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First Time Turkey Smoke - This Saturday - Page 2
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We had my parents over for dinner, mom always likes trying my new attempts at cooking, but dad is very picky. I know I get a good review of my cooking.
We made dressing to go with the turkey and my wife decided to use 1/4 cup of the separated (fat removed) drippings in the dressing. That gave the dressing an amazing flavor and it smelled so good while cooking. The turkey had a wonderful smoke flavor and did not taste like turkey. However, I will leave out or significantly reduce the amount of dry rub I use next time. It was too strong for my taste. My mom, wife, and step son really loved the flavor of the turkey. They even had seconds and my step son thirds. Dad does not like anything spicy, hot or otherwise, so he was not too keen on the dry brine rub, but otherwise said it had really good flavor. He ate mostly center breast meat to get away from the rub. There was a slight smoke ring, but I did not expect to get much of one with only 2 hours of smoke, and not much at that.
I was disappointed in how the meat did not come off the bone very well. It was cooked to an IT of 165 in the center and deep breast and thigh. According to the USDA, 165 is the new cook to temp for turkey, not 180. I did verify the IT with two different digital thermometers. The meat was moist and ate well, just not as well as a 180 IT turkey.
The turkey took the smoke really well and I think the woods used delivered a richly colored skin. Oh, the skin was crisp and flavorful. Cooking at 325 and applying smoke at that temp was really hard to get only a blue whisp of smoke. There was a lot of smoke. If I do it again this high, I think I'll use an A-Maz-N smoker box to provide the thin blue smoke I wanted.
The turkey ate well. There are lots of leftovers. I'll be making turkey pot pies and turkey enchiladas this week.
AZ Smoker Mark
Here's an update on the turkey meat from my recent smoke.
While I was not real happy with the way the meat did no easily come off the bone, I do realize, and I was reminded, that low and slow would have likely produced better results. I do believe the smoke permeated the meat overnight. I made a turkey samich for lunch Monday and it was delicious. Last night the Mrs. made a turkey salad for dinner and the smokiness came though. Put that on a nice bed of spinach and you have a dynamite start to a meal. I took a turkey salad to work for lunch today and just eating it cold, my co-workers could smell the smokey goodness and inquired as to what smelled so good. The more days post smoke, the better the flavor.
AZ Smoker Mark