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Hello, new to the forum with a couple/few questions!!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I just bought a MES40 today at lunch after reading several reviews including the one on this site. I also ordered the Amazen Pellet system from Todd. I am trying to gear up for a Mothers Day/kids B-day lunch this Sunday. I have a couple questions tho and was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction. First, I am going to smoke a 20lb. wild turkey breast that my boy shot this past weekend. Bone is still in but I can cut the breasts out if that is better. I know I need to get it to 160-165 deg but I plan to take the meat straight from the smoker to the table and we plan to eat at noon so I was wondering if anyone had an idea of how long it will take. Weather says it will be 70-75 degrees on Sunday but cooler in the AM. Secondly I plan to smoke a couple pork butts for pulled pork, what would the time needed be for those? 


Lastly, does anyone have a good recipe for the Wild Turkey breast?

Thanks so much for any input, I look forward to gaining a lot of useful and helpful information from this site and can't wait to get started smokin'!!!!


Thanks again!

post #2 of 20

Welcome to the SMF Forum...When you have a minute go over to Roll Call and introduce yourself...I can't speak for how long a Wild Turkey will take but I can give a you a starting point and a Brine and Rub Recipe that is good. The Butts I would highly recommend you plan on 2 hours per Pound plus a 2 Hour Rest/Pad. You can always put foil wrapped meat in a Cooler with some towels for up to 5 hours and they will stay Hot. Here is some additional reading... Good Luck...JJ




Here is a Brine and Rub that is a Favorite with members of my Family. I like Apple and/or Hickory with Turkey. Measure the Temp in the thickest part of the Breast and Thigh, 165* and 175*F respectively. 275*F is about the best you can hope for in an MES. If the skin is not Crisp enough when the IT is 145*F in the Breast, put the Bird in a 425*F Oven to finish cooking to 165* and Crisp the Skin...JJ


Poultry Brine


1/2C Kosher Salt

2T Paprika

2T Gran Garlic

2T Gran Onion

2T Black Peppercorns

2T Dry Thyme

1C Cider Vinegar

1 Gallon Water


Mix and Soak Bird 12-24hours.

Drain and Dry Bird, Rest in refrigerator over night to dry skin.




Chix Bubba Q Rub


1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)

2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)

1T Kosher Salt

1T Chili Powder (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.

1T Granulated Garlic

1T Granulated Onion

1-2tsp Bell's Poultry Seasoning

1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like

1/2tsp Grnd Allspice


Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there

post #3 of 20

Wow quite the first smoke.  Welcome and post some pics of your first Q.  439.gif

post #4 of 20

Wild turkey breast is going to be a challenging first smoke.  Good Luck, plan on taking your time with it.  I would highly recommend the brine because I guess they tend to be very lean.  I'll bet a bit of bacon laid over it would help add some moisture.

post #5 of 20
Wild turkey breast tends to dry out faster than a lone rain drop in in the middle of the Mojave Desert!
As Al said, I would give it a good coating of bacon, that'll help keep it moist!

post #6 of 20
I like to put garlic/butter under the skin. That and the brine will keep it moist.
Bacon makes everthing taste better
post #7 of 20

Brine the turkey.. you wont regret it.  Looks like you have some pretty good info otherwise.  These guys won't steer you wrong.

post #8 of 20
WOW.. that's a pretty challenging first smoke...I mean, a new smoker (not knowing how it's going to perform)... Wild turkey breast (brine at least 24 hrs.. if not more)...will take anywhere around 4-6hrs... not just one, but 2 Butts... (these would benefit from a brine as well)... these will take anywhere from 8- ??? hrs... and these times are at or near sea level.. You do not have your profile updated as to where you live, so that makes time suggestions even harder... Turkey should be smoked at hotter temp, so that means 2 separate smokes... and you want this all done by noon Sunday ??? Think'n you better start now... Whatever you decide to do.. GL with it all...
post #9 of 20

Wow, congrats on the new smoker! You certainly like to challenge yourself? LOL Not much to add that hasn't been said. It will be two separate smokes due because poultry is smoked at a higher temp than the pork butts. 


I allow 1.5 to 2 hrs per pound for pork butts as a general rule of thumb. If you inject, then you have to get through the danger zone 40* to 140* in 4 hours. Make sure you have checked the smoker temp as well as your thermometer temps before you start. The MES is known to be off in it's temps. 


Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes!

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

What do you mean by the "danger zone"? You mean the butts need to get to 140* within the first 4 hours of smoking? Should I turn the smoker on and get it to temp before placing butts in the smoker?


Thanks for all the ideas so far, much appreciated!

post #11 of 20

Yes. Get the smoker to 250 then put in the butts. It will drop down to around 225 and you should have no problem getting through the danger zone.

post #12 of 20

If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing.  Good luck man.  That's ambitious.


If you can find the time, you should definitely do some sort of a test run to get at least an idea of how the smoker will run.  I started off with lofty ambitions with my smoker and luckily avoided any major catastrophes, but my results would have been considerably better if I would have taken the time to get to know how it works better first.  As with any art, the more you know your smoking equipment, the better the results you're going to get.

post #13 of 20
Originally Posted by SIHunter View Post

What do you mean by the "danger zone"? You mean the butts need to get to 140* within the first 4 hours of smoking? Should I turn the smoker on and get it to temp before placing butts in the smoker?


Thanks for all the ideas so far, much appreciated!

 Hey Hunter, The Danger Zone is the temp at which Bacteria multiply rapidly. This is between 40* and 140*F. An Intact, not injected, piece of meat has bacteria only on the outside so 1 hr into the smoke the outer surface is sterile and the inner meat is bacteria free. If you take 20 hours to smoke a big butt or brisket...No big deal!


However; If you choose to inject whatever liquid into your meat, it is very likely you are pushing surface bacteria into the interior with each stick of the needle. In a long smoke those bacteria are just happy to grow and produce deadly toxins. The key is to now get all the meat to an internal temp of 140*F to kill off any Bacteria and in the event that Clostridium Botulinum, bug that causes Botulism, is there the toxins will be destroyed as the temps continue to rise. Through much research and discussion it has been determined that 4 hour is about the longest you want any Injected or Ground or Garlic Clove inserted meat to be between 40 and 140* at a temp around 225*F.


You will see frequent reference to the, " 40 to 140*F in 4 Rule " this means what I described, From rRefrigerator to an Internal temp of 140*F should take no more than 4 hours at 225*F, if not intact muscle...


So yes, preheat the smoker, do not warm the meat to room temp, and go from refer to smoker. You will be fine with your cook at 225*F and if you inject be sure to Wash the meat, Rub with a Salty Rub and inject sterile liquid with sterile equipment, to limit exposure in case some thing goes wrong and you run past the 4 hour mark.


Good luck and plan ahead. You can do the Turkey at 225*F but if you choose to eat the skin pull the Breast at 145*F and go an a Grill or in the Oven at 425*F to finish to 165*F and crisp the skin...JJ

post #14 of 20

Good luck with the smoke.  I would probably stick with just smoking the butt and not the turkey breasts.  I have not smoked a wild turkey breast.  Their breast tend to be very lean and not as much meat as you would think.  A big tom generally weighs 18-22 lbs live.  I have had better luck with them by just filleting the meat off of the breast and making cutlets.  The legs tend to be so much tendons in them that we generally don't bother to cook. 


I would also echo the advice of running you smokes and test the temps at various locations and at different setting just to see how it does.


good luck and let us know how it goes.

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for all the recommendations! I think my plan is to smoke the butts either tomorrow (Friday) or Saturday. Then do the turkey by itself on Sunday morning, probably start around 6am to make sure it is done for noon meal. The turkey is just the breast and body of the bird, I didn't keep the wings or legs. My plan is to brine the bird from Friday night to Saturday night, then inject and rub and apply bacon and put in fridge overnight Saturday so it is ready first thing Sunday morning. How does my plan sound?

Thanks again!

post #16 of 20

That will work! I under stand Wild Turkey Legs and Wings are not great eating ...But...I would bet something with that much Tendon and Connective tissue would make one Helluva Good Soup or Stock! Roast everything off at 425 until well browned then throw it in a pot your usual Veggies, Carrots , Celery, Onions, Herbs and Spices. Add 1-2 Gallons Cold water and simmer 4-8 hours. Strain and save to use as a Base for other dishes or add Salt to taste and eat with Noodles as soup...I do the same with the Carcass of Thanksgiving Turkey an any Roast or Smoked Chickens we make...JJ

post #17 of 20
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post

I under stand Wild Turkey Legs and Wings are not great eating ...But...I would bet something with that much Tendon and Connective tissue would make one Helluva Good Soup or Stock!

Yes, they make awesome turkey stock with amazing flavor, but don't forget the feet!
The turkey flavor is much more intense than tame turkey.

post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 

Well thanks to everyone's suggestions on here my smoking project turned out terrific. Friday I did a trial run of 2 pork butts, the kids and wife loved the pulled pork from the trial run so I knew I should be in pretty good shape. On Saturday I did the 2 larger butts and then yesterday did the wild turkey. I almost messed up tho on the turkey. The temp rose quickly to 125* so I turned the heat down to 250* before heading off to church only to come back and see that the IT had leveled off and was only at 138* 2 hours later, luckily I cranked the heat back up and still had enough time to get it to 160* by lunch time. The turkey turned out very juicy and was a hit along with the pulled pork.


Thanks again for all the suggestions, it wouldn't have been near the success without all the help. Can't wait to smoke the next meal!!!

post #19 of 20

Glad to hear things worked out so well. 

It would have been great to see some pics of the wild turkey.

post #20 of 20
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