I am smoking a 19 lb turkey & am using the spatchcock method. I am going to try & cook it about 300 degrees for about 6-8 hrs. Any more suggestions would be helpful. Maybe a good rub !!
Hey Grandpa1955, if1955 is the date of your birth, you and I are the same age. Welcome young'un!
Turkey is one of those meats that you can experiment with for decades before you perfect it, usually because you only cook one once a year. I've been the primary turkey cooker since I was 19 years old. I've made some great tasting birds and some that were only good for making turkey salad. Over the decades though I've found that brining and beer canning a turkey, or using a turkey cannon, guarantees moist, delicious meat whether in a smoker or oven.
I often use chickens to experiment with my turkey recipes and have come up with a new brine, injection, and beer can/turkey cannon smoking method/recipe I can barely wait to use on a "fresh" turkey. Not a huge fan of frozen birds. I may cave though and get a frozen bird just to give it a try.
Your plan will work but 6-8 hours might be a little long for a 19 lb bird at 300F, especially one that is splatched, which helps them cook more evenly and quickly. My last splatched bird was about that size and it was done in about four hours at a similar temperature. Are you going to use a Maverick meat probe to monitor the internal temp of the breast and/or thigh? That's the best way to assure when it is done.
If you are interested in the brine recipes I've used I'll post them here. Rubs? I like to use commercial, either Litehouse Freeze Dried Poultry Seasoning or McCormick Sweet and Smoky. I go relatively light on the rubs.
Woods? Pretty much smokers choice but I like a good smoky flavor so Hickory is what I prefer. They all work though so you'll have to see what works best for you.
Below is a picture of the fresh, splatched bird I did last TG on my Weber Kettle. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being perfect, it was about an 8. Good flavor, crispy skin, but I didn't inject. It needed to be injected to get my brine flavor deep into the meat. If I had done that it would have been a 9.5.
The next bird I'll do on my WSM with a turkey cannon. Like I said, I can barely wait to give it a try.
Here you go Lee-Warren. The reason I use fresh turkeys is they have not been injected with brine at the packer. If using a packer injected bird, cut the salt in half in either recipe.
Simple brining ingredients for 18-24 lbs fresh turkey to be smoked
I used this simple brine for many years. I often heard people say it was the best tasting turkey they had ever eaten. If you are not using a smoker, this recipe works in the oven if you add 2 Tbs Wright’s Liquid Smoke. DO NOT use the liquid smoke if smoking the turkey.
1 to 1 1/2 cups Kosher salt (1 cup for 18 lbs, 1 ½ cups for 24 lbs)
2 cups Aqave Sweetener (True honey is great but is more expensive and the flavor difference is not that noticeable to justify the difference in price. Simple sugar syrup will work too)
1 oz Chef Prudhomme's Poultry Magic
6 quarts water
2 quarts ice
Mix the Kosher Salt, Poultry Magic, and Agave Sweetener in large pot. Add 6 quarts of water. Heat and stir on medium heat only until all the salt dissolves, then remove from heat. Add ice to cool the mixture to 40F or colder.
Inject the breast with the cold brine, then brine the whole turkey for 12-24 hours.
Orange Juice Poultry Brine
Enough brine for 12 lbs of chicken or one 12 lb turkey.
I’ve used this brine three times now for smoking whole chickens, serving guests who raved about the flavor and moistness of the birds. It was a takeoff of Alton Brown's OJ brine. This is the one I can hardly wait to try with turkey. The Prague #1 Pink Salt, typically used for curing meat, gave the poultry a unique, very slight ham flavor that complemented the smoking process nicely.
1/2 tsp Prague #1 Pink Salt
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 quart orange juice
1 quart water
1 quarts ice
1 quart water (Correct. You are not seeing double)
1. Using large pot or Dutch oven to mix all the brine ingredients except the ice and the last quart of water. Stir over low heat to mix and dissolve while stirring. Turn off heat as soon as all the ingredients are mixed. Add the ice. The brine should be cold before adding chicken.
2. Rinse the fresh or thawed poultry under cold water then place in the brine. Inject the breast meat while sitting in the brine then move to your brining bag. Pour the remaining brine and last quart of water over the poultry, seal or cover and store for 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator or a cooler packed with ice jugs. Brining for more than 24 hours is not recommended. This process will produce a tender, juicy final product because the salt in the brine changes the protein structure of the meat.
3. After brining, drain the pan or brining bag really well and discard the brine. Rinse the poultry again then prep for smoking.