First Turkey Smoke

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Jul 3, 2005
Cleveland TN
Well I'm almost set to have my first whole turkey smoke this weekend. I want to do something fairly simple with the seasoning. I thought about adding Zesty Italian dressing to the brine and maybe even injecting some of the dressing?? I'm just not sure - I guess I wanted to brine/inject more for the juiceyness than extra flavor. I am hoping ya'll can help me with some ideas about the brine/inject ingrediants. I plan to smoke 2 rack of spare ribs with Jeff's rub and the 3-2-1 method. I am going to use charcoal as a base and hicory chunks and some apple wood a friend gave me for the smoke. Any help on seasoning the turkey would be a great help.

Thanks Patrick
Sounds good.

You have any Tony Chachere's seasoning salt. Its a creole seasoning. I rub that on the outside first, then apply to the cavity as well. Then I would do any injecting your gonna do. The reasoning here (learned by experience) is that if you inject and then rub, you end up squeezing out most if not all your injection.

Can't tell you about adding to brine, as I never have brined before.

Sounds good though. I need to get peanut oil for the big day. Fry a whole one and smoke 2 whole boobs.

PS apple is the way to go. I got 10 pounds of chunk just waiting for the TDay
Patrick, Here is what I would do, for each gallon of water that you use add I cup sugar, 1 cup salt and 1 package of DRY Italian Seasoning mix.
The idea of brining is to introduce flavor to the meat by osmosis. With the Italian Seasoning mix in the brine solution I wouldn't think that injecting with Italian Dressing would be necessary. One the other hand, if you weren't going to brine the bird then I would go ahead with injecting the Italian Dressing into the turkey. But hey that just my .02. :D
Well the smoke has begun...And the smoker is full!! 2 racks of spare ribs 10 1/2 lb turkey and 2 fatties. I did the spare ribs St. louis style I think :? - I cut them almost in half along the end of the rib bones. Man that leaves one hunk of meat! It seems there are some thin bones/cartilidge real close to where I cut and then the rest of the meat approx 4 inches wide doesn't have any bones in it. I washed and cut them last night and then applied Jeff's rub to them, wraped them in cling wrap and refridgerated until this morning. I just unwraped and put them on the smoker.
The turkey I brined in 1 gal of water, 1 cup kosher salt, 1 cup sugar, 2 tbs pepper, and 8 oz zesty italian dressing. this morning I washed off the bird coated the meat with more italian dressing and coated the skin with olive oil. I sure hope it turns out. It smells yummie!!! :D

I did invert the charcoal pan to try and even out the hot spots. It seems like it is doing the trick - It has been little harder to get the temp up. But the grill is very full - I wish I had some rib racks - They will be on my christmas list !!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!
Well everything turned out delicious! The ribs were very tender and tasty. They weren't quite fall off the bone tender but they very good. The turkey took 7 hrs to reach 175* . It had a good smoke flavor and a hint of the italian dressing. It wasn't dry, but I do wish it was a little more moist. I cooked it breast side down for almost the entire time - should I have flipped it over after a couple hours??


Glad that you smoking session turned out well. When I smoked my two birds last Sunday I had them breast side up during the entire smoke and the breast meat was very moist. My 10 pounder took just over 7 hours to reach temp and the 12 pounder was almost 8 hours.

When I trim the pork ribs I take the rib tips (piece where the cartilage is) and cut out the cartilage and trim out most of the fat. I then coat this peice of meat with yellow mustard and rib rub and let it sit over night in the fridge with the ribs. It gets smoked for about two-three hours then diced and added to my smoked baked bean. (The recipe is posted in the "Sides" Thread under I need a kick a** bean recipe)

Today when I get off of work I'm smoking a couple to Chuck Roasts and a pan of baby carrots, fingerling potatoes and some mushrooms. Oh yeah, I'm going to try out my new Mavrick ET-73 themometer too!! :D
Thanks Earl - I will try that next time I do spare ribs. And I'll check out that bean recipe, sounds good.

Man that chuck roast smoke sounds good!! It sounds like a crock pot meal, but in the smoker. What do you put in the pan with the carrots, potatoes, and mushroom? What I mean is, what liquid do you put in with them? And how long do they cook? Sorry about all the questions.

I have read those thermos are great!
Enjoy !!

Hey Sunday!

Thought you'd like to know, I will personally vouch for Dutch's Baked bean recipe. I've made them many times now. In fact, they heve become a regular staple at most of my smokes! Give 'em a try soon, its a sure thing crowd pleaser!


What do you put in the pan with the carrots, potatoes, and mushroom? I just poured a little extra virgin olive oil over everything and then sprinkled kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Everyting was in the smoker for 2 hours at 350 degrees. The veggies came out the way I like them-slightly soft but still crunchy, the kids would have liked them was softer. If I had the time I would have done everything low and slow but the family didn't want to wait until 10:00 PM to eat. :D Maybe next time I'll add a little beef stock to the veggie pan about half way through and cover it with foil.
Well, here's what I did for my first turkey smoke. I Bought a 24 lb turkey from Sams Club. Because it was so big, I decided to butcher it up and smoke it in pieces. I stripped off the breasts, legs, wings and back and brined them together for 12 hours. I panned up the back and breasts injected them with the Original "Cajun Injector Creole Butter" then rubbed them down with the Cajun Shake. (This all comes in an easy to use kit, injector included.) I've used this before on other meats, It's an excellent marinade. I did the same to the legs and wings but placed them directly on the smoker. I am smoking as I send this message. It looks like it will be to die for. Meat temp is up to 147º and my mouth is watering. In an hour or so I will be able to give you the details of what I expect to be yummy.....wish me luck. By the way, it's 55 and sunny in Charleston, WV....what a great day for a smoke. If this turns out I plan to do it again Wednesday night and take it to Ohio for our Family Thanksgiving dinner
bd, Welcome back, So here it is now Sunday morning. So how about that Turkey report? :D Did it turn out like you expected it to or better? Also, where did you buy you Cajun injector kit?
I gotta tell you, It was without a doubt the best tasting turkey I've had. My wife had two of her girlfriends show up to surprize her. She only sees them once or twice a year now that we've moved away. What I thought was going to be leftovers are now making the trip home with them. They were so impressed with it that they wanted to take some home to their family......maybe get them hooked on smoking, what a compliment!! Well I guess I'll be doing this again Wednesday. I have done Fatties, Ribs, Pulled Pork, Tri Tip, Sausage, Meatloaf and everything is better smoked. I can't wait to pull an all nighter and do the Brisket. I want to thank everyone involved with this forum, If I need help with smoking, I can always find it here. Keep up the great work. Happy Holidays
Glad it turned out well for you bd. I also think it's a great compliment to the Chef when guests want to take the left overs home with them.

My oldest daughter is hosting Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday and being that it's her first time she has asked her Da for help. She asked me to do a smoked turkey (her new husband is going to deep fry one), so I think that I'll toss in a couple of 'sage' fatties and make up some of my sausage dressing to go with the bird.

I hear you all clamoring already for my dressing recipe but this is one of those things that I don't have a written recipe for. I'll give it a good think and will try to come up with something for you all. :D I'll post it in the 'Side Item' thread in the Recipes Only Forum.
I'm glad every thing came out well for you. I agree that Turkey fresh from the smoker is hard to beat.

I don't know where in Ohio you will be celebrating your holiday, but one things for sure...there'll be plenty of thin blue smoke rolling out of my back yard ( and ice cold libations, too)...if you are close enough to smell it, then just drop on in...the more the merrier, I always say... :)

Happy T-day to all.

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