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Help Me W/Turkey

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
A while ago my wife bought a turkey so we could have it at a later time. Well that later time is now. Now I can take or leave turkey but I love turkey sandwiches.
Gonna put it in the smoker on Fri.
What is a good temp to cook it. I'm thinking 250'ish.
It's 15 1/2 lbs. Is this gonna be a all day smoke?
If I put the temp gauge from my smoker in it where should I put it and what temp is done?
Think I'm gonna use apple wood and spray it with apple cider. Yea or no?
Any other advice?


Water in the pan or no? If I get down and get some sand would that be better?
post #2 of 11
Hi Dave,

I did mine to a little higher temp in a way to get the bird a bit darker skin. I brined for 24 hours, then rubbed, wrapped in a butter-soaked cheesecloth (helped to keep in moisture, hold the wings in place, and helped with darker coloring of the skin - not crisp, but edible). For the brine I used this:

[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']2 quarts apple juice
1 pound brown sugar (light or dark)
1 cup Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
3 quarts cold water
3 oranges, quartered
4 ounces fresh ginger, unpeeled and thinly sliced
15 whole cloves
6 bay leaves
6 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed[/font]
[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Substitute 3/4 cup Morton Kosher Salt or 1/2 cup table salt for Diamond Crystal.

Combine apple juice, brown sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve. Boil for one minute, remove from heat, let mixture come to room temperature, then refrigerate to 40°F.

In a large non-reactive container, combine the apple juice mixture with the remaining ingredients. When adding the oranges, squeeze each piece to release the juice into the container, then drop in the peel.[/font]

Tasted real good with a unique flavoring from the oranges

Here is another brine I often use:

1 Gallon Water
2 Cups Salt
3 Cups Apple Juice
1 Cup Bourbon
½ Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Fresh Black Peppercorn – Broken

[FONT='Times New Roman','serif']Clean bird, prepare brine, set bird in Bucket and fill with brine. [/font]

[FONT='Times New Roman','serif']I have a "garage" fridge with plenty of room to hold a big Home Depot bucket, or you could use a trash bag and a cooler with ice. Remember food safety![/font]

[FONT='Times New Roman','serif']Don't go too heavy with the smoke or it could make the bird bitter tasting.[/font]

[FONT='Times New Roman','serif']Good luck and have fun![/font]
post #3 of 11
For me I like to brine my birds then inject and rub down then smoke them. Do a search for the Slaughter house recipe. 250 should be pretty good for a temp. If you like crispier skin some will smoke at a little higher temp. I usually shoot for 250-280 Its all about what you like. No it won't be an all day smoke. The last bird I did was 15 lbs and it took a little over 5 hours.
post #4 of 11
Here is the link for Shootericks Snakebitten rub/injection.
I can tell you it is excellent stuff.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Sorry. Guess I should have added that this thing is already injected with stuff. Butter and other things so I won't be brining it. I will keep this thread for future reference tho.

post #6 of 11
I did 5 of them a few weekends ago ranging from 13.5 to 14.9lbs. 3 were brined, injected, and rubbed and 2 were straight out of the bag. The ones out of the bag, even though they were the biggest cooked the fastest. 5hr 45 min for one, and the other was done at 6hrs.. The brined and injected birds were about ~30 minutes behind them for some reason. Temps stayed between 235-255...

edit: check in both the thickest part of both the breasts and thighs, i pulled all of them between 157-162 and foiled in the cooler for 30-45min or so before cutting into them. They all turned out great. And i vote for all the moisture you can get in the chamber.. Mine has a steamer box that i usually do a 2:1 apple juice/cider vinegar mix cut in half with water.
post #7 of 11
If you want to cut your time down a tad and make life easy... cheat! For Thanksgiving I brined my 20 lb. bird, put it in the smoker at 250° and hit it with mesquite for 3 hrs. Then I pulled it out and put it in the oven at 350'ish for another 3 hrs. or so. Got a nice smokey flavor, crisp skin, and cooked in about 6 hrs. instead of 12. biggrin.gif
post #8 of 11
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
Here's the brine.

I'd spatchcock that bird ta hep it smoke quicker an smoke it at 325° er better, this temp will get ya a nice skin an through the danger zone on time.

Use a digi thermo an put it in the breast er in the meaty part a the thigh an take it ta 170°.

Apple wood will do right fine by that turkey.

I have brined enhanced birds before an they still do very well. Ya can soak it fer a couple hours if ya wanna ta get some a there's out, but it ain't really needed.
post #9 of 11
I concur with what the dancing hillbilly said.
He is correct "spatchcock" that turkey. It looks better also, all laid out. I would keep the heat higher then 250, maybe even 300 would be good. The apple wood will take it up a notch, thats for sure.
post #10 of 11
The USDA doesn't recommend smoking anything larger than a 12 lb bird to get it through the danger zone in time. That being said they also figure that the smoker is running at 225. Personally I do bigger birds but I crank the heat up into the 325 range. The MES I understand won't go that high but will do 275 and thats what I would suggest you do. The other advantage of using the higher heat is the skin will come out much better at 225 it often comes out rubbery. It will also shorten your smoke time. I did one turkey at 225 and when my family couldn't eat the skin they weren't happy so its hot n fast for me on poultry I may loose a little smoke flavor but they still come out very good. Apple wood is my first choice followed by cherry second on all poultry but thats a matter of personal taste
post #11 of 11
MES cook temp 270º remove when bird passes 140º and finish in oven at 350º cook temp. Cook until bird temp is 180º. Reason for moving to oven is to crisp up the skin.

Check the temps of breast, thigh. My last the breast was way ahead of the thigh. (If the thigh is way behind, don't be afraid to cut out the breasts, foil over open area, return to oven and finish.)

Besure and make some turkey broth out of giblets, you can use the broth when heating up meat.
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