I smoked my first turkey today, and I'm a little disappointed with the results. I came out moist and tender, but there's just not much smoke flavor at all. It's almost unnoticeable.
I know I did a few things wrong, but I'm not sure if that's what caused the lack of smoke flavor. So, here's the details:
I took the turkey (12 lb) out of the freezer yesterday morning. In the evening, I made the Slaughterhouse brine. I put the turkey in and put it in the fridge.
This morning, the turkey was still pretty frozen, but from what I read, it's not a big deal. I'm assuming that not much of the brine was absorbed though.
I put a light layer of mayo on the bird and added a dry rub.
I preheated my MES to 275, knowing that putting a large, frozen turkey in it would make it a good bit cooler. I was planning to smoke at around 250, and for a good portion of the time, that's about where it was. Toward the end of the smoke, it finally got up 275, which I was hoping would crisp up the skin (it did).
I used the AMNS with about 3/4 cherry and 1/4 hickory. When I checked the smoker for the first time (about 3 hours in), all the dust had already been burned. So I refilled it and started it up again. When the bird was at 165, I pulled it out and checked the AMNS. It was half-way burned diagonally through the maze, rather than following the proper path through it. So I'm thinking that the same thing may have happened earlier, which would could have left the bird without smoke for a while.
So what do you guys think? Would possible couple hour period without smoke make a noticeable difference? Does it have something to do with the fact that the bird was frozen?
Also, how can I keep my AMNS from burning improperly? When it was burned out the first time I checked it, I thought it was too soon and wondered if the burn had bled through to an adjacent pathway. So when I loaded it up the second time, I made sure I definitely kept the dust below the top edge.
Also, I should note that it was pretty windy out, so maybe that caused the dust to burn hot enough to bleed over? I don't know, that's just a guess.
Thanks in advance.