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Need help with aTurkey Smoke

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am going to smoke a 12 lb Turkey next weekend and need a little help with the defrost and brine process. Never done one  before.

 

The bird is currently frozen and I need it to go on the smoker Sunday morning - family coming over for dinner - no pressure.

 

I have heard that I should brine it in a cooler overnight, then set in fridge for an additional night to let the skin dry out. Will this get it defrosted completely? The first night brine is in a cooler not the fridge is my understanding.

 

I am a little less concerned about the smoke process - on the smoker at 300 - 325 for 20-25 lbs per pound, until 160 to 165 deg in the breast. Please let me know if I am wrong about that also. I can wrap if needed once I get the correct color on the skin if I choose.

 

Please let me know your thoughts - I appreciate the help.

 

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 9
You need to defrost your bird then brine it.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 


That was another question I had about the brine process, I understand that you almost always defrost prior to brining. I thought I had read a post on here that you could do it frozen and it works fine.

 

I'll go with the defrost first then brine as suggested.

 

That helps, thanks.

 

Is it recommended to let it set a day after the brine to help get the moisture out of the skin or is it better for it go right on the smoker the next day. Is it an issue either way - I'll like the skin to be correct, not rubbery.

post #4 of 9
If you want it for Sunday, I would pull it out now, leave it in a kitchen sink full of room temp cold water, and wait for it to defrost.

When it's not frozen anymore then put it in the Brine, it should be good by tonight.

Tomorrow morning, put it in the fridge to dry out until you want to smoke it.

As for crispy skin... What are you trying to smoke it at? I did mine at 275 and had rubbery skin still.

Edit: Thanks JJ icon14.gif
Edited by Murrgh - 9/12/15 at 1:22pm
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by family23425 View Post


That was another question I had about the brine process, I understand that you almost always defrost prior to brining. I thought I had read a post on here that you could do it frozen and it works fine.

I'll go with the defrost first then brine as suggested.

That helps, thanks.

Is it recommended to let it set a day after the brine to help get the moisture out of the skin or is it better for it go right on the smoker the next day. Is it an issue either way - I'll like the skin to be correct, not rubbery.

I would never brine a frozen bird. Most birds I buy have the neck, and organs in them that need to be removed.

Yes air dry My in the fridge is a good idea. It will help with the skin. If there is not enough time to air dry then you can use a hair dryer on low right before putting the bird in the smoker.

If you want skin like you get out if the oven you will need to smoke at higher tempos, above 300. I smoke all poultry at 350.
post #6 of 9

Quote: You need to defrost your bird then brine it. YES!

 

Quote: If you want it for Sunday, I would pull it out now, leave it in a kitchen sink full of room temp water, and wait for it to defrost.
Not a good idea. It will take a long time and there is a risk of Bacterial growth in the enhanced (Injected) meat as a portion of the bird will be defrosted and warming with a frozen center. The COLD water needs to circulate so convection can get the job done as quickly as possible with a minimum time above 40°F.

 

Quote: I would never brine a frozen bird. TRUE! Most birds I buy have the neck, and organs in them that need to be removed. Personal choice. I always Brine the Neck and Giblets. The Neck is the Chef's Treat! The rest, takes on the seasoning and flavor of the brine...Good Stuff!

 

Quote: When it's not frozen anymore then put it in the Brine, it should be good by tonight.

Tomorrow morning, put it in the fridge to dry out until you want to smoke it. This will work and give plenty of time in the Brine and to Dry in the refer.

 

Quote: Yes air dry My in the fridge is a good idea. It will help with the skin. If there is not enough time to air dry then you can use a hair dryer on low right before putting the bird in the smoker. A Fan is a better choice. Less impact from the Heat of the dryer, even on low, and the high air volume will get the job done faster.

If you want skin like you get out if the oven you will need to smoke at higher tempos, above 300. I smoke all poultry at 350, This is the most effective way to get one step Crispy Skin.

 

Thanks for doing all the typing guys...Thumbs Up  

 

Here are some of my favorite poultry recipes...JJ 

 

Families Favorite Brine

 

1/2C Kosher Salt

2T Paprika

2T Gran. Garlic

2T Gran. Onion

2T Dry Thyme

2T Black Pepper

1C Vinegar (Any)

1-11/2Gal Cold Water to cover Chix

 

1/2C Brown Sugar, Optional

1T Red Pepper Flake Optional

 

Mix well and Soak the Bird over night or up to 24 Hours.

Remove the Chix, rinse if desired and pat dry with paper towels.

Place in an open container in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours for the Skin to dry.

This will give a crispier skin when Smokng or Roasting...

 

 

Mild but Wild Chix Rub

 

1/2C Raw Sugar

2T Paprika (I use Smoked if I'm just Grilling)

1T Gran. Garlic

1T Gran. Onion

2tsp Bell's Poultry Seasoning or other

1tsp Ground Coriander Seed (2-3tsp Whole seed, fresh ground)

1tsp Black Pepper

1tsp Mustard Powder

1tsp Allspice

1/2tsp Cumin

 

Optional: 1T Kosher Salt * Leave out if you Brined the Bird!

 

Mix well. You can put directly on the skin or mix with Butter, Oil or Bacon Grease and rub on and under the Skin.

 

Place a pan with some veggies under the Turkey to make some Gravy. Here's a recipe. 

 

Smokey Turkey Gravy

 

1- Lg Onion,

4-5 Carrots,

3-4 Ribs Celery

3-4 Peeled Cloves of Garlic

Toss them in a pan under the Turkey, and let the whole deal Smoke for one hour,

THEN add 4-6 Cups Chicken Broth,

1/2tsp Dry Thyme (4-5 sprigs Fresh)

1/2tsp Dry Sage (2 sprigs Fresh)

1-2 ea Bayleaf

Finish the Smoking process to the IT you want.

While the Turkey is resting, dump the pan juices, veggies and all into a 2-3Qt Sauce pot and bring the Jus to a boil, lower the heat and simmer 20-30 minutes. Strain out the veggies and let the Jus rest a minute or so for the Fat to rise. Skim off the bulk of the fat then using strips of paper towel laid on top of the Jus then quickly removed, take off the last little bit of fat.Bring the Jus back to a simmer. Mix 2T Flour and 4T Chicken Broth for each Cup of defatted Jus. Whisk together to make a Slurry with no lumps, add a little additional Broth if needed. Whisk the Slurry into the simmering Jus, bring back to a simmer and cook 5-10 minutes to cook out the flour taste and fully thicken the Gravy. Adjust the seasoning with Salt and Pepper and serve.

The purpose of Smoking the Vegetable for 1 hour before adding the Broth and Herbs is...The Smoked vegetables Roast in the Dry heat concentrating their Flavors and Sweetness giving the finished Jus a Richer, Deeper, Full Flavor.

Serve the sliced Turkey with plenty of Gravy and Enjoy...JJ

 


Edited by Chef JimmyJ - 9/13/15 at 7:49pm
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 


Thanks guys - I think I have a good plan for next weekend.

post #8 of 9

Hey everyone, 

 

I was looking to smoke my first turkey but wasn't sure how to proceed. Used a lot of the tips and some tweaked recipes out of this thread, and it turned out pretty dang tasty! I just wanted to send out a big THANK YOU for all the help the members on here provide.

 

Ladd

 

Here's a pic mid-cook with some ABT's that were just being added on.

post #9 of 9
23425 , good advce . I 'll be watching . . . Coffee.gif
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