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A little help!

Msk056

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Joined Nov 11, 2020
Hello all,
New to all of this. I have about about a year of practice with a little box smoker and have recently stepped up my cooker. Anyway I am going to do a 18lb turkey, using pops brine method, #1 cure. I will be smoking the bird. What temps and time yeild best results? I see alot of mixed info on brine methods\time and the cooking temps & time. Thought? Help would be appreciated. Thanks
 

thirdeye

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If you follow Pop's instructions on injecting some of the curing brine and recommended brine time, that will take care of that part of the preparation. I like to hold a brined bird in the fridge, uncovered, for at least 12 hours to dry the skin. For smoking I like pit temps in the 275° to 300° range and your goal is to cook the breasts to 158° -160° and the dark meat to 175°+. So you need to monitor those temps. This is harder than it sounds because the breast and leg/thigh are completely different muscles, it's easy to have a dry breast or an under cooked leg/thigh. I butcher whole chickens and turkeys like this, and once either half is as the perfect temperature, I pull it off and rest until carving.
xkTpEDh.jpg
 

Msk056

Newbie
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Joined Nov 11, 2020
That's some great info! Thank you @275⁰ what does that work out to per pound roughly, cooking time wise?
 

tallbm

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Hello all,
New to all of this. I have about about a year of practice with a little box smoker and have recently stepped up my cooker. Anyway I am going to do a 18lb turkey, using pops brine method, #1 cure. I will be smoking the bird. What temps and time yeild best results? I see alot of mixed info on brine methods\time and the cooking temps & time. Thought? Help would be appreciated. Thanks
Hi there and welcome!
You've gotten some good info from thirdeye there.

I smoke my turkeys at 325F smoker temp so I get good edible skin. Thirdeye dries his turkey skin some to help it out.
If you don't cook skin on poultry at a high enough smoker temp then the skin gets rubbery where you can hardly bite through the skin... really tough skin. A 325F smoker temp should avoid the rubbers skin issue completely.

At 325F I have 20lb turkeys finish in just under 4 hours where I cook them to 16-5F Internal Temp (IT) in the breast and pull them immediately.
I pout my turkey's on a vertical turkey "rack" set inside of a foil pan.

As for brine I do an equilibrium brine which cannot go wrong no matter how long you leave it in the brine, it will never be too salty. An equilibrium brine means you measure out everything so the salt distributes equally among the bird/meat and the water so u never get too salty.

It's pretty simple.
Write down the turkey weight.
Get a bucket or a tub and put the turkey.
Add water and record how many liters or gallons of water you add (gallon of water weighs 8 pounds)
When you are about 2 liters short of covering the turkey with water calculate how much salt, sugar, and cure #1 you need.
Water weighs 8 gallons a pound so 2 liters = 4 pounds.

Take the total water + turkey weight and convert to grams.
Now do:
  • 2% salt (total weight in grams X 0.02 = amount of salt in grams you need)
  • 1% sugar (total weight in grams X 0.01 = amount of sugar in grams you need)
  • Cure #1 = 1.13gm per pound of total weight so (total weight in pounds x 1.13 = amount of cure#1 in grams)
Take all your calculated salt, sugar, and cure #1 and dissolve in a blender 1in the last 2 liters of water and add that to the bucket and stir around.
Take a marinade injection needle and draw some cure/brine solution in and inject all into the breast and thighs and drums, etc.
Brine for minimum 24hrs, or maximum like 7 days IN THE FRIDGE!

You do this and you will never be disappointed and you never have to guess how much brine you need or how much salt, sugar, or cure to add and you will be ready to rock!!!
You never have to guess if anyone else brine is going to be too strong or too bland or how long you have to wait.

I hope this info helps :)
 

thirdeye

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Joined Dec 1, 2019
That's some great info! Thank you @275⁰ what does that work out to per pound roughly, cooking time wise?
That's hard to define because of weight, shape and type of brine...., plus the big factor for me is I live at 5400' above sea level, which means heat performs differently and air is drier than at sea level. I do like to monitor the temperature of the breast during the first hour and spot check the dark half, then adjust the temp if it's cooking too fast or too slow. But for your average turkey breast, I'll allow 2.5 to 3 hours. And if it takes 3.5 hours, that is how long I'll cook them.
fNB2TIC.jpg
 

gmc2003

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Joined Sep 15, 2012
Here's one I did a while back. No cure or brine but it turned out pretty darn good.


Chris
 

Bearcarver

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Just so you know, since you're curing this Turkey, there is no Hurry to get it done, so you can keep the temp lower for awhile to let it soak in some good Smoke Flavor. I'd suggest giving it a few hours of 200° and Medium Smoke, and then jack up the Temp to finish at the Internal Temp that you decide on.

Bear
 

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