I'm about to give up on smoking a turkey. I consider myself a fairly accomplished cook. But I have never ever had so much trouble getting something the way I want it as I have with smoked turkey. This time I did about a 14# bird. Brined it overnight in the slaughterhouse brine. I am only posting this picture of the finished bird before slicing it...
I smoked it in my H2O vertical smoker. I used Cowboy lump and hickory chunks. I kept the temp around 240 or 250 (can't get it any hotter in this unit) for about 5 or 6 hours.
Before throwing it on the smoker, I brushed the bird all over with some melted butter and seasoned with Old Bay.
I had hoped the butter would crisp the skin up a bit. It did NOT. In fact, the skin was extremely rubbery and tough. To the point where I pretty much just peeled all the skin off when I was carving it.
The meat was juicy, but still not juicy enough and not flavorful enough. I think I need to brine longer. It was in the brine for a total of about 11 or 12 hours overnight.
Here's something I don't understand. When I barbecue turkeys with my vinegar/pepper sauce, I cut the backbone out and lay it flat (spatchcock?). Then I cook it on my big gas pig cooker. When I do that I cook it around the same temp, 250, and I brush it with melted butter before cooking. The skin always comes out nice and crispy. Why didn't it work on the smoker? Does the smoke have something to do with it?
I'm really getting frustrated and don't want to give up, but I'm running out of ideas. I did however have my old stand-by fried turkey which I pretty much have down to a science. So all was not lost...