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Talk Turkey

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone;
New to site, fairly new to smoking although I've done about ten pounds of salmon, gorgonzola and my most recent adventure was a capon. I use a brinkman standing smoker. I'm a chef/manager residing in Tx. I'm smoking a turkey for the family and have run into a few questions. Will the skin on the turkey turn too bitter to be enjoyed? I plan on smoking a ten pound bird smothered in an herb butter and smoked using a mix of alder and pecan for about 5-6 hours. (30 mins per lb at 225 degrees) I may be overthinking this but I don't see why the turkey would be any different than a chicken, besides the obvious i.e. weight. Anyone that can read through my run on sentences and can find my question send help please.


post #2 of 12
Welcome Jason -

No reason the turkey skin should be bitter if smoked properly. If it's bitter you have to much smoe going on in there. The smoke should be so light you can barely see it! If it's white and bilowy it gonna taste bitter!

I'd inject some of that herb butter it sounds wonderful. Alder and pecan should be great to smoke with. I've been using some apple, orange and tangerine and that's a nice smoke for poultry too.

I like to smoke my birds at a higher temperature 300 to 375. Makes the skin nice and crispy. I brine 1st injecting the brine into the birds flesh. Put all your spices in the brine and it'll taste great! Here's how I do it.

post #3 of 12
First you'll want to brine it, then use a good thermometer and go by temp not time. posted times are just a guide. Have you signed up for the Newsletter, Jeff put out a good one on turkeys this week
If you contact him he may get it to you
Also some info here
post #4 of 12


Welcome stith, hope you get the great info I have here.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help. I did read Jeff's blog on smoking turkey.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
The citrus sounds fun, I'd almost want to try it with some trout or other type of fish. Not too heavy just enough to get that acidic taste that seafood deserves.
post #7 of 12
welcome to SMF, from another texan- waco here. i am smoking a turkey thanksgiving day also. where in tx are you?
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm in Austin
post #9 of 12
Welcome. Good to have you on board. A great time to join, too. Just in time for Turkey day. I have read the other responses and you are in good hands. The suggestion was made to get a good insertable thermometer. I would just like to add, DON'T trust the one(if there is one) that is built into your smoker. They are very unreliable. Sometimes off by as much as 50 degrees or more. Inserting a thermometer or two into breast and thigh, is the safer way to go.

Have fun and good luck with your bird.

post #10 of 12
Welcome to the forum. Nice to have you join us.
post #11 of 12
Welcome aboard the SMF Jason, glad you joined us! You're in good hands here, and please, don't be afraid to ask what you don't know and share what you do... and we love pix of your creations!

Have fun!
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Good to be here. I wish I had taken pictures of my smoked rooster a couple of weeks ago. Meatier than chicken but a little expensive. I used a simple brine of water, salt, rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Finished it in the oven (the wife was hungry). Best thing I've done in the smoker yet. I will take pictures of my turkey next week though. I plan on using the same brine but I want to lather the bird with an herb butter, what do you think?
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