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Is is better to skin the turkey before smoking

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I did a test run with brined boneless skinless chicken breasts before attempting a turkey.  NICE……smokey and moist.  I am now thawing a 16 pound turkey that, when thawed, will be brined overnight.  Question.  I am concerned about the smoke permeating the meat through the skin. Our family is not interested in eating the turkey skin.  I am wondering if it would be better to skin the bird prior to brining to ensure smoky meat.

post #2 of 5

The smoke will get through the skin. But if you're not going to eat it there is no reason you can't remove it prior to smoking it. I do naked chicken all the time.


More good smokes here:

post #3 of 5

I agree, dirtsailor2003. From my own experience, not only will the smoke have no problem permeating the skin, along with brining, the skin also protects the meat from drying out. Besides, it's easier to remove the skin after cooking, and unlikely that anyone will ask for an extra helping of skin anyway. ;-)


Also IMO, I would consider a smaller bird next time, as 16 lbs is a borderline weight for potential food-borne issues. In other words, the extended smoking time for a 16 lb bird equals an extended time in the "food safety danger zone" (40—140 degrees F). 

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys, skin on it is.

post #5 of 5
Spatchcock the bird, it will come up to temp faster and allow you to smoke a larger bird. It also gets the bird done sooner by exposing more area to the heat. Works great. I don't eat the skin either but I leave it on for moisture. Smoke penetrates the skin and meat no problem.

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