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Need Turkey assistance

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
This was my first attempt of smoking a turkey in my Smokin Tex (yep I am a newbie) The chicken I made prior was fabulous so I felt brave enough to tackle a turkey.

I brined the 13.8# bird in the following brine, which I had to double to cover the bird:

2 c. salt
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. red hot sauce

Left it in overnight, rinsed and let it sit before I tossed together an improvised rub of paprika, sage, pepper, dash of hot sauce with vegetable oil to put on it as well.

What I had read was 50 minutes per pound at 225 and adjusted my day accordingly. A littel shy of 5 hours I realized I spaced off putting the thermometer in the bird to monitor it. Opened the door & shoved it in. 191, I thought I hit a bone, again 175, Oh boy it's done all the while thinking that this was way too quick.

I pulled it out and was glad this was a practice bird.

The flavor was amazing but of course it was very dry. I am planning on doing it again at a lower temp with the thermometer inserted.
post #2 of 12


I'm new too and bought a turkey on the way home last night to smoke this weekend and have been reading about spatchcocking turkeys and cooking at a higher temp w/o the water pan (still indirect though) and I'm going to try that, I think. It's supposed to help the bird cook faster and keep it moist. My problem is that the only bird I could find already has some salt solution added so I don't know just how much salt I want to use for my brine. Anyone out there have any input on that?
Like your brine recipe though. Good luck next time. Thats the great part about smoking. There will always be a next time.
post #3 of 12
Did you smoke that bird or run over it. Sorry that bird is mangled. I have smoked a couple of turkeys but they did get run over. I don't know anythng about your smoker but what is your questions. Next time can you lay this bird down next time? Your brine and your methods sound right and you want to take the bird to 170 in the thigh.
post #4 of 12
I would do it again and insert the therm about 3 hours in or check it but I wouldn't take it below 225 cooking temp. As a matter of fact I would be taking the smoker temp up between 250 and 325 and watching the bird temp and pull it out at 170. Forget time.
post #5 of 12
How accurate is the thermostat on that Smoky Tex? Judging from the way the meat pulled up the drumsticks it was hotter than 225 for under 5 hours smoking time.
Also, smoking it standing up as it looked like it was will make the center of the bird like a heat chimney which cooks the bird from both the inside and the outside. I usually start whole turkey for one hour on its back and then flip it breast down (that's right, I said it). The first hour on its back firms the breast skin the keep the juices from flowing out as they would if you started it breast down. Finishing it breast down keeps the juices where you want them. You can use that method without brining, but I always brine anyway because I like my turkey really juicy.
post #6 of 12
Turkey's a big bird, get yer smoker temp up inta the 325° range er higher so you get through the 40-140 zone within the 4 hours. Now yers was 175° in 5 hours, I think yer smoker thermometer is not accurate. Get yerself a digital one an put it at grate level, very few smoker thermo's er accurate. Get a 2nd digi therm fer the meat.

Don't put a temp probe in that bird fer 3 hours er so, better to wait until yer over 140° if possible to keep from pusin contaminants inta yer meat.

I smoke mine in netting, but usually stuff a tater in the cavity to slow down the air movement to give the bird a bit more time in the smoke an help prevent the dryin out, a good brine is also helpfull here.

Smoke the bird to 170° internal in the breast er meaty part a the thigh, then you know it's done. Time is nothin in smokin except fer ribs.
post #7 of 12
This brine I hand out ta anybody what wan't to use it, lots a folks on here like it, you can change it if ya like, but is perty good as is, lower in salt to.

Slaughterhouse Poultry Brine By Tip Piper of Hillbilly Vittles
1 ½ Gal Water
½ C Salt - Kosher
½ C Dark Brown Sugar
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Cajun Spice (Louisiana Cajun Seasoning)
2 tsp Celery Seed

Slaughterhouse Poultry Injection
½ Pkg Good Seasons Italian Dressing
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Celery Seed
2 TBS melted Butter (non salted)
2 C Apple Cider

Slaughterhouse Spritz (Good fer everthin!)
8 oz Apple Cider
6 oz Water
4 oz Whiskey
2 oz Cider Vinegar
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Next time can you lay this bird down next time?
*** Sure can, I have always cook all my poultry standing up. Habit.How

How accurate is the thermostat on that Smoky Tex?
*** It is a separate thermometer I use for all my cooking. I can set it for temp or time, usually for temp. I love it and it hasn't failed me yet. The unit didn't come with a thermostat but a knob with temperatures around it.

I smoke mine in netting, but usually stuff a tater in the cavity to slow down the air movement to give the bird a bit more time in the smoke an help prevent the dryin out, a good brine is also helpfull here.
***I LIKE this idea.

***The other recommendations say to turn the bird over, which I hesitate to do since the owners manual says don't open due to chance of flame up. So...would I treat it as two separate cookings -- proababaly not due to the danger zone in cooking -- will need to find someone with the same smoker and find out what they do.

Thank you for the quick responses!
post #9 of 12
Listen to this MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ON average 15 minutes per pound at 325-350 degree.

post #10 of 12
I pickle mine in a salt/sugar brine with cure added, let soak at least over night, have brined them 3 or 4 days too to get a good cure all the way through. Meat comes out pink and hammy flavored and juicy! Pickle:
1 gal. water
1 c. salt
1 c. sugar (I use Splenda @ diabetic)
1 c. brown sugar (same as above)
2 tsp. DQ cure

I'll inject the breasts and thighs and let soak.

post #11 of 12
If you either spatchcock or leapfrog your turkey after brining, you shouold be able to get in done in the three hour range at 275 or so. Hope this thread helps.
post #12 of 12
I did a turkey, leapfrog cut, which I draped over a beer can chicken stand, in a tin foil pan. I put some wine / herbs in the can / pan, and it added a lot of aromatics to the meat when it was fresh.
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