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Replenishing Water, Replenishing Wood Chips? Masterbuilt 30" electric - TG Turkey

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hello Everyone, I just discovered this forum, and am VERY grateful it exists. I am a long-time "old school" smoker, having wood-chunk smoked hundred of things in my char-broil barrel smoker. Ribs, chicken, pork butt, brisket, and various other things. And done a fairly decent job, over they years, ... I think :-)
 

But this is the first time I will be smoking a whole turkey, and first time with an electric smoker, which I just bought. I have read through a number of very helpful recipes, techniques, etc to guide me in smoking my 13.25 lb fresh-from-a-local-farm bird, which I will be brining for about 20 hours. I will be smoking at about 250-275 (the MES does waver a bit, from what I could tell from yesterday's Dry Run) I am figuring about 8 hours, plus about 1/2 hour of resting. 

 

A few things I have NOT been able to find out in my  search, so here I am hoping for a few pointers.

 - As many of you know there is a small tray at the bottom for water, supposedly to help keep the target moist. Do you suggest that I make sure that tray usually has water in it, or is one fill enough? (I am assuming that first fill will evaporate in about an hour...?)

 

- Masterbuilt recommends using one cup of wood chips in the box (I will be using apple), That burns off in about an hour. If my goal is a medium smoke, how many times should I replenish the chips would you say?

 

- Will putting a foil pan on the bottom shelf with some water to catch the drippings (more of a keep-the-smoker-clean thing than a cooking thing) have any impact on the cooking time or temperature control?

 

- The 250-275 target temp is about 1/2 way on the (non-digital) temperature control dial. I think full on would bring the temp to about 400. For the last 30-45 minutes of cooking, I plan to rub the skin with some cooking oil and put the dial all the way up, with the hope of getting some crisp on the skin. Your thoughts?

 

Many thanks in advance for feedback, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all you fellow smokers!

 

- JJL

post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjlnyc View Post
 

Hello Everyone, I just discovered this forum, and am VERY grateful it exists. I am a long-time "old school" smoker, having wood-chunk smoked hundred of things in my char-broil barrel smoker. Ribs, chicken, pork butt, brisket, and various other things. And done a fairly decent job, over they years, ... I think :-)
 

But this is the first time I will be smoking a whole turkey, and first time with an electric smoker, which I just bought. I have read through a number of very helpful recipes, techniques, etc to guide me in smoking my 13.25 lb fresh-from-a-local-farm bird, which I will be brining for about 20 hours. I will be smoking at about 250-275 (the MES does waver a bit, from what I could tell from yesterday's Dry Run) I am figuring about 8 hours, plus about 1/2 hour of resting. 

 

A few things I have NOT been able to find out in my  search, so here I am hoping for a few pointers.

 - As many of you know there is a small tray at the bottom for water, supposedly to help keep the target moist. Do you suggest that I make sure that tray usually has water in it, or is one fill enough? (I am assuming that first fill will evaporate in about an hour...?) I don't use water in my MES. It adds too much moisture and turns it into a steam box. 

 

- Masterbuilt recommends using one cup of wood chips in the box (I will be using apple), That burns off in about an hour. If my goal is a medium smoke, how many times should I replenish the chips would you say? The time between adding chips can vary. At higher temps you will have to add more often. You should wait until the smoke starts to run out then add more. The total time depends on your taste. If you are going for a light smoke flavor then 3-4 hours of smoke is enough. 

 

- Will putting a foil pan on the bottom shelf with some water to catch the drippings (more of a keep-the-smoker-clean thing than a cooking thing) have any impact on the cooking time or temperature control? Yes. Depending on the size of the pan you could trap some heat below it. I would use a separate thermometer to monitor the temp at the cooking grate to make sure it is running how you want it. 

 

- The 250-275 target temp is about 1/2 way on the (non-digital) temperature control dial. I think full on would bring the temp to about 400. For the last 30-45 minutes of cooking, I plan to rub the skin with some cooking oil and put the dial all the way up, with the hope of getting some crisp on the skin. Your thoughts? Yes bumping the heat will crisp the skin but adding oil will slow that down. The smoker will have to get all that oil up to temp and cook it off before the skin will crisp. I would just crank the temp but not add anything. Or you could add some butter as it cooks off easier than oil.

 

Many thanks in advance for feedback, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all you fellow smokers!

 

- JJL

See my comments above and good luck. 

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Great feedback - thank you!

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