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Nee Some Turkey Advice!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm frying a bird and smoking one for the mothers at our church tomorrow. When those festivities are over, I've got a couple of nice Tri-Tips resting with my own rub on them that I'm going to throw on the smoker later.


Here's my question though. How does cutting a turkey in half change my brine and cook time. I've got a 21# bird that's obviously too large to smoke safely. I cut it in half and it's been brining since 9am this morning. Normally a whole bird that size is 24-48 hours to brine and another 13 hours to smoke. I would think that halving the turkey would reduce both by quite a bit. What if I brined the two halves for 12 hours and put them on to smoke at 9pm this evening. Is that enough brine time you think? what about smoke time. Half a turkey is MUCH less denser. Am I realistically cutting my time smoking in half or more? Seems I could drop the temp a little and smoke a little cooler a little longer. What do you all think? Thanks fellas ans yes I'll post up them picks for ya. A few weeks ago I started a full brisket in my piggy back ECB. Somehow though my 3rd stoking of the coals blasted the temps up over 500 briefly before I caught it and the outsidewas rather cajun-style, The end product was actually pretty darn good! VERY moist and perfect smoke ring. I DID get piics of that just before the inferno started but once it got slightly blackened, I opted not to post even those previous pics.....Sorry

post #2 of 11

How long in the brine depends on the salt content of the brine. Your smoking time will be reduced almost to half but not quite. I would not smoke it at any less than 225 degrees you still have to get it through the danger zone

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you Piney. I have them in almost two gallons of water with one and one half cups of canning salt. I'm also going to inject them with Cajun Butter from Bass Pro before I smoke them. Maybe I'll start them now and then get them up to 250 with a digital thermometer and then I can let them go to a cooler smoke through the night and then finish them off with a fresh batch of coals around 6am and let them finish at around 9am or a little sooner, if possible. I can always wrap the halves and put them in the oven at church at 250 or whatever its lowest setting is. How's that sound? 

post #4 of 11

I agree with Jerry, The brine time can vary,Depending on the brine.

And the cook time would be close to half.

Just remember, the lower and slower you smoke, the more rubbery the skin will be.

I usually smoke my birds @ 275º-325º

Good luck, and we'll be waiting for those pics   popcorn.gif

post #5 of 11

Sounds like the others have you covered. Don't forget the Q-view!

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Well most of the night (I started smoking at around 10:15pm) my temps hung around 200 with a finally jump up to 250 or a little higher. By 2:30am I had used 3 chimneys full of lump charcoal and about 8 good blocks of apple wood. I awoke at 5:30 and my temp was down to 100 F. So I just stoked it back up and we'll see if we can get it up there where it needs to be. The skin did remain soft as mentioned but it looks good. I just hope I had the heat up high enough and long enough to get over the bacteria hump. Sorry the second one is so hard to see but hey, that's what a Q--view looks like at 5:30am!



Edited by Bimmer - 5/8/11 at 4:11am
post #7 of 11

Did you probe it at 4 hours to see what the internal temp. was?

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

No I did not. Between 5:30 and 8am I got it up to an internal temp of 165F. The ECB itself got up to 450F for a bit.I then wrapped it and put it in the over for about an hour

post #9 of 11

That's the problem with those overnight smokes when you fall asleep. Are you sure you got through the danger zone in time and how long was it at 100 degrees?

post #10 of 11

Right on Piney! There's no way to tell, other than eat some & see what happens next.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

It turned out fine. I'm guessing it got down to near 100 for only a short time before I restoked it and the ECB shot up to 400. The turkey was well done all the way to the bone and extremely juicy since I had injected it. I think it helped a lot that I cut the bird in half before smoking it. Here's a pic of the smoked and one of the fried turkey.



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