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Smoked Turkey Weekend

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
First and foremost, I want to apologize for not having any q-view, but once you read this you'll all understand.

My family always deep fries a turkey on thanksgiving. Actually, we deep fry several. One to eat for dinner and another 2-4 for people to take home as leftovers. This year was to be no different. We had brined several birds in a vinegar, honey and clove concoction and started heating up the fryer begin the day's festivities.

Since I was going to be standing outside for a good 4-5 hours frying anyways, I figured I might as well smoke a bird for grins. I have never smoked a turkey before, but given that we wern't banking on it, I figured I'd give it a run. It was about 65 here thanksgiving morning so this seemed like a good idea. So, I got the ECB out and fired it up as well. I used a mix of Kingsford and mesquite chunks for the smoker.

Come noon I had few gallons of of hot peanut oil and a nice coal bed in the smoker registering a pleasant 325F. My brother and I put a 10# bird in the smoker right at 12 and then prepped the next bird, a 16# beast, for the fryer. Everything was coming along well. We had a 12 pack of Sam Adams Winter Lager and a few Montecristos form my last trip to Canada. Life was good. Then everything went sideways...

There was a nice low pressure system and accompanying thunderstorm coming our way. The radar said it was going north of where we were so we didn't fret too much. Then a little before 1pm a small wind picked up, which grew in intensity over the next few minutes. The fryer started losing heat and despite craking up the flame, it continued to drop. we made our best effort to keep it up, but eventually mother nature won and the oil dropped below 225F. The bird was hosed. We ran a proverbial fire drill trying to turn off the fryer, get the oil somewhere where it wouldn't tip over and erect a pop up tent over the smoker to keep the impending rain from extingusihing my chimney.

Luckily, due to the clever design of smokers, my ECB puttered on unabated, registering a between 300 and 350 for the next few hours despite the winds. I kept feeding the drip pan a diet of Adobo seasoning and beer. Around 4ish the bird hit 168 in both breasts, so I pulled it; however, I was then informed that dinner wasn't supposed to be for a few hours, around 6. I began to panic. My beautiful smoked bird was about to be ruined.

Thankfully, after reading these fora, I recalled that some people foil smoked meats and let the rest for hours at times before serving. I was hesitant, but I decided to give it a shot with the bird. For good measure I soaked a towel in beer, spices and some pan drippings and stuffed it inside the bird. Then I tightly double foiled it with some HD aluminium foil and stuck it in the microwave. I then began to drink heavily.

Around 6 dinner was ready so I pulled the bird and much to my chagrin, it was perfect. Still hot, but not too hot. The towel had steamed the breasts leaving them moist and tender and the remainder had soaked into the dark meat, which was a unable to keep itself on the bone.

The family was quite impressed with the taste and texture of the turkey, as was I. So impressed in fact, that they requested I smoke another bird next thanksgiving.

Tying up loose ends...we still had a few birds leftover that didn't get cooked that day, so Saturday in the wee hours of the moring I woke up and fired up the ECB again and smoked a few more, this time a 14# and an 18#. They turned out just as good, if not a little better than the main event. Although, I was much more drunk Saturday when they were ready to eat than I was on Thanksgiving, but my friends seemed to like them just as well.

All in all, it was a great weekend of smoking. If anyone else is thinking of trying to smoke a turkey for the first time, I reccomend doing 3 in one weekend to really get the hang of it. Baptism by fire, or in this case, smoke.
post #2 of 3
All that and no pic's???PDT_Armataz_01_35.gif
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
I was too busy trying not to burn down the house Thursday. As for Saturday, I got drunk and forgot. In fact, I got so drunk on Saturday I almost forgot I got drunk.
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