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Help Me With My Turkey!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I just introduced myself to this forum the other day and I've met a lot of knowledgeable, friendly people. I'm hoping I can get some help on smoking a turkey.

I have an ECB electric. I have a 13 lb turkey that's presently thawing in the fridge. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to best go about the smoking process? Should I brine or not? If so, what's a good brine recipe? How long should I expect to smoke a 13 lb turkey? What kind of would would you suggest? I was thinking apple and hickory.

Any help is greatly appreciated!! :)
post #2 of 8
You should check out the how to article on the left of the screen under smoking turkey. and yes, brine also sign up for the 5 day e course
post #3 of 8
Alot of store bought birds are already brined in a salt solution. Personally I do not brine much of anything. I usually inject the bird with marinates and go from there. Roughly you give 1.5 hours per lb, but aim for 165 to 170 internal at the breast. I also like breast down on the smoker since white meat is done befort dark meat is and my smoker is hotter at the top.
post #4 of 8
I do realize that it is almost impossible to purchase poultry that is not injected with something. But I think, or believe; that when brining the whole osmosis process actually combines with and replaces the initial injection and all the seasonings and flavoring you add to your brine will set in the meat nicely. I just believe this because if I were to roast a whole chicken in the oven, and did not season it, it would most definitly need some added salt for my own taste anyway, although it may still be juicey. Well maybe its just me. I just like brining turkey wether pre-injected or not.
post #5 of 8
Here be some info fer ya:

Slaughterhouse Poultry Brine

1 1/2 Gal Water
1/2 C Salt
1/2 C Dark Brown Sugar
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Cajun Spice
2 tsp Celery Seed

Slaughterhouse Poultry Injection

1/2 Pkg Good Seasons Italian Dressing
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Celery Seed
2 TBS melted Butter
2 C Apple Cider

Slaughterhouse Spritz

8 oz Apple Cider
6 oz Water
4 oz Whiskey
2 oz Cider Vinegar

Inject the bird then toss inta the brine. I smoke mine at 250* to an internal temp of 170* in the heavy part a the breast. Spritz each hour. This spritz will give ya a nice sheen an a fairly decent skin on yer bird. I always brine my poultry an spritz.

As fer wood, I prefer hickory, but, I likes a heavy smoke flavor, yer idear a mixin apple an hickory should work out just fine.

We always cook ta temperature except fer ribs, the average thought on the subject is 1 1/2 hours a pound, it ain't always accurate though.

Good luck an may the smoke gods smile upon yer cooker!
post #6 of 8

I would agree with injectable marinade

I've done a few chickens w/o marinade, just dry rub inside & out, and they lacked the deep seated flovor I was really searching for...they were very good eating though.

I've never done a bird with a brine, but injectables give you the option to impregnate the meat with a variety of things, from tenderization to enhancement of natural flavor. If you choose to use a citrus or other acidic base and give it enough time to penetrate throughout the bird, I think you will be impressed with the results. The acid base will break down the tougher fibers of the meat tissues to the point of falling out of the skin when you cut the bird open. The addition of fats from your favorite cooking oil or butter will preserve/retain the meats natural juices. Very, very tender and delectable eats.

I mentioned in an earlier thread reply about a marinade tip: simmering your seasoning with your liquid choice, then cool & strain before drawing into the injector to prevent clogging the needle...this does work. If you're squeemish about needles, trust me.. it's easy. First time is trial after that you'll look forward to the next one 'cause it tastes sooooo good.

Remember, every time you try something new, you will gain knowledge.

Keep on bangin' away, 'cause it's all good. It's (nearly) impossible to screw up dinner in a smoker.

Good eats...enjoy!
post #7 of 8
With a brine, you do simmer the seasoning with some of the liquid to infuse the flavors which will be drawn deeply into the flesh. Ya just have to try in for yourself. Plus a good garlic butter injection is always a plus.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help fellas,

I decided to go ahead and use a brine recipe that I've used in the past when cooking turkeys on my weber:

2 quarts apple juice
2 tbs rosemary
2 tbs thyme
2 tsp sage
1 cup salt
1 tsp sage
1 tbs garlic powder

I have my turkey brining right now. I'll start the smoke tomorrow morning, probably around 8 or 8:30. I'm planning on smoking some country style ribs on the top rack too.

Should be fun tomorrow!
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