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Basic ??? about thermometers, chicken, ground turkey, fish

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Today I looked at some "wireless" thermometers and on the cover of the package it showed the wires that are necessary in order to use it. During my last smoking attempts I bought such a thing and it got up to about 200 degrees or something and didn't move any more after that. The next day sitting on a table outside it still said about 200 degrees. A few days later still sitting outside it still said about 200 degrees. I paid around $50 for it I think, and have never bought another. I suspected and still do that the wire attached to the "wireless" thermometer melted or something. Can anyone suggest a thermometer we can use in a smoker that actually works, and more than only one time?

 

I got an electric smoker last week and today was the first "decent" day I've had to try to preseason it. I started it going and could smell the packing oils burning off of it expecting to let it go for 3-4 hours, opening the door for a couple seconds from time to time to let a lot of the oil smoke out. During the attempt I checked the radar and saw that rain was coming this way, so shut it down and covered it up and a little while later it started raining for a couple of hours. I hope stopping in the process like that didn't somehow mess it up so the burned packing oil stink will be in it from now on, and intend to try completing the process Wednesday. 

 

If I can get it smelling ok I'd like to try cooking a 3.5 pound chicken and a half pound ground turkey patty. Can you cook ground turkey in a smoker like that without it falling apart down through the racks? Without having a thermometer can anyone give me a general idea of how high and long to try cooking them? Should the chicken be cut down into quarters? Or just in half? Should I try turning the chicken and/or the ground turkey over or just leave them as is? For seasoning all I want to try with the chicken to start with is a little celery salt and see how that goes with the hickory pellets in an amaze-n-smoker. 

 

I've heard that cooking fish in a smoker can give it a fishy smell, so I'm wondering if it would work to cold smoke the fish (Swai) with the amaze-n-smoker for a while before cooking, and then just cook it like normal inside in a regular oven. Will that work, and if so how long should it smoke? Also, if I cook a ground turkey patty inside in a regular oven and then cold smoke it while doing the fish will it absorb the smokey flavor, though probably not as well as if cooked in smoke?

post #2 of 6
Lots of questions and there are plenty of folks here more qualified than I to answer but I'll help where I can.
I recently bought a Maverick 732 dual probe thermometer and I love it. Use the boiling water test to make sure the probes are calibrated. Sounds like you just ended up with a bad one.

I would think you can just fire the smoker back up, let it go for a few hours and it'll season just fine.

Cooking the chicken. I try to cook between 225-250 and you can kinda figure on 2-3 hours but I would never cook poultry without being able to check the IT. The breast has to be at 165 or you take the risk of making folks Ill.

Hope some of this helps.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetsknicks1 View Post

Lots of questions and there are plenty of folks here more qualified than I to answer but I'll help where I can.
I recently bought a Maverick 732 dual probe thermometer and I love it. Use the boiling water test to make sure the probes are calibrated. Sounds like you just ended up with a bad one.

I would think you can just fire the smoker back up, let it go for a few hours and it'll season just fine.

Cooking the chicken. I try to cook between 225-250 and you can kinda figure on 2-3 hours but I would never cook poultry without being able to check the IT. The breast has to be at 165 or you take the risk of making folks Ill.

Hope some of this helps.

Yes, it gives me something to go on instead of nothing at all. I'll be the only one eating this, so at least no one else is at risk. Maybe I'll try 235 for three hours and if it doesn't look done put it in the microwave a few minutes. And the same with the ground turkey unless someone suggests something else. I probably won't start cooking until around 6:00pm or later, so maybe I'll get some other suggestions between now and then. Thank you for your help!

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by nopeda View Post
 

Today I looked at some "wireless" thermometers and on the cover of the package it showed the wires that are necessary in order to use it. During my last smoking attempts I bought such a thing and it got up to about 200 degrees or something and didn't move any more after that. The next day sitting on a table outside it still said about 200 degrees. A few days later still sitting outside it still said about 200 degrees. I paid around $50 for it I think, and have never bought another. I suspected and still do that the wire attached to the "wireless" thermometer melted or something. Can anyone suggest a thermometer we can use in a smoker that actually works, and more than only one time?

 

I got an electric smoker last week and today was the first "decent" day I've had to try to preseason it. I started it going and could smell the packing oils burning off of it expecting to let it go for 3-4 hours, opening the door for a couple seconds from time to time to let a lot of the oil smoke out. During the attempt I checked the radar and saw that rain was coming this way, so shut it down and covered it up and a little while later it started raining for a couple of hours. I hope stopping in the process like that didn't somehow mess it up so the burned packing oil stink will be in it from now on, and intend to try completing the process Wednesday. 

I will second the Maverick 732/733. Both have served many here well.

If I can get it smelling ok I'd like to try cooking a 3.5 pound chicken and a half pound ground turkey patty. Can you cook ground turkey in a smoker like that without it falling apart down through the racks? I would't just throw it on the rack out of the package. Spray some PAM on the racks...At a minimum add some S & P and mix it until the meat gets sticky. This is the protein binding and it will stay together, think Meatloaf! You have an opportunity to season that turkey. Breadcrumbs, eggs, poultry seasoning, saute up some fine chopped onion and celery, cool and mix that in too. Cook the Turkey Mix to an IT of 165°F. Whith out a therm the juices should run clear but get a Therm ASAP, Safest method. The Turkey will take an hour if flattened 2 hours or so in a Loaf. Without having a thermometer can anyone give me a general idea of how high and long to try cooking them? We determine doneness by measuring the Internal Temp (IT) in the thickest part of the Breast and Thigh, 165* and 175*F respectively. Electric smokers usually only go to 275°F. With these you will be smoking at the most common temp range of 225-275°F. You can figure on about 25 minutes per pound cook time + or - 5 minutes depending what part of the range you choose. Usually the skin will not crisp so if the skin is not Crisp enough when the IT is 145*F in the Breast, put the Bird in a 425*F Oven to finish cooking to 165* and Crisp the Skin...Should the chicken be cut down into quarters? Or just in half? Any Birds less than 14-16 pounds can be Smoked Whole.Should I try turning the chicken and/or the ground turkey over or just leave them as is? Nope, leave them alone the smoke and heat will do the job.For seasoning all I want to try with the chicken to start with is a little celery salt and see how that goes with the hickory pellets in an amaze-n-smoker. That is fine, whatever you like. There are countless rubs that you can use. Here is a simple one I like...

 

Bubba Chix Rub

 

1/2C Raw Sugar

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

1T Gran. Garlic

1T Gran. Onion

1tsp Black Pepper

1tsp Wht Pepper

1tsp Allspice

1tsp Bell's Poultry Seasoning or Thyme

Cayenne to taste/

NOTE: Add 1T Salt if the Bird is not Brined of course Celery Salt would work too...

 

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

 

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...

 

 

 

I've heard that cooking fish in a smoker can give it a fishy smell, so I'm wondering if it would work to cold smoke the fish (Swai) with the amaze-n-smoker for a while before cooking, and then just cook it like normal inside in a regular oven. An occasional Fish smoke will not hurt. If you just want to put some Cold smoke. Wash and Season the fish with Salt plus whatever. Cold smoke NO MORE than 1 hour and immediately finish the cook by other means.Will that work, and if so how long should it smoke? Also, if I cook a ground turkey patty inside in a regular oven and then cold smoke it while doing the fish will it absorb the smokey flavor, though probably not as well as if cooked in smoke?  Yes you can do this but there will be less smoke flavor. However you can Hot Smoke it all. At 225-275 The fish will take around 30 minutes to get to just begining to flake...JJ

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the replies! I just ordered a Maverick 733 with 2 meat probes from ebay. What is S & P to mix with the turkey to make stick together? Would it be about 4 hours to cook a 1 pound ground turkey meatloaf?

post #6 of 6

S & P Salt and Pepper at a minimum. 4 Hours?....Nah, from above... " The Turkey will take an hour if flattened 2 hours or so in a Loaf. " I've not worked withy a lot of ground turkey but 1 pound is not a lot and will go pretty quick...JJ

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