First Smoked Turkey...hopefully it won't be a Memorial!

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by jaguarken, May 24, 2012.

  1. My bride has a 13 lb turkey that she wants to have this weekend.  Of course, first thing that comes to mind is "Let's smoke that bad boy!"  Well I blurted it out....she thinks it's a great idea and I'm thinking...."how am I gonna do that??"  Enter: SMF!!

    I run a ECB and the bird has already been processed with the 7% brine/broth concoction.  I have seen conflicting theories on this, so my first question is:  Do I brine it?  I don't want it too salty and Jeff's turkey on the ECB column stated that he didn't brine when faced with the same scenario.  Thoughts?

    Now comes injection.  I'm guessing that's probably a good idea, especially since the effectiveness of the store brand brining is in question and my [current] hesitancy to brine it again.  A guy at work recommended the Tony Chachere injections.  Why do y'all think?  Any comments or links about the best approach would be most appreciated.

    Rub.  I love me a good rub.  I've seen different theories here too.  Under the skin, over the skin, yada, yada, yada.  What's a noob to do?

    Lastly, the cavity.  I'd like to toss something in there to help the flavor.  Anyone have a favorite trick/method/little black box for this?

    I apologize if this is too much for this post, but I figured I could scour the web even more than I have been (breast down/breast up/breast down for an hour, oy!) or go the folks who I know have a proven track record.

    Thanks in advance for the help and I promise to post some pics after the Big Event!
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Personally I would either brine with Tip's Slaughterhouse brine or inject and Tony Chachere injections are pretty good if you go that route. Either way when you get the bird out be sure to rinse it well. I usually rinse well then apply some EVOO to help the rub stick better. With it brined or injected and rub on it there's no reason to stuff any thing in the cavity. If your going to eat the skin either smoke it at 300-325 or crisp the skin on a hot grill or in the oven. Smoking poultry at 225 usually results in a rubbery skin. Good luck with your smoke
  3. austinl

    austinl Smoking Fanatic

    I had that same question about the bag solutions those store-bought birds come in when I started playing around with brining whole birds.  The first one I let sit in plain cold water in the firdge for a couple hours with the idea it would draw-out any of their solution and then do a brine like normal.  The next one I was short on time or something and decided to skip that and go straight into the brine.  Both chickens came out indistinguishable.  I have only tried this with one brine recipe but that's my experience with it so far.
  4. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    I did a couple of turkeys last year, one Butterball one Fresh. I rinsed before and after brine on both. Carefully loosened all the skin before brine. Stuffed a garlic herb butter all up under the skin before smoking. They both came out great and neither was too salty. As piney said, cook them hot 300*, turkey doesn't need to go low and slow.
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    What ever Turkey the Mrs. brings home goes in Brine, in fact other than weight I don't even look at the label. Overnight at a min but have gone three days and had great bird. My wife is quick to complain if something is salty but I have yet to have a complaint. I put some Rub mixed with Butter under the skin and on the skin. Inside I will toss in some fresh herbs if I have them maybe a quartered onion but that's it. Too much in the cavity Greatly increases cooking time. I cook breast up the whole time for best color. I also separate the Legs, Thighs and spine from the Breast and Wings. The lower half goes in the Smoker or oven 1 hour before the Breast. They always come out perfect and Together, Breast at 165*F and Thighs at 175-180*F. Take a look at these recipes and good luck...JJ

    Families Favorite Brine

    1/2C Kosher Salt

    2T Paprika

    2T Gran. Garlic

    2T Gran. Onion

    2T Dry Thyme

    2T Black Pepper

    1C Vinegar (Any)

    1-11/2Gal Cold Water to cover Chix

    1T Red Pepper Flake Optional

    Mix well and Soak the Bird for 24 Hours.

    Remove the Chix, rinse if desired and pat dry with paper towels.

    Place in an open container in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours for the Skin to dry.

    This will give a crispier skin when Smoking or Roasting...

    Bubba Chix Rub

    1/2C Raw Sugar

    2T Paprika (I use Smoked if I'm just Grilling)

    1T Cayenne

    1T Gran. Garlic

    1T Gran. Onion

    1tsp Black Pepper

    1tsp Wht Pepper

    1tsp Allspice

    1tsp Bell's Poultry Seasoning (optional)

    Mix well and rub on Oil or Butter coated Chicken.

    Reduce Cayenne to 1teaspoon if less heat is desired.

    Good Luck!
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Tips brine is awesome on turkeys, I brine for 24 hrs. then rinse and pat dry. Then I make a slurry of melted butter, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper - rub that all over and under the skin and smoke with your favorite wood! Suprisingly I found mesquite to be my favorite with turkey, but some folks think its to strong.... just don't tell my family that, they can't get enough as is... lol.
  7. I always used Alton Brown's Honey Brine and use his roast turkey aromatics. Here is how some of mine have turned out:


  8. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      What they said!  I brine all poultry, use your favorite rub on and under the skin. Sprinkle the rub liberally inside the cavity and smoke with your favorite wood. Enjoy!

  9. sorry for the delay in getting the results up to the forum.....

    I went with a wet rub under the skin and applied a very light coating of the rub to the outside as well.  Using my ECB, I loaded her up with lump, apple, maple and mesquite.  Oh, and I also did some injection as well (Creole Butter from Cajun Injector, thought I'd go with a fool proof one to start with).  Boy did it come out gooooood...

    I took my probe out to check the temp in other spot and the juices came out like a fire hydrant.....

    Thanks for the help guys, really appreciate it!!

  10. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    looks great
  11. Great looking bird!
  12. This will become your only way to make turkey for thanksgiving and other times. I knew it has for me. I made 4 birds last year all different way. Never done an injection personally and never had a problem with a dry bird. Iv done the brining even if the bird was already brined, usually just overnight though. Rubbed under the skin on a couple of them with a whipped/softened butter and different rubs, done just olive oil and rub on the skin, and have stuffed the inside with fresh herbs to compliment the rub on the outside. Also put some of the leftover rub/butter mixture and smeared it on the inside of the cavity. Any sort of aromatics can work on the inside.


    Stuffed with herbs, rubbed on outside of skin with olive oil and herbs.


    Southwest spices rubbed on outside of skin, under skin, and inside cavity.


    What the southwest spices under the skin looked like.

    I think the other birds I did I didnt post on here for some reason.

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