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First smoked turkey breast - AMAZING!!!

JC in GB

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Hope all had a wonderful thanksgiving. From the posts I have seen, there was a lot of good food enjoyed by our smoking community.

I was interested in smoking a turkey breast for appetizers at the Thanksgiving meal.

I read a number of recipes and techniques on this forum that I used in planning my strategy. So, here is what I came up with.

Seeing as I was using just the breast, I didn't account for the weight of the bones.

I decided to use the 10% brine method for this cook.

Here is the formula I used: (Salt amount corrected see text below)

1 kg of turkey
100 g water
16.25 g salt
19 g sugar (I used dark brown as it was what I had on hand)
2.75 g Cure #1

Mixed the salt, sugar and cure #1 in very hot water until all components are dissolved.

Put cure mix in freezer to chill.

Inject breast with chilled cure mixture.

Placed breast in vac seal bag and into the fridge for 2 days.

Removed breast from vac bag and soaked in water for 1 hour.

Place some butter under the skin.

Added some Harry Soo's chicken rub to the skin and let the breast dry out a bit while I got Sarina hot.

Smoked the turkey breast with Pit Boss Fruit wood blend pellets at 225 F to an IT of 165 F

Pulled, covered, and in the fridge over night.

The turkey breast was moist and delicious. I was quite impressed for this being my first attempt at a smoked turkey. It was like the best turkey sandwich meat I ever tasted.

I may adjust the salt down a bit next time as the salt content wasn't bad or overpowering, I just want a bit less salt next go around.

My mistake was not subtracting the weight of the cure from the salt so my end salt concentration was a bit higher than I usually shoot for. I corrected that in my formula above.

The skin was rubbery and pretty much a throw away but was expecting that.

I have no pics to share of this unfortunately.

I am thinking that this smoked turkey would make the most amazing Kentucky Hot Brown.

Thanks to everyone on the forum who provided me guidance and insight into getting this done. I will certainly be doing this again. So delicious..... :emoji_cat::emoji_cat::emoji_cat:


JC :emoji_cat:


 

SmokinVOLfan

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Sounds delicious! I've never cured one before does it affect the overall taste of the finished product compared to just smoking one without cure?
 

sawhorseray

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Sounds delicious! I've never cured one before does it affect the overall taste of the finished product compared to just smoking one without cure?
Yes it does. The Cure #1 will turn the meat pink and it'll have a kind of hammy taste, delicious but different. Here's a post I made over five years back when I smoked a half dozen cured birds. There was some controversy over the amount of Cure #1 I was using, Pops and Diggingdog confirmed I was within safe limits after taking a bit of heat. I haven't done chicken like this for a couple of years now, but it makes the best chicken salad ever. It's a whole different ballgame when you smoke birds this way, more like doing bacon. RAY

 

JC in GB

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Sounds delicious! I've never cured one before does it affect the overall taste of the finished product compared to just smoking one without cure?
Yes, it affected taste and texture. The cured product was really easy to slice. I have smoked chicken before but didn't get that same smooth texture. I expected a bit more of a color change but the meat was nice a white in color even using the dark brown sugar.

JC :emoji_cat:
 

JC in GB

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We live and learn from our mistakes and the advice of others.

Warren
Certainly the reason I can see so far is that I have stood upon the backs of giants......

Thanks again to all forum posters.

You guys and gals have helped me up my game to places I never thought I could reach.
 

HalfSmoked

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Thanks for the like JC in GB it is appreciated.

Warren
 

zwiller

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Smoked turkey is and will always be my fave. I first saw a smoked turkey looking in a Neiman Marcus catalog when I was like 20. They are like $200 shipped. I told myself one day I would learn how. Tried a dozen times over 20+ years and got better each time but not in the ballpark of what I wanted. Enter SMF...

Yes, CURING is the key and I completely owe it to SMF for teaching me how to do that. WRT skin, do a pellicle. Learned that here too! Ditch the butter and rest overnight UNCOVERED, hit it with small fan for 30m, or run smoker low and no smoke a few hours. Skin MUST be dry to the touch. Skin won't end up crispy, but edible, like rotisserie from store.

Cliff notes for mine on deck. Pop's low salt injected and brined a weekish, overnight pellicle, smoke @ 180F for 18-24hrs on mix of "farmhouse blend" dust (cob, PM blend, apple, and oak). Let cool before going into fridge. Cut my teeth on this one and finally got it in the ballpark. https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/holiday-turkey-2017.271380/
 

JC in GB

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Smoked turkey is and will always be my fave. I first saw a smoked turkey looking in a Neiman Marcus catalog when I was like 20. They are like $200 shipped. I told myself one day I would learn how. Tried a dozen times over 20+ years and got better each time but not in the ballpark of what I wanted. Enter SMF...

Yes, CURING is the key and I completely owe it to SMF for teaching me how to do that. WRT skin, do a pellicle. Learned that here too! Ditch the butter and rest overnight UNCOVERED, hit it with small fan for 30m, or run smoker low and no smoke a few hours. Skin MUST be dry to the touch. Skin won't end up crispy, but edible, like rotisserie from store.

Cliff notes for mine on deck. Pop's low salt injected and brined a weekish, overnight pellicle, smoke @ 180F for 18-24hrs on mix of "farmhouse blend" dust (cob, PM blend, apple, and oak). Let cool before going into fridge. Cut my teeth on this one and finally got it in the ballpark. https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/holiday-turkey-2017.271380/
Thanks for all those suggestions. I may end up doing the skin as you suggested next time.

I may also run the temp lower next time. I didn't have time for the 190 F smoke I was hoping for so I jumped it to 225 F.

What is so amazing to me is that there are so may different ways to get fantastic results as long as you follow the rules of physics, you can't go wrong! :emoji_wink: :emoji_laughing:

JC :emoji_cat:
 

DanMcG

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JC what do you mean when you say mix the cure in very hot water? like boiling, or out of the faucet hot?
 

JC in GB

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JC what do you mean when you say mix the cure in very hot water? like boiling, or out of the faucet hot?
I just did it with out of the faucet hot water. The hotter the water, the faster the salt and sugar will dissolve.

JC :emoji_cat:
 

jcam222

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I did turkey legs Disney style similar to this last Christmas and people love them. Ham on a stick. Yours sounds good from one JC to another.
 

PAS

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I did my first bone in turkey breast with apple pellets in the a-maze-n tray. Injected with Tony Cachere's Creole butter ( This comes with an injector!) Incredibly moist! MES 30
 

HalfSmoked

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Ok lets clear this up PC Farmer you mean cure #1 or the entire cure mix. Your point of not injecting hot cure mix would be correct JC.

Warren
 

HalfSmoked

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Thanks for the likes JC in GB and sawhorseray they are appreciated.

Warren
 

pc farmer

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Ok lets clear this up PC Farmer you mean cure #1 or the entire cure mix. Your point of not injecting hot cure mix would be correct JC.

Warren
Cant put the cure #1 in the brine and heat it. Add the cure after the brine has cooled.
 

sawhorseray

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Pretty sure your not supposed to heat cure.
I was always schooled that any brine solution or liquid added to sausage meat before stuffing be like ice water. Nothing is ever supposed to get over 40º. Salt and sugar will dissolve in 34º water, just takes a little more time and stirring. RAY
 

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