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Sunday's Practice Turkey (Qview)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

In preparation for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday I thought I better do a test run since my last attempt smoking a turkey was some 20 something years ago, when I gave up on smoking.  Unfortunately at that time Al hadn't invented the internet yet so I didn't have SMF.  


Anyway, started out with a no name brand 12 1/2 lb bird.  My plan was to only brine and rub, and smoke at 250*.


The night before I mixed up some of Tip's Slaughterhouse Poultry Brine (in the Wiki section) and put in the fridge for 12 hours over night.


Fired up the Big Block with hickory and brought her up to temp, 250*.


Pulled the bird from the fridge, rinsed well.  Then I sliced up an apple and an onion and stuffed into the cavity.  Lifted the skin exposing the breast and covered with softened butter and added some of Jeff's versatile Rib Rub.  Covered the skin with canola oil and dusted with Jeff's Rub.


I found this handy roaster pan at Walmart for $9 and thought I'd give it a try.  Added some apple juice, water, honey, slice apples and thyme to the pan.  (My Maverick ET73 probe was bad so I took an extra precautionary measure and used 2 of my Taylors instead of 1.)



Ran temps pretty consistently at 250* on a chilly, windy day and kicked the temp up to 285* for the last 40 minutes or so (160* to 165*) in a failed attempt to crisp up the skin a little more.  All in all it took about 5 hours and 40 minutes to reach an internal temp of 165* in the thickest part of the breast.  Pulled from the smoker and covered in foil for 1/2 hour.  Internal temp continued to 168* while covered and was still at 165* when I uncovered to carve.


The skin turned out with real nice color, however, was rubbery and not really appetizing.  I'm not a big skin fan anyway, but the wife had to mention after dinner the skin wasn't really very good.  But what was under that skin is a very, very, different story!



Now under the skin was some extremely juicy, nicely smoke flavored greatness!  Every part of the bird seemed extra juicy without a dry spot to be found.  The hickory flavoring was actually very nice.



Sorry I didn't get any great money shots but my regular camera is broken and I was using my phone.  


Thanks for looking and as someone else posted on here, if you're not real confident with your first turkey, just look at it like a big chicken!  

post #2 of 15

Great lookin' bird  ... 

post #3 of 15

It looks great!! You could always throw it in the oven set on broil for a couple minutes to crisp the skin

post #4 of 15

If that one was just for practice, what do you do for the main event?  That one looks perfect.

post #5 of 15

Looks awesome.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys!  Pineywoods, thanks for that tip, I'll give the broiler a shot on my next one.  

post #7 of 15

Dean that bird looks like you do not need any practice at all. Real nice color and from what you said great taste too

post #8 of 15


post #9 of 15

Looks real good. I have only smoked a handfull of turkeys (Ibake one every year) and never brined one myself. I don't eat them due to gout so I never tried the ones I did smoke. After seeing the last couple of posts, my confidence level for me to do the family bird and one for my kid's school is on the rise. I brined a chicken the other day for a practice and it came out really well. Thanks again for the play by play!

Edited by Pit 4 Brains - 11/9/10 at 11:36am
post #10 of 15

Another endorsement for Tips Brine.  Did you do an injection or just what you mentioned in your post?   For a practice bird, sure looks great.  Nothing like a smoked turkey to start the holiday season.Around our household, turkey's are a year round food fare.

post #11 of 15

That looks Really Great Dean!!!

But--Hey--It's from NC !


Thanks for showing,


post #12 of 15

Well your bird looks fantastic so now you can just sent that one to me and I'll tall you how it taste.

post #13 of 15

gobble gobble, good stuff Dean! You are gonna have an incredible Thanksgiving table.

post #14 of 15

Looks very nice, with a great color!!  I have found the lower and slower you smoke a bird the more rubbery the skin gets. But when the skin gets rubbery it holds all the juice inside! For someone who doesn't like the skin, low and slow makes the best bird! I like it either way....I would like to try some apple wood on some poultry though, Never had any around here! I do have plenty of pecan, if someone want's to do some trading!

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the kind words everyone!  


P4B - I know I've found with the chickens I've done if there's time, brining is the key.  I brined and injected a couple chicks but didn't find the injection was really necessary after brining, unless I guess if someone was wanting to inject some flavors deep in the breast meat I guess.


NWDave - I've really taken a liking to Tip's brine recipe.  I've tried a couple others but I keep coming back to Tip's.  I didn't do any injection with this one.  


Raptor - thanks for the information.  I wish I could find a supplier around here that I could get some pecan and apple!  I've found an area with a few pecan trees and I've given poaching some consideration just for a limb but....LOL  Folks literally get shot around here over pine straw pouching but I might get away with just a pecan tree limb. hehe  

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