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First smoke in progress - temp and brine question

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I decided to try the Apple brine recipie and do a 12lb turkey. The bird soaked in the brine for 25 hrs. One thing I forgot to do was rinse the bird off with water when I took it out of the brine. I dryed it off with paper towels and it sat in the fridge on a pan overnight. The conditions here in Fargo,ND are 31 degrees and a heavy snow!!!. There was a winter/spring storm that swooped in, interesting weather for April 6th. I am having a little trouble keeping the heat up where I thought it would be. Maybe it is because of the weather. I am about 35 min. into the smoke and I am holding a temp of 325 with all 3 vents 100% open as well as the top vent. I started off with two chimnys of hot coals. Also I am not using water in the pan, I just tin foiled it to catch drippings. Does this sound about right? Also will I have any issues with the fact I didn't rinse the bird off when I took it out of the brine? The brine recipie was 2 quarts apple juice, cup of salt, 1 lb of brown sugar, 3 quarts water, 6 cloves garlic, 3 oranges....
post #2 of 8
Might be a tad salty. Remember to watch the danger zone times... if you don't have a temp of at least 120 deep in the breast or thigh at about the 3 hour mark, you best get that bird inside for an oven finish. 4 hours between 40 and 140 is considered the safe and prudent time limit.

325 should get you there OK, if you can maintain it.
post #3 of 8
agree richtee, dont know if fact or not but i think a short soak in freshwater helps remove excess salt from outer of bird, also washes off some sugar which helps prevent it from burnin on outstde as much, just my opinion
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys, I will let you know how it turns out and try uploading some pics as well.
post #5 of 8
If you're not using water in the pan you may risk the turkey coming out dry. The purpose of having water in the pan is to keep the meat moist as it cooks along with the smoke.

Will you be mopping or basting the meat during the smoke?

SMF guys - please jump in if I'm wrong on this ....
post #6 of 8
The idear behind the water pan is to add moisture to the smoke box and help maintain temps, it will help you temp come back faster after you've had the door open.

I use water with apple juice in mine. Some will use just sand in their pan for the thermal load.

I use four bricks in the bottom of mine for that and the water pan for moisture and some added flavor as well as helps catch the drippings.

I used mine a couple of times with nothin in the pan, temps swung around alot in my opinion, so back to usin the water in the pan. Good luck.
post #7 of 8
the purpose of either water.......river rocks.......or sand..........is to PREVENT temps swings.........thats it..........been using ecb's for over 25 years......is don'est really add moisture to the meat........if it wasn't there in the first place.........it aint going to happen.......once the skin of the meat gets ANY kind of crust to it.......no moisture will be added.......trust me on this........thats why i brine all poultry and pork..........even chicken quarters.........turkey legs will not be any diff.......BRINE em........then you will be fine
post #8 of 8
Water in the smoker has 2 functions: A heat "capacitor". Helps maintain heat due to it's mass. In the same breath, it helps keep temps DOWN as well. Every gram of water turned to steam takes 540 Cals of heat from the system.

2- It helps with moisture in this way: Air can only get so saturated with moisture. Heat causes evap of moisture. If you have a pan of water in the smoker, it contributes to the saturation point of moisture as well as your meat hunk. EG... less moisture LOSS from the meat.
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