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Question On Turkey (Moved to new thread)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
New guy here,
Sorry for the thread jack, I need advice. I have an offset smoker, I want to smoke a turkey for Thankgiving. I have practiced on two other turkeys with not very good results. Turkey #1 I injected the bird with some store bought brine with nothing on the skin. The meat tasted ok but the skin was almost leather like. Bird #2 I didn't inject but for the skin I mixed up some Olive Oil and seasoning. The result was about the same the meat was just ok and the skin was leather like. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 14
Bump the temp to 300°-350° to get crispier skin.
post #3 of 14
I agree, as Debi says, you don't want low and slow for birds. smile.gif
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Why have i read on so many sites low and slow. Does submerging the bird give a better result?
post #5 of 14
Low and slow is a great cooking technique for meats that are tough or have a lot of internal fat. The fat renders out, basting the meat and softening the tough cuts and making them tender.

Poultry is neither tough, nor has a lot of internal fat. That is why some people feel there is no benefit to going low and slow. The downside of low and slow for poultry is that it leaves the skin rubbery. A remedy for this is too cook it at a higher temperature like 300 - 325 or some people rub mayo on the skin which also yields crispy skin.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
what are you thoughts on letting the bird marinade overnight in brine?
post #7 of 14
Brining overnight (or longer) is a great idea. It adds a tremendous amount of moisture to the meat.

Most people like it but some do not as they feel it makes the meat too salty or too much like ham. Personally I don't think it makes the meat salty or too hamlike, but that's my opinion. The longer you leave it in the brine, the "hammier" it can taste. Overnight for a turkey breast or 24-48 hours for a whole bird is common.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
I used apple wood chunks for the smoke. From what i have read the fruit woods are the better choice. Do you agree with that? Again, thank you for all the advice. This forum has been a big help
post #9 of 14

Brine times

As far as poultry in general:
for pieces I recommend 4-10hrs
For whole birds I recommend 10-24hrs.

Low and slow is not recommended for poultry!

As Ron mentioned long brine times tend to obtain a hammy flavor.
If you haven't tried brining, Maybe you should try the shorter time. From there you can +/- to the time as per your liking. Be sure to rinse completely to remove any excess salt, to prevent the salty taste.

I do wings @ 4hrs
legs and breast @ 8hrs
whole birds @12-16hrs(depending on size)

I hope this helps!
post #10 of 14
There is no "better choice" it is what tastes better to you and your family.

Fruit woods are usually used on putry as they impart a milder smoke flavor then woods like oak, hickory etc.

Apple and cherry seem to be the most common for poultry.

Orange wood is my new favorite for poultry. Great flavor and beautiful color to the bird.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
At 300-350 what cooking time can I expect for 14lb bird?
post #12 of 14
Rule of thumb about 20 minutes a pound but go by temperature of the meat not time. Need to cook to an internal of at least 165 deep in the breast.
post #13 of 14
I generally find a basic brine should only enhance the flavor, but if my turkey is over 12 lbs. I will put some curing salt for safety sake in there and that indeed will make it taste kinda hammy (specially the thigh meat). But that ain’t all together a bad thing!
post #14 of 14
Wow they sell brine in stores? I didn't know that. They sell everything today eh? I need to look around more! biggrin.gif

Anywho .... it will take about 3.5 to 4.5 hours for a 14 lbs bird.

Here's an illustration on how I do it and a basic brine I used often:


A little hint: if you like certain spices on poultry when baking use it while smoking - it just a different kind of oven and the smoke enhances the flavor IMHO.

Carl - so good to see you! I've missed you it's hon been a few months I think. Good point on the curing salt!
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