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Thanksgiving is coming and I'm geeked......

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

This is my 3rd year for smoking turkey.  I do 2 12-14 pounders.  Last year I had to nuke it a bit to finish it up because parts weren't done (meat thermometer sucks dammit LOL), but it was still some of the best we had ever had.  I've gotten my recipe's together (brine and rub) for this year and even though it tends to be a late night/morning process... I cant wait...my only question... most of you are far better at this than I am, is there any tip, trick, something I'm missing that I need to pay attention too???  I want to make this the best ever!  I get time, I usually start around 2 or 3 in the morning....  we eat around 1 or 2 ish.... i will be more careful with my thermometer this year... is there anything that can make this the best ever??

post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

thanks to anyone looking... I am reading some of the other threads that I have now taken the time to find... call me names if you must LOL

post #3 of 8
I recommend using the times from the chart in this post: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/151264/turkey-times I've found that they are pretty accurate. A small turkey shouldn't take than long.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

that would explain some of my issues i've had with my first 2 times...the first year it was done, but was 3 hrs earlier than expected... thanks for the link

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 



1 gal water

1 cup kosher salt

1 tbl garlic powder

1 tbl onion powder

1 c apple cider vinegar

1 t pepper

1 t celery salt






celery seed

olive oil



post #6 of 8
For 2 12-14 pound birds you may have to make two batches of brine. Most brines also calls for sugar (white or brown-doesn't matter) to balance the salt. A basic brine is 1 gal water, 1 cup kosher/sea salt, 1 cup sugar. If you have used your brine before and like it, then by all means, stick to what works for you.

You're headed in the right direction by adding additional levels of flavor-I would switch out the celery salt for crushed celery seed only to keep the salt to a minimum and would switch the apple cider vinegar out and replace it with apple cider or apple juice for your sugar component of the brine.

I like to lift up the skin on the breast and sprinkle my rub directly on the meat and then lay the skin back down and give the bird a good coating of olive oil and then sprinkle additional rub over the bird.
post #7 of 8

The last turkey I did was 22.6 pounds. I brined it for 48 hours in a pretty simular brine to you except I added a bunch of brown sugar and soy sauce. The rub I put under the skin on the breasts, legs and thighs and let it sit in the fridge for 10 hours. I smoked it at 225 degrees just sitting on the grid for 90 minutes. After that I put it in a foil pan with roasted garlic butter, basting it every 45 minutes until I had the color I wanted on the bird. After that I foiled it up and let it cook to 165 in the breast (thighs were 170), took about 10 hours. Put it in a cooler to rest and at 2 pm it carved super moist...

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply's!  I didnt think about the sugar aspect and went back and looked at what I had done before and sure enough I did have sugar in what I had done.  I will use apple juice instead of the vinegar, and I really like the idea of the celery seed instead of the celery salt.  Thanks again!

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