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Finally I just finished smoking my turkey

pushok2018

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Finally I just finished braining/cooking/smoking my turkey… It took 10 days to brine it in the Pop’s brine, which I used for the first time a year ago with a great success. Unfortunately, I had to cut the bird into parts - drumsticks, breasts, wings and thighs – because this time I did not have enough room in my fridge for the whole bird. Last year I had an extra fridge aka curing chamber, which was used purely as a refrigerator for braining at the moment. That fridge got broken since then… So, I was planning on brining the bird for 5-6 days but as soon as it was a mid-week I decided to wait till Thursday which is totaled for 10 days in the brine.

I was afraid this is little too long but no, it wasn’t. I took pieces of the bird out of brine, pat dry them with paper towels and back in the fridge till next day, Friday when I home from work. Friday night: in the smoker with temp set to 140F for just 40 min to worm the bird up…. then bump the temp to 225F for 3 hours. Four probs were inserted in different parts of the bird. After 3 hours, when IM temp reached 170 (I removed wings a little earlier because they cooked faster) all parts of the bird where taken out of the smoker and placed back in the fridge till next morning.
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When I cut and tested turkey next morning, I did not fell that there was enough of smoky flavor… I could not get it: why? Now I am certain why: I keep my pellets outside in a plastic box sealed – but not air tight sealed. The plastic box is kept in the storage box. I never ever had a problems with the pellets which were kept this way… There was a rainy condition in my area for about two weeks and humidity went up to 98% at times. I guess, my pellets were not dry enough which caused very week smoke flavor. Anyways, Saturday morning all pieces of the bird went back into the smoker for 2.5 hours with just cold smoke using new bag of pellets with completely different result: smoke flavor was right there, right to my taste. I never tried Pop’s brine for anything else but for turkey it just perfect. IMO. Thank you to all for sharing your experience and knowledge with all of us on this forum!

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SmokinVOLfan

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Man that looks great! The color on that bird is spot on. Do you like the bird better cured in the brine or just a regular smoked bird?
 

jcam222

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Gives you that Disney turkey ham on a stick taste. I like it too. With that Pops brine you can jump right into bacons too. You can do buckboard (pork butt), Canadian (pork loin) and standard bacon (pork belly). You can also do dried beef and pastrami with various cuts of beef. It’s actually kind of addictive. I have about 47 lbs. of bacons brining now.
 

pushok2018

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That looks delicious! The color is beautiful!!! LIKE!
Joe, thank you for the LIKE!
Do you like the bird better cured in the brine or just a regular smoked bird?
SmokinVOLfan, good question.... This was my second bird I ever smoked and both using Pop's (wet) brine. I prefer to cure and then smoke turkey and use it to make sandwiches or just as a cold cut. So, curing it for sure. I never tried dry cure a turkey but think that wet brine will give more moist to the final product...
With that Pops brine you can jump right into bacons too. You can do buckboard (pork butt), Canadian (pork loin) and standard bacon (pork belly).
jcam222, I never used wet brine for curing Canadian bacon, bacon, pastrami or any other whole muscle but... I will in the near future.
 

texomakid

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I'll have to agree that color is beautiful. 10 day. brine is a long time. Was the bird 100% natural with no solution added? Those are a special item around here. Great job.
 

pushok2018

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Was the bird 100% natural with no solution added? Those are a special item around here. Great job.
texomakid, to be honest - I have no idea... Even though I knew I had to check this out before I started curing the bird - I just forgot about this.... But - the bird wasn't oversalted at all. I used a standard (not low sodium) Pop's brine and didn't soak bird in the water after taking it out of the brine.
Thank you for the "like'!
 

chopsaw

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Nice lookin bird . I agree on the use for cold cuts . I to have gone 10 days with no issue using the low salt mix .
Nice work .
 

SmokinAl

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Nice job!
That is one good looking turkey!
Al
 

dirtsailor2003

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Looks tasty.

I typically leave the "braining" to the butcher. I have no problem brining birds though.
 

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