish at different times.

    Step 13: Enjoy a refreshment(s) while it smokes. You earned it/them. [Picture redacted]

    Step 14: Legs and wings done first. Try to keep the starving throngs away from them. Fail!!  Pastrami alarm was sounding.

    Step 15: Remove pastrami and let cool.

    Step 16: Let rest in reefer overnight and then slice thinly.

    Close up of the loaf. Gelatin really held it together well. Not perfectly but surprisingly well.

    Step 17: Vac pack for later enjoyment.


    Everything turned out excellent. Thanks are in order to Pops6927, Chef JimmyJ, Len Poli and Brandon91. It was a collaborative effort!!

    Drinks on me!

    dirtsailor2003 likes this.
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great! Nice way to salvage a cheap bird!

  3. Thanks for the points but now I've gotta cheer up the dogs.
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

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