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Doing a Double with a Third

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Kinda cryptic, huh?!  lol!  Actually what it is that I'm doing a double - two 16 lb. turkeys - with 1/3rd the salt from my 'normal' recipe... lo-salt turkey pickling!  

We're taking a cruise this coming weekend, a 5-day to Cozumel and western Caribbean aboard the final voyage of the cruise ship Ecstasy from it's home port of Galveston (6 hours away from us).  We've been planning it since June of '10.  The ship isn't getting retired or anything, it's moving to the west coast after this sail.  The Ecstasy was the ship my son and his wife got married on in '04 and he took the whole wedding party on the cruise with him (30 of us!) at his expense.  So, my son and his wife, his two kids, his wife's parents and us are going on its final cruise out of Galveston port to celebrate (which, of course, is just any good reason to go on a cruise, lol!).  It should be great fun!

But, while gone, I'm getting some rewards too - I dragged out 2 - 16 lb. turkeys from the freezer last Saturday and put in the refrigerated part for 5 days to unthaw (these were purchased before Thanksgiving at 28¢ lb. - I couldn't afford not to buy them - still have two more too!).  I experimented with lo-salt pickling once before:




at half the salt mixture; this time I'm cutting it down to a third vs. half;  1/3 cup salt, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1 tbsp. of DQ Curing salt per 1 gallon of water; took 2 gallons of brine in a 5 gal. bucket to sufficiently cover each bird, plus I pumped the breasts also.

So, when we get back in Thursday night I still have one day left (have to return to work Saturday) and will smoke the birds early that Friday morning!  I'll let you know how they come out!


here's a pic of breast-pumping:


nyturkey 001.jpg

post #2 of 17

Looks like a good start and have a great time on the cruise!!

post #3 of 17

Oh yeah, those are gonna be good!  Looking forward to the finished product.  Have fun on your cruise.

post #4 of 17

Hey Pops that sounds like a great trip. Great to see you get to spend quality time with the family and a great place to do it too.


Just PM me the address and I can come by and turn those turkeys in the brine for you while you are gone icon_mrgreen.gif

post #5 of 17

Pops, that sounds like a healthy plan to me. I'm looking forward to that smoke and Q too. Best of wishes to you and your family on your cruise. The area you're going to is beautiful. It's all good my friend. 

post #6 of 17


It does look like you are of to a great start and you and your family have a great time on the high seas.yahoo.gif

post #7 of 17

Throw the birds ion the trash . Just give me the cruise!!!LOL

 We will be doing a cruise out of galveston next year when the magic gets there.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by eman View Post

Throw the birds ion the trash . Just give me the cruise!!!LOL

 We will be doing a cruise out of galveston next year when the magic gets there.

Yes, we're waiting for 2012 to do The Magic, it will be for my wife's retirement, probably in the spring, April or May.  It's being built now as we speak, then will go on a maiden voyage touring Europe, then will dock in Galveston.  We got the skinny on it on this cruise.

As you can tell, we're back from the cruise.  Left on Friday, sailed Saturday, day at sea on Saturday and docked at Progresso Sunday night, on shore Monday, back to the ship by 3:30 pm, sailed for Cozumel and docked for on-shore Tuesday, left Tuesday at 3:30 and sailed home Tuesday night and Wednesday, debarked Thursday, off the ship by 11 and back home in Fort Worth by 5pm.  Unlike Fort Worth, which had temps in the teens and snow, it was 85°, sultry and warm, no rain, just absolutely beautiful!  Some pics, of course:


The Grandparents:  Linda and Wayne, left, me and Linda, right:



Son and Daughter-in-law:



granddaughter Paige and son George Jr.




grandson George III (aka Trey, and nicknamed Bubba!) in the blue:




Hamming it up with the locals!





Ship pics:







It was a fantastic time and had a ball!


But, back to present... got the turkeys in the smokehouse this morning and they're cooking right along!  Smokehouse has been running ½ hr and it's already up to 168°,  it'll be humming at 220° - 225° in short order.



out of the brine:






hooked, ready to hang:




hung and ready to go!



I'll check back and show how they turn out!

post #9 of 17

Glad you are home safe and had a good time.

Great week for a cruise with all the crappy weather in the sunny south.

Atlanta has been closed down for a week. hahahahahaha

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

Took about 12 hours to cook to 157° - 160 ° (one at the former and the other at the latter).


opening the door:





hanging shot:




close up:





out of the sacks, took a wing off to try - very mild salt, made the sugars more prominent but not unwelcome, I would say for me, it is just right!




I'll carve them fully tomorrow after cooling them down, let the juices congeal.  Not intended to provide an initial hot meal, these will be divided up in parts and pieces amongst the boys and myself and families for cold eating, snacking, gnawin' and chawin'!  Slice the breasts and thighs for sandwiches and mangle the drums State Fair style, clip the tendon belt and chow down!


The lo-salt formula is just about right, don't know if you'd want to go to ¼ cup salt or not, might be too overpowering on the sugars without at least some salt balance.  Oh what the heck, I'll try it next time!

post #11 of 17

Where was the pole holders on that boat? th_dunno-1[1].gif  

post #12 of 17

Looks great Pops!


Glad to see you're doing good!!!!




No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #13 of 17

Wow awesome post! Glad to hear the trip went so well! The color in that smokehouse looks awesome! I just love the ham socks. They are so easy and make the turkey look so good! I cant wait to try your brine myself! Thanks for your effort on these test runs!



post #14 of 17

Those turkeys are about as pretty as any I've ever seen.  Thanks for posting.

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Glad you like them!  That smokehouse is absolutely awesome, the product turns out just like it did at dad's store!

post #16 of 17

Looks great Pops.  I have had great success with your earlier lo-salt version.  Thanks and keep posting good stuff.

post #17 of 17

Fantastic post, thanks for sharing it. icon_wink.gif

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