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Cold Weather Test Run - Turkey Parts

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by piaconis, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. piaconis

    piaconis Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Greetings folks!

    It's been a while since I've been on.  My wife has been having some digestive health issues, so that kinda put a damper on the late summer smoking fun.  However, with Thanksgiving fast approaching, we decided to host at our house rather than make the long treck to the in-laws in Connecticut, so smoked turkey it is!  Last year, I smoked a frozen bird that was on sale after the holidays, but I will be brining and smoking a fresh bird this year, along with some assorted dark meat parts.

    To prepare for the big day, I decided to do a test run with thighs and legs to see if the smoker could hit 325.  I moved my baffle a bit to provide a little better air flow, and cranked up the heat.  Sure enough, I hit 325, though the cheaper lump charcoal that I used didn't burn as consistent as my Royal Oak, which put me around 295-317 for the duration.  Overall, it was a successful run, and I have my Fruita Wood Chunks and Royal Oak ready for Turkey Day!  More to come on the big bird and assorted parts in a separate post, but here are a few pics of the test run:

    Brined and rubbed lightly with Jeff's rub, and popped on for about 10 mins. You can see the skin already changing color.  Smoker was still sitting on the low side a bit.

    About an hour in


    Test run was good.  I think I'll be able to pull off the big one on Thanksgiving.  Stay tuned for my countdown, beginning with bird pick-up tomorrow morning.
  2. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Legendary Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Great looking test run there. Can't wait to see the final products.
  3. piaconis

    piaconis Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Thanks Brian!  I'm about to start the new thread for the T-day countdown.  The process has begun!
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Tasty looking parts there! Great color!
  5. piaconis

    piaconis Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Thanks man!  I loved the color too.  It was just a tad on the soft side in those lighter parts.  I'm hoping that a little more attention to the skin with the oil will help the day of the "real event".
  6. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Man that looks very good, well done.   Made me hungry
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    One thing you might want to do is spatchcock the bird for cooking it. I feel that it allows to cook the bird more evenly. Laying the bird out also allows the bird to crisp up more. Air drying the bird for at least 12 hours is also crucial to getting the skin to crisp. I don't use oil or butter on my birds. At least that is what I have noticed with the chickens. If I was doing a whole bird (only doing a bone on breast)  I'd definitely spatch it. I have two whole turkeys in the freezer for later in the year and I plan on spatching both of those.