Concerns about turkey and temp

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by ajthepoolman, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. ajthepoolman

    ajthepoolman Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I am set to smoke a 9 pound turkey close to Tgiving. I only have a cheapo Brinkmann that at best will hit 250 or so.

    I am wondering if that is hot enough to really smoke and cook the bird without hanging in the danger zone for too long.

    Would I be better off spatchcocking the thing and splitting that into two halves? Put one on the upper rack and one down on the lower rack?

    Or should I ask to borrow a Bradley that my Vice President has?

    Any advice you can offer would be appreciated!
  2. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Personally, I think it will cook just fine, just the skin would be a little less than appealing. If you can borrow something else without too much trouble, do it.

    I worry more about the "danger zone" when cooling cooked food and not so much on cooking cool food for the first time. Cook it to a safe internal temp and you should be fine IMO. But if you have your concerns then adjust accordingly.

    Nothing wrong with spatchcocking either, just doesn't seem right for a Turkey. LOL
  3. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member got a turkey fryer/camp cooker type propane unit?
  4. flagriller

    flagriller Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    You sould be fine. As Joe mentioned, I worry about going from hot to cold and the danger zone more. Also, make sure it's completely defrosted, rince well, and pat dry, season, then in the smoker.
  5. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Can't count how many turkeys I have done on my ECB over the years. Dang thing got its start over 28 years ago doing just Turkeys. So what is wrong with 250* ?? It will do them just fine, although if you are a skin eater (I am not) you will be disappointed. You could try using Playbox sand instead of water in your pan. This will give you alittle higher and more constant temps than water.
    I'll be doing a boneless turkey breast for the wife and I for Thanksgiving.
  6. foozer

    foozer Meat Mopper

    I did a couple of turkeys 2 weeks ago on my Brinkman Smoke N pit. Both birds were over 13 lbs. Due to the very same concerns you have, I did spatchcock both of them, although it is not easy cutting through those bones (need a very sharp knife or some very good kitchen shears which is what I used). Kept the temp between 250 & 275 and the bird closest to the fire was done in 4 1/2 hrs and the other in about 6 hours. I also foiled them when the skin started getting a good dark brown color. They turned out great and they were done in my opinion fairly quickly because they were spatchcocked. We deboned them and froze the meat for Thanksgiving. I think we ate a pound or two of the meat while deboneing. Next time we will debone after dinner. [​IMG]

    Good luck.
  7. ajthepoolman

    ajthepoolman Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Rich, all I have is the Brinkmann (technically the gourmet version) and a Luhr Jensen Little Chief. And an oven, I have an oven!

    What you guys say about increasing temps makes perfect sense. I suppose I won't worry about 250 unless I have 30 mph winds and 20 degree temps outside!
  8. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Right. But I have set my ECB on TOP of my propane cooker in cold weather <REAL cold weather> and got 275 for some yardbirds last winter. Just wonderin'.
  9. rattlin_ram

    rattlin_ram Fire Starter

    I wondered about this too... Since I'd like to get the skin to where you can eat it...

    What about if you eliminate the water plate and put the coal pan up higher, mine is not an ECB, but a wanna be. And it has hangers for the water pan, that attach over the outer edge of the top of the smoker. The coal pan can be moved up there as well. Would that work better, with the more direct, hotter, heat?
  10. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Start it in the smoker to get the smoke flavor and then finish it in the oven to get the skin where you want it.
  11. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's the ticket. The method I used with the cooker was only because the oven was full of other stuff..
  12. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Without water or sand in the pan, you are basically grilling. Temps will rise. I have only done this when I was running behind on getting dinner done. Remember water or sand, is there to regulate temps, not so much cook you food.
  13. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Crank it up to 300 to 375 if you can. Make a wind block for the winter. I made one out of styrofoam and it helps hold the heat in as well.
  14. rodbuilder

    rodbuilder Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    It's been a tradition around our house for 30 some years to BBQ our Thanksgiving turkey. I use a Webber Kettle with the coals on the side and add mesquite wood for smoke. I have never injected or brined the bird and we have always put our stuffing in the bird as well. The BBQ temp was well over 350 and the turkey was cooked to a temp of 170. Also, I always place my turkeys breast down. Cooking time was about 11 minutes per pound stuffed...

    This year I'm going to brine and not stuff my turkey but still cook on the Webber Kettle to get the nice crisp skin...

    It's also a tradition to make a sausage/turkey gumbo the next day. This year I'm going to use a naked fatty for the sausage...

    Thanks to the folks here a little change to our tradition...
  15. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sweet! Howz about THAT, SMF members? Makin' friends an influencing Q'ers!
  16. rattlin_ram

    rattlin_ram Fire Starter

    How long does it take in the smoker for the flavor?

    The poultry I've done entirely in the smoker, the skin turned out to be too tough to eat... But the meat was great!
  17. billybones

    billybones Smoke Blower

    No worries man. I smoked a 10 lb turkey in my ECB last year and it only took me six hours. I was actually disappointed because I was hoping for a nine hour slow smoke. I had barely dipped into the beer cooler by the time the thing was done! But the thermometer hit 180 and I pulled it. Talk about DEE-licious! Damn. By the way, fill your water pan with half apple juice/half coca-cola. Trust me!
    Good luck brotha!
  18. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Normally meat pores shut up once the internal temps passes 140*. So I would think from 130 to 140 go ahead and transfer.
  19. ajthepoolman

    ajthepoolman Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Apple juice and coke huh? I'll give it a shot! The bird moved from the 10 degree deep freeze to the bottom of the 38 degree fridge to begin a low and slow defrost.
  20. billybones

    billybones Smoke Blower

    Yup yup!!! It gives it this really sweet taste on the outside. But also the smell it gives off is amazing, especially when it starts to boil. Enjoy![​IMG]

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