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Cooking a turkey

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I mixed my brine with kosher salt and seasonings and cooked it untill the stuff all desolved.(approx 2 gals) i put the defrosted 12 lber in a garbage bag and then taped it so it wouldnt be fully extended.poured in the brine and tied the bag up tight and put it in a cooler with 2 bags of ice. Next morning the ice was all melted and the brine mosltly was out of the bag.(too warm when I put it in?).must have been a hole in the bag somewhere. I think most of the turkey was in the brine exept for maybe 2inches at the backend. I didnt check the temp of the bird when i washed and dried it . Just put my rub and stuff on it and put it in the smoker.NOw I'm thinkin.....As long as it cooks to an internal temp of 180, am I okay to serve this or should I be concerned about all the ice in the cooler being melted which I didnt plan on or what?? please help cause IT LOOKS good and temp is almost 180 and I dont know what to do....roli
post #2 of 12

Re: Cooking a turkey

if the water temperature in the cooler was 40° or higher after the ice melted I would be very concerned, myself, poultry can be real shaky, but wait for another response or two, don’t pitch it yet. Put it in fridge if ya have to, though. :roll:
post #3 of 12

Re: Cooking a turkey

I'm not sure I understand what went wrong with your brining, but IMO if you get the temp at the thigh joint up to 180 deg., and the meat didn't actually spoil (which you would have smelled), then you should be safe to eat it.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Re: Cooking a turkey

well I pulled it at 186 and my wife says its beeeutiful so here goes....roli
post #5 of 12
Roli, for future reference any liquids used for brining or marinading needs to be below 40*. A simple and fast way to accomplish this is to put your pan or pot into an ice water bath. Put the stopper in the sink, fill it part way with cold water and a lot of ice. Put your container with the brine in the bath and stir. When the ice is about melted in the bath, add some more. Once you get the temp down below 40*, pour it over the turkey.

I have a 5 gal. insulated water jug that is dedicated just for brining poultry. I usually do 2 turkeys at a time and both will fit in the jug. I put the birds in the jug (after cleaning and rinsing them) add my brine, shaking it once or twice to get rid of the air bubbles and add two bags of ice and put the lid on. I brine my birds for at least 12 hours, so after about 6 hours I'll give everything a stir and add more ice after checking on the temp.

post #6 of 12

Re: Cooking a turkey

roli you will most certainly kill all the bugs at 186° but if your poultry was in the danger zone too long it will still be unsafe to eat. Let me tell you why. Most of the time with food poisoning cases, it's not the bugs making the people ill, it's the poison. When poultry meat reaches 40°-140° the organisms that reside inside begin their normal life-cycle functions, breed, eat, excrement, etc… The byproduct that these tiny living creatures leave behind it a chemical that is toxic to our body. After poultry has be in the danger zone for more than four hours the bugs have lived long enough to produce enough toxins built up in the meat to make us sick, or worse. When you cook poultry that has been contaminated, you will kill all the micro organisms but the toxin still remains. The meat doesn’t even reach 200°, there is not enough heat to break down the toxin so it exists in the meat when it reaches your plate, making it poisonous to our system.

So even if you cook it real good, there may still be risks if it was in the danger zone too long.

I know I am too late so I hope all went well.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Re: Cooking a turkey

Thank you all so much for the responses. I guess through dumb luck everything went okay and evryone enjoyed it.(I told them about my screw up before they ate. ) But I'm gonna do like Dutch says and get a 5 gal water cooler for doin this. Again thanks for the responses. Best turkey I ever smoked>>Maybe the best I ever ate (grandma and mom 's are a toss up though....roli
post #8 of 12

Re: Cooking a turkey

I have a saying ..."when in doubt, Toss it out"


Joe
post #9 of 12

Re: Cooking a turkey

One more point, roli…when you heat your brine to dissolve all the ingredients, make sure that brine cools to 38°-40° before you put your meat in. I’m sure glad it turned out safe & tasty! wink.gif
post #10 of 12
Hello, I plan on smoking a turkey for Thanksgiving and wanted to do a practice one soon. I have been reading about the danger zone, and was wondering if I would be ok around 225,250 with a 12 to 14 lb bird icon_question.gif
post #11 of 12
Crank it up hon - no advantage to low and slow for poultry! 300 to 375 whatever your smoker will do will make a nice crispy skin and still have plenty of smoke!
post #12 of 12
Will do, thanks for the help.
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