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The Picnic

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 

The Picnic


We are having an outdoor picnic for our meeting of Stroke Folks this month, May 15th.  It is held the 3rd Thursday of every month.  Because everybody liked my smoked cheese from March's meeting, I got elected to provide healthy eating for our annual picnic.  Didn't take much convincing to provide cold turkey, cured and smoked, which can be kept in coolers.  There is 20 - 30 of us, depending on who can attend, so 60 lbs of turkey should be sufficient (3 - 20 lb'rs).


Picked up the turkeys at Bassham's, at $1.05/lb.  Brought them home and thawed them enough to tear apart, get the neck and gizzards out, then put in a big bucket to cure them:


(I'd used this before in large projects):




I had to have help to accomplish this.  My wife helped me strip the turkeys of their packaging and she rinsed them out to get the giblets and necks out; we put them in a big pan to simmer.   She pushed the turkeys to the garage fridge and we put them in the big bucket in the fridge.  Then, mixed up two 2 gallon buckets of curing brine (lo-salt) and pushed them to the garage on our cart on wheels.  She lifted the buckets and poured them over the turkeys.  Did it again until we had 8 gallons of brine in the bucket.  Here they are floating in the brine in the fridge, no heavy lifting required.   Need to put some half gallon bags of water to keep them submerged, then just wait until Smoking Day!  We will carry them, one at a time, in the 5 gal buckets to the kitchen, sack them, then into the smokehouse; I'll get to light the burner (that part scares her!)!   We will drag the bucket out of the garage, tip it over and dump it and wash it away down the gutter; job done!   Rinse it out and wash it thoroughly, ready for the next time.


Stay tuned!

post #2 of 49

I am tuned in.



Its gonna be great.





Your gonna make me try something new arent ya?

post #3 of 49
Looks like you'll all be eating good Pops! Can't wait to see those birds hanging in your smoke house. I love seeing your smoked goods hanging! What kind of bags do you use to hang the turkeys?
post #4 of 49

Alright !!!


Bear will be watching too, Pops!!!----Your Fantastic Smokes Are Never Boring!!!:first:


Be Back---A number of times!!!





post #5 of 49

Looks like some fine eating coming up.Thank you for sharing




post #6 of 49
"THE MAN".. is at it again... you can bet I'll be watching....

post #7 of 49

I'll be watching as well!! I know It will be a learning experience from one of the best on this site!!!  Reinhard

post #8 of 49

110.gif  I'm in Pop's.  Your posts are "required reading" as far as I am concerned!  Sounds like you have a GREAT helper there also.  Sounds like you two make a great team.  Keep Smokin!


post #9 of 49
Lookin on as well, Thanks so much Pops for sharing what you share.... It's so much appreciated ! biggrin.gif

post #10 of 49
Thread Starter 

Yeah... I'm a one-handed wonder, lol!  When she said, "...for better or worse..." she didn't know what she was gettin' herself into, lol!  My lovely wife of (now) 42 years as of April 23rd:


at the altar, 1972:


in Cozumel, 2014:



her as a vision of loveliness!




Been thru 2 cancers and 5 strokes and still vertical and having fun!  


PJ and I



...ate up the gizzards, livers, hearts and necks.... tried saving a neck for Linda but PJ yanked it out of my fingers.... really.... but Linda declined, anyways... lol!

post #11 of 49

Hello Pops.  GREAT photos and a great story.  I had to go through 1 failed marriage ( 21 yrs. ) and travel 5000 miles but I FINALLY found her.  Maybe I am an old softy but when you find true love you know it.  Glad to hear you got it SO very right the first time.  42 years says it all!!


post #12 of 49

What an awesome story and pics.... God bless you both!!!thumb1%20copy.gif

post #13 of 49

Great Pics, Pops----Thanks for showing!!Thumbs Up


I love pics of you newlyweds!!  We got married in 1968.


I love the pic of PJ too----Reminds me of my dearly departed "Lab-Springer" Shadow.




post #14 of 49
Thread Starter 



The picnic is Thursday from 4pm - 5:30pm.  We got the turkeys in the smokehouse by 9:30 am (we both had to hang on to them to hang them, lol!  But we did it!) and fired it up, the smoke is generating now!  Using a mixture of corn cob pellets, mesquite and hickory chunks.  Hanging:



Note: none of them are touching, otherwise it would cause a white spot on the skin.  These will be cut up and most skin removed, but .... there are rules..lol!

post #15 of 49

Hello Pops.  And THAT is why your posts are"REQUIRED READING" for me.  You NEVER forget to add the rules.  So very important for things like this.  Can't wait for the final product.  Just know these are gonna be good.  Keep Smokin and Teachin!


post #16 of 49

Lookin good Pops. Gonna be a feast.

post #17 of 49

Beautiful!!! Both the turkeys, and the family as well!



post #18 of 49
Thread Starter 

Well, it's 6pm and I've violated the turkey body with the temp probe, and it read above 140°.  I know, being cured, the 140º in 4 hours does not apply, but i still must respect the fact that a probe too early can still push bacteria into the meat.  The breast is 145° and the thigh is 147° in different birds, the largest is the one i am focusing on, however.  If that is done then the others are done.  The largest is hung in the middle.  The propane heat is from the outside (hottest) to the inside middle, so if the center one is done, then the rest are done (have had this for 4 years and have learned the subtleties of every inch of it!)


I will give them another hour or so then pull them:



smoke a rollin'!




From the front:




(Already got the mail...) lol - that's my pellet attachment for hot smoking!


I'll take another Qview when I remove the birds from the stockinettes before putting them to bed in the back fridge!   My younger son is coming over to dump the brine from the fridge, I can no longer lift it or deal with it.  See if he'll let me take a Qview of him!

post #19 of 49

Looking great Pops.


I would love to build a smoke house like that.

post #20 of 49
Thread Starter 

My younger son taking out the container bucket and dumping outside:



Neither Linda or myself could handle it, he came over and brought dinner (Rosa's in FW - Mexican) and he took care of it for me!   That's a big bucket but just perfect for the job!  Took 8 gallons of brine to fill it!

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