My First Turkey...need some advice

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by coryroc, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. coryroc

    coryroc Newbie

    Ok, I've scoured the forums high and low and have found bits and pieces to help answer some of my questions, but I still have some concerns.

    I'll be using an apple wood with possible cherry mix. With that said, here are my questions: (i know some of them are subjective)

    1. I have a 9.75lb bird and would really like to get a nice smoky flavor with crispy skin. The thing is, I have a Brinkmann Electric smoker which is only capable of about 250 degrees (due to the weather outside). But after a couple hours of smoke, I can gladly put it in the oven at a higher temp if this will get me the crispier skin. Wasn't sure if this would get the desired effect though. If it will, what would the oven temp be?

    2. Any brine recommendations, preferably something that won't make the bird overly salty?

    3. Should I use a rub? I've considered using a butter rub similar to one offered up by BBQ Engineer (

    4. Any recommendations on what to stuff it with, that would complement the applewood?

    5. What am I looking at for total cook time?

    Any help is GREATLY appreciated. And as you can tell, I need to get it in the brine by this evening lol.

    EDIT: 6. Would I be wise to use something other than apple for a smokier flavor? Pecan seems to be popular.
  2. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'll take a shot at a few of em fer ya.

    Bine, I've posted it alot lately, but this one works real well fer poultry:

    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
    I'd smoke it ta 140° - 145° then inta a 350° oven till the breast gets 165°.

    I don't stuff my poultry, I make the stuffin on the side.

    Apple is nice on poultry, maple is really good to. Some folks like cherry.

    A citrus rub is really nice on birds to.

    Ya can also apply a glaze of 50% melted non salt butter an 50% honey as soon as it comes out. Brush it on an let the bird rest fer 30 min.
  3. coryroc

    coryroc Newbie

    Trav-thanks for the quick response.

    I've seen the slaughterhouse listed on a few threads, so maybe I'll give it a shot.

    In reference to the glaze, that would go on AFTER it was cooked to 170, right? or were you referring to brushing it on before putting it in the oven?
  4. Just remember - if you are using a "enhanced" bird cut back on the amount of salt in your brine and rinse/soak well before you chuck in on the smoker.
    Also DO NOT stuff your bird - put some cut up onions,apples,celery in thhe cavity for some extra flavor - I have been having great luck with icing the breast prior to cooking and soaking a cheesecloth in butter and wine and covering the breast for the first couple of hours (basting the cloth occasionally)

    But to tell you the truth I have had success in just yanking the giblet bag out of the bird - slamming it in the smoker and taking it out when it was done (turned out great without all the fussing/trussing/messing around)

    Happy Thankgiving!!![​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  5. coryroc

    coryroc Newbie

    igolf - when i asked about stuffing the bird, i was indeed referring to stuffing with some fruits or veggies. thanks for clarifying though.

    Is there any good alternatives to actually using a true cheesecloth? also, how do i tell if it is an "enhanced" bird?
  6. coryroc

    coryroc Newbie

    Could I stand it up and do it beer butt chicken style, but instead of beer use some apple cider or something similar?
  7. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brush it on after the 170° cook, just before ya rest it.

    Ya sure can stand em up. I don't think personally (so much a smokin is a personal touch) that ya need the added apple cider, although it sure won't hurt nothin.

    If yer bird has been enhanced, it has ta say so on the package. Also, my brine is lower in salt then many (alot lower then some) an works well with enhanced birds. But watch the rub ya use, many a them er high in salt as well. Be why I make many of my own, control the ingredients that way.
  8. coryroc

    coryroc Newbie

    thanks for all the info...

    but i may have had a small change in strategies...should i pick up a fresh free range bird instead? It's only $2/lb! Smallest one i can get though is a 15lb'r.

    Should i go the fresh route?
  9. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If ya ain't got one thawed out by now, I'd go with fresh. That ain't a bad price.

    15 lb bird will be OK, but keep yer smoker temps up in the 325° - 350° range if ya can. If not, smoke ta bout 145° an finish up in the oven.

    Ya could spatchcock the bird to which helps em smoke a bit quicker.
  10. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Since your smoker isn't going to hit the higher temps I'd stick with the smaller bird then pull it at 145-150 internal and into a 350 degree oven till finished and that should crisp the skin. The wood is a matter of tastes personally I'll be using apple or an apple cherry mix tomorrow
  11. Travcoman45

    Do you have any you want to share??

    Chicken, Turkey, beef.....or just a general one that works great for all??

    Thanks,  Michael

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