For a long time, quality cooked turkey has been my grocery of choice. I have made sandwiches, wraps, casseroles, tur-duck-in, soups, turkey-with-stuffing, and turkey lunchmeat by itself. I LOVE TURKEY.
I'm 34 years old, married 10 years with 4 children. I work as a web developer, have been a computer service technician, network administrator, business manager, CEO, hedge fund manager, professional assistant, and plumbing wholesale salesman. I live in Utah, I'm a Mormon. I'm an objectivist, capitalist, libertarian, movie lover, gamer, hunter, prepper, and newsie. My favorite book is Atlas Shrugged and my favorite movie is Shawshank Redemption (with Live Free, Die Hard as a close second).
I'm an amateur aspiring meat smoker.
I have been a BBQer for my entire adult life, and have cooked more meals over propane and charcoal than anyone I know except my dad (dutch-oven is his style). About 5 months ago, the company where I work was accepted by Green Mountain Grills (GMG) as their regional wholesaler. I was in the market for a new BBQ because I sold mine before my last move. My brother, who runs the HVAC side of our family business (and also sells Vermont Casting BBQs), started telling me I should by a pellet smoker instead of a propane grill. I was unsure, but after a trip to his friends small cabin nearby and one meal of bratwurst on his GMG smoker I WAS HOOKED. I enjoyed cooking on it as much as eating from the smoker.
I asked my brother to order me one and then discovered that in August they were releasing a few of their products with WiFi controls! As a life-long computer geek, and an all-winter BBQer, I was interested. So mid-August, I got my smoker and started experimenting.
After lots of hot dogs, sausages, bratwurst and one brisket (too much mustard somehow), I had my first big failure: hamburgers cooked at the same time as brats. The brats were 190 degrees and the burgers, which looked done, were still raw in the middle. I had family over and was embarrassed. I tried again the next day with my newfound knowledge and made possibly the best burgers of my life.
Then it got real: I went turkey-shopping. But in late August, I couldn't find any whole turkeys. I bought two large turkey breasts and got to work. I tried one just slow smoked and it was okay, then I read about brining them and my second was incredible! The stuff of legends!.Only challenge was the skin. It was rubbery, uncuttable and uneatable. As a fat guy, I value the skin above all else. I've made 6 turkey breasts since and have tried a host of things: temperature variations, butter inside and outside the skin, different brines, super-hot cycle (400 degrees) at the end of the cooking cycle. All to no avail.
While reading a post on TheBlaze this week, I posted that smoked turkey was my favorite option between 1)cooked and 2)fried. Then I requested tips from other turkey-smokers about the skin. One of the users referred me to this site. And here I am, on a quest for answers! One answer, actually (for now).
HOW THE HELL DO I SMOKE A TURKEY SO THAT THE SKIN IS AWESOME TOO?