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Turkey Turning Black

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone,

I decided last year for thanksgiving to build a flower pot smoker ala alton brown...set it up, made a turkey, and besides torching the hot plate (i got a new one from walgreens so no worries there), it turned out really well.  I just have one question:

 

When I made the turkey, after smoking it, the skin was black as black could be.  Most people that had it just pulled the skin off and discarded it, but I am determined to get a crispy, golden-ish brown skin this year.  I already plan to dry the skin out with some salt and baking powder, do you guys have any tips to keep it from turning black?  Maybe a layer of tin foil on the top will help?

 

Please let me know, I'm curious to hear your feedback (and glad there is an entire community dedicated to smoking meat.  Bravo all!)

 

Benjamin

post #2 of 17

What was the temp of your smoker? A very high temp would burn the skin before the meat was done. Did you have any rub on the skin and if so did it contain sugar? Sugar will burn too at higher temps.

 

I see this is your first post here, when you get a minute would you do us a favor and go to Roll Call and introduce yourself so we can get to know you and give you a proper welcome, also would you add your location to your profile, we like knowing where you are when we talk to you, Thanks!

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

as far as the skin of the turkey, it was brining for a week and the smoker was somewhere between 200-250 for the cooking time...i dont think i had any rub, but the thing is was it was black, but soft, which leads me to believe there might be soot collecting on the skin or something like that?  is that even possible?  Should I be brushing it with oil or something intermittently during cooking or will that keep the skin from getting crispy?

post #4 of 17

 

Another reason maybe? Good smoke on right.

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

do you think its a bad quality of wood, or just the wood is burning too much?  also are there any limits to how big the smoker has to be (like if its too small/the bird is too close to the top)...i know its not touching, but it might be kind of close...just trying to narrow it down, im still kicking myself i didnt take a picture of it before everyone devoured it :/

post #6 of 17

Let me guess, you smoked it for 8+ hours at a very low temp running wood the whole time? A family member did the same a few years ago. It just got a little over smoked. You'll never get a golden brown crispy skin with the flower pot smoker. You need higher temps for that. Also, the baking soda trick won't work at lower temps. In fact, it will provide you with leathery, inedible skin under 300˚ or so.

Try cutting back on the smoke after 4 hours. Better yet, buy or make a decent rig that'll get you the temps you need to get the bird done in under 4 hours. If money's tight (and if you're anything like most of the country these days, it is) a mini WSM can be made for anywhere from $30-$60 depending on where you source your parts. A UDS for slightly more. A Weber Kettle will also do the trick for indirect smoking at higher temps. Alton Brown's an entertaining guy with a lot of great ideas, but the flower pot smoker really isn't the best bet for turkeys in my opinion.

Take some time and read through a bunch of threads on turkeys and different smokers on here. There's a ton of great info on here, just takes a little time to go through it.

Good luck and welcome to the madhouse :)

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

rad man, one last question: what does WSM and UDS stand for?  I think I might do it in the smoker for 3-4 hours and then finish in the oven...best of both worlds, right?

post #8 of 17

Weber Smokey Mountain and Ultimate Drum Smoker

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

real great thanks everyone

post #10 of 17

You want your smoke to be light and bluish :

700

It takes a bit of 'patience ' to let the smoke clear-up and get that "TBS" look...biggrin.gif

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by benjaminbudzak View Post
... it was brining for a week...

 

That's a long time to brine meat, unless you're making pickles!  I will typically brine our Turkey for about 12-18 hours. As others have said, the smoke is what did ya in on the black skin.

post #12 of 17

What was in the Brine? Sugar can be an issue. I have seen some dark skinned Birds from guys using Soy Sauce or Yoshida's in there brines...JJ

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by benjaminbudzak View Post
... it was brining for a week...

 

That's a long time to brine meat, unless you're making pickles!  I will typically brine our Turkey for about 12-18 hours. As others have said, the smoke is what did ya in on the black skin.

I have read that brining for longer than 24 hours on a bird will end up drying the meat out, complete opposite of what we are going for. Isn't this still true?


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post #14 of 17
I like that!! Won't work for mine though as it is a FUDS...biggrin.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash View Post

Weber Smokey Mountain and Ultimate Drum Smoker

Mmmmm Meat Pickles!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post

That's a long time to brine meat, unless you're making pickles!  I will typically brine our Turkey for about 12-18 hours. As others have said, the smoke is what did ya in on the black skin.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash View Post

 

Another reason maybe? Good smoke on right.

Best display of proper T.B.S. I have ever seen.

post #16 of 17

what determines whether you get TBS or not? 

post #17 of 17

Here's some reading on making TBS:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/stickburning101

 

Have fun and...

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