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Ruined Turkey???

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 


I smoke a turkey for a friend today.  It was a wild 18 lb turkey, so she had removed all the skin.  They brined it for 18 hours and I rinsed and rubbed it.  I precooked it in the oven for 1 hour at 350 F to get it past the 140 F in 4 hours issue.  Then I cooked it in the smoker in the range of 250-300 F.  I pulled it at 163 F and it is not pretty.  It looks all dried out.  If it is dried out, is there any way to use this meat, reconstitute moisture or use it in a casserole?  Man I feel bad that I screwed this thing up.  I've done pork shoulder, ribs, and chicken just fine, but this one does not look good.  Thanks


post #2 of 7

Why did you remove the skin? Is it possible that being a wild turkey it was leaner & cooking without the skin dried it out? The only thing I can think of is turkey soup. Cube it up & put it in a noodle soup. Maybe someone who is more knowledgeable will be along shortly.

post #3 of 7

First Let me say;



Next I see several problems with your method.

  1. Removing the skin
  2. Cooking in oven For 1hr to start.


What you should have done is

  1. Left the skin on and coated it with butter of olive oil and your rub under the skin...
  2. Coat outside of Skin the same way you did under skin.
  3. Poultry cooks fast enough you shouldn't have a problem with the danger zone cooking in the smoker at the temps you used.
post #4 of 7

Poor bird


post #5 of 7

If it was brined for 18 hours maybe the top layer is only overcooked. At this point I would carv it up and seperate the moist meat from the soup meat. 

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all the replies, some great ideas here.  I think some of the turkey is edible and the rest will be good for soup or jerky.  I decided to smoke a ham too so they have something good for their Easter dinner. I haven't messed up a ham yet, so this should turn out, at least.  I have learned a lot about turkeys.  Wish I would have known this prior to today.  There is always next time.


post #7 of 7

A lot of people will skin a wild turkey as opposed to plucking, as plucking is kind of a pain in the A@#. Unfortunately it allows a very lean bird to dry out  if not cooked carefully. I will smoke a wild turkey only if I have plucked it, if skinned I cook it in the oven in a bag. I wonder if you couldn't have smoked the turkey without skin if you covered with bacon? 


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