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Turkey breast up or b down ?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I've heard so many different opinions on this. Last one I got was to cook breast Down but take a fork to the inside of the bird (breast side)so the juice for dark meat fall and gets absorbed into the white meat. Any tips on placement?
post #2 of 7

I have done breast up, breast down and on a vertical rack. I prefer the vertical rack fallowed by breast up. It is all a matter of preference so go with what you want. I don't see the fork thinggy helping.

Happy smoken.


post #3 of 7

I do mine breast up, but I would bet it really would not make a difference.  Let us know what you decide and take pictures :)

post #4 of 7
I do mine breast up, but I spatchcock the bird. How's that for throwing another wrench into the mix!
post #5 of 7

I've done both.  Here's what I've learned in 40 years of cooking turkeys.


1.  Breast up or down makes no difference in juiciness contrary to some of the advice out there.  Brining is about the only way you can impact the juiciness of the breast.   


2.  Whatever is on top will generally cook a little faster. 


3.  The bone density in the thighs means they'll cook slower.


4. Using a turkey rack, turkey cannon, vertical rack, or beer-canning a turkey tends to even out the temp differences between the breast and thighs, but not eliminate them. 


5.  If the bottom of the turkey is shielded from direct heat because you are smoking or roasting it in a pan filled with veggies, whatever is on bottom (breast or thighs) will cook even slower than the top.


I use a turkey cannon and put the drip pan filled with seasoned veggies and some cheap white wine on the grate below the turkey to catch the drippings, roast the veggies, and flavor the drippings even more.     


I smoke, roast, or smoke/roast breast side up.   

post #6 of 7

One of the best turkeys I ever did was vertical with a beercan turkey rack. I do think it depends on what type of smoker you are using though. Case's suggestion of spatchcocking is a good one if your smoker has a big enough rack to hold a splayed out bird.

post #7 of 7

Yes, think of rising heat... if cooked with a Tall Boy Can up it's rear , it will have the Legs and Thighs done at the same time the Breast is , no waiting and chance  getting the Breast over done.


As stated by Reddog , this is about the easiest way for Chickens or Turkeys.


Hope all goes well, have fun and . . .

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