Brined a 13 lb turkey (my first) for 12 hrs and put on the smoker using hickory and apple at 280* Thursday a.m. and went hunting. Came back 3 hrs. later and the calibrated temp probes in each breast read 175 and 165 respectively. I had also put on a breast at the same time and it read 155 at that time. (Makes sense since it was further from the firebox). I finished the breast to 165 and served it for lunch.
The 3 hrs. of smoke time on the whole turkey made me leary and the fact that the little "pop out when done" thingy had not yet popped out made me afraid to serve it. Also, the legs and thighs didn't seem as though they might pull off added further concern. Being the idiot that i am, i didn't cut in to the turkey but placed it in the oven at 300 while we ate the breast. Cooked it until the "pop out when done" thingy popped out. The legs were tough, the thighs were moist and tender, the breast was dry, and the very outside portion of the meat was generally tough. Flavor was just ok. Probably because of smoke time.
QUESTION: Was that turkey done after only three hours? (as my temp probes indicated) Since I didn't cut in to it I'll never know. Just wondering what you guys think. Again, I had calibrated the probes just the night before. As I write this i'm thinking I should have trusted them. What do you think?
Please jump in.