So my wife found some turkey breast (ie, a whole turkey with the wings and legs removed -- the thing was still 14 pounds) that was like 79 cents per pound, so I decided to smoke it.
It was in a bag that contained brine already, so I didn't do any type of brining myself. We rarely smoke food for an actual meal... it's usually so we can have healthy, yummy treats on to snack on throughout the day. So for this turkey, I didn't care about the skin, I was just after the meat. The skin is such a thick, seemingly impenetrable membrane, I figured removing it could only allow that much more smoke to get to the meat, so I removed it all and put on a light rub of SPOG, paprika, cayenne pepper, and a bit of sugar.
One thing I noticed is that there are still several layers of thin membrane covering the breast meat. I tried getting my knife underneath it and peeling it away, but every time I did, I noticed there was always another layer underneath that. It was hard to peel and the layers never ended, so I finally just gave up, figuring that I would already have REALLY smokey turkey since I took the skin off.
I put it in the MES40 at 250 with hickory blasting it from the AMNPS the whole time. Truth be told, I accidentally unplugged the MES right after I put it in and once I plugged it back in, I forgot to properly turn it back on, so for the first hour it was getting smoke and the temp was under 200. So, that should just be even that much more smoke, right?
When the IT hit ~170 and I pulled it. It looked great:
The issue? Not one hint of smoke flavor, anywhere. This literally tastes like it was baked in the oven. Now, it was delicious and we have been eating a lot of good turkey recently, but there's just no smoke flavor at all.
I have no idea how or why this happened. Here is my only possible guess.... Almost nobody skins the turkey. Could it be that the skins is what actually soaks up most of the smoke, and when people eat smoked turkey, they're getting most of that smokey flavor from the skin? Could those multiple layers of membranes that I left on blocked the smoke from getting to the meat? I can't think of any other explanation.
If I do this again, I was thinking about scoring one breast very shallowly to let the smoke actually penetrate the meat, and meticulously removing all of the layers of membrane on the other breast until the actual raw meat is exposed.