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Help dropped the ball (turkey) on Thanksgiving.

BC Buck

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My 12 lb bird was very bland. First off they say 3 days for 12 lb in fridge to defrost is BS. Sat out on counter for 12 hours then 2 1/2 days in refrigerator. Felt defrosted but when when pulled out innards I saw some ice crystals so sat is water for .5 hours. Spatchcocked and injected stock, butter, and some seasonings. Smoked one hour 22o then upped temp to 325 two hours. Had cold spot in one side of breast so other temp got a little high on rest of bird. Pulled, dark meat 185 and one breast 160 other 170. Meat was not dry but not much flavor. This was not my first smoked turkey but was first Walmart Members mark bird. Could it have been the brand of bird I purchased?
 

SmokinEdge

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What all did you inject and how much did you inject? Was this bird enhanced?
 

BC Buck

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What all did you inject and how much did you inject? Was this bird enhanced?
1 cup chicken stock, 2TBS butter, and poultry seasoning. The turkey package said was plumped and not dry. Also seasoned skin heavy.
 

BC Buck

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BC, I recommend brining the bird for at least 12 hours.. This is better than injecting in my opinion and get consistent flavor throughout the bird.
Will try next time. Just looked like was going to be a PITA doing that big of a bird.
 

SmokinEdge

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1 cup chicken stock, 2TBS butter, and poultry seasoning. The turkey package said was plumped and not dry. Also seasoned skin heavy.
If you used broth, then the salt was likely low. Broth by itself is just a base flavor not a forward flavor. On non enhanced meat this is wha I do.

Example 12# turkey.
I figure a 60/40 ratio of meat to bone (carcass) so I have about 7 pounds of meat I want to inject. I convert the pounds into grams by multiplying the pounds X 454 this will give grams. 7x454= 3178 grams meat weight. From that I want to inject 10% of the meat weight in broth so 3178x 10%= 317 grams of stock. I use Kitchen Basics salt free vegetable stock. I like the base flavor plus I can control the salt content.

So I want 1.0% salt in poultry because it is a delicate meat. Normally I use 1.5-1.75% salt in pork and beef.
So I need 1.0% of meat weight 3178x0.01= 31.0 grams salt.
sugar goes in at 0.5% 3178x0.005=15.0g

I also use STPP (phosphate) to keep the meat moist, especially the breast. This is applied at 0.4% so 3178x 0.004= 12.0 grams STPP.

Now to put it all together.
3178g meat
317.0g stock
31.0g salt
15.0g sugar
Gently warm the stock to tepid 90* or so. In with the STPP and dissolve.
then in with the salt and dissolove.
then the sugar and dissolve.
Now inject this all into the bird. Making sure you get a little bit everywhere. Then spatch or not and season how you want and smoke.
 

tallbm

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Man SmokinEdge SmokinEdge has you well covered.

I'm with those guys about brining.
I now only brine + cure turkeys, flavor is so much better with the cure and having those amazing state fair drums and thighs are to die for. I also take my brine/cure solution and inject it into the bird all over but especially like crazy in the breast. This helps accelerate the brining process as it goes from inside and from the outside to do it's thing faster :)

I usually do 1.75% salt but I think I'm going to experiment with 1.6% next bird and see how that comes out. All of my birds come out great but SOMETIMES the flappy part of the wings can be a hair salty so I'm just tuning things up a little bit. Might have been because I used Butterball turkeys this year and I read they may be the most heavily pumped birds to begin with. Again, I'm fine, fine, fine tuning here :)

As long as you have the right amount of salt with the water + bird weight, all other flavors will be enhanced with the bird.

I hope this info helps :)
 

BC Buck

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If you used broth, then the salt was likely low. Broth by itself is just a base flavor not a forward flavor. On non enhanced meat this is wha I do.

Example 12# turkey.
I figure a 60/40 ratio of meat to bone (carcass) so I have about 7 pounds of meat I want to inject. I convert the pounds into grams by multiplying the pounds X 454 this will give grams. 7x454= 3178 grams meat weight. From that I want to inject 10% of the meat weight in broth so 3178x 10%= 317 grams of stock. I use Kitchen Basics salt free vegetable stock. I like the base flavor plus I can control the salt content.

So I want 1.0% salt in poultry because it is a delicate meat. Normally I use 1.5-1.75% salt in pork and beef.
So I need 1.0% of meat weight 3178x0.01= 31.0 grams salt.
sugar goes in at 0.5% 3178x0.005=15.0g

I also use STPP (phosphate) to keep the meat moist, especially the breast. This is applied at 0.4% so 3178x 0.004= 12.0 grams STPP.

Now to put it all together.
3178g meat
317.0g stock
31.0g salt
15.0g sugar
Gently warm the stock to tepid 90* or so. In with the STPP and dissolve.
then in with the salt and dissolove.
then the sugar and dissolve.
Now inject this all into the bird. Making sure you get a little bit everywhere. Then spatch or not and season how you want and smoke.
I like recipes based on meat weight. Easiest way to control variables. Daveomak introduced me to recipes converting weights to grams. His injection corning and ham recipes make for perfection 100% of time. Reading your post I see some things I did wrong. Went little light on injection volume(1 cup +237g). I did use Kosmos moisture magic. Calls for 2TBS per cup of water (25g). Tasted injection and was so salty from sodium tripolyphosphate I poured 1/2 out and added water. Took 2 hours to get taste off tongue. Will use that .4% from now on. Looking forward to trying your recipe.
 

BC Buck

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Man SmokinEdge SmokinEdge has you well covered.

I'm with those guys about brining.
I now only brine + cure turkeys, flavor is so much better with the cure and having those amazing state fair drums and thighs are to die for. I also take my brine/cure solution and inject it into the bird all over but especially like crazy in the breast. This helps accelerate the brining process as it goes from inside and from the outside to do it's thing faster :)

I usually do 1.75% salt but I think I'm going to experiment with 1.6% next bird and see how that comes out. All of my birds come out great but SOMETIMES the flappy part of the wings can be a hair salty so I'm just tuning things up a little bit. Might have been because I used Butterball turkeys this year and I read they may be the most heavily pumped birds to begin with. Again, I'm fine, fine, fine tuning here :)

As long as you have the right amount of salt with the water + bird weight, all other flavors will be enhanced with the bird.

I hope this info helps :)
Iv never tried curing poultry. Next on the to do list. How long do you leave in refrigerator after injecting bird?
 

SmokinAl

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BC, I recommend brining the bird for at least 12 hours.. This is better than injecting in my opinion and get consistent flavor throughout the bird.
I agree with Jeff, I used to inject all the time, but if you use real butter & are not careful, it will pool & when you eat the turkey you will have pockets of coagulated butter. So I just brine & use cure #1 like tallbm tallbm .
Al
 

tallbm

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Iv never tried curing poultry. Next on the to do list. How long do you leave in refrigerator after injecting bird?
Cure and salt travel at like 1/4 inch a day.
If brining and wet curing I just wait long enough for the cure to fully penetrate through the meat. It will cure from both sides so total 1/2 a day on meat.

Now I often speed things up by taking that same brine/cure solution the meat is sitting in and I use a meat syringe to inject the crap out of the meat and let it sit like 1-3 days.
This GREATLY increases the brine/curing time since it is happening from outside-in and from inside-out. If you just inject a ton all over you don't have to wait more than a day or 2.

I do all my turkeys this way with injection unless parting out the turkey then no injection.
With my chickens I don't inject they are a lot smaller.... if youve never hade a cured chicken WOW you are missing out :)

I hope this info helps :)
 

SmokinEdge

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Cure and salt travel at like 1/4 inch a day.
If brining and wet curing I just wait long enough for the cure to fully penetrate through the meat. It will cure from both sides so total 1/2 a day on meat.

Now I often speed things up by taking that same brine/cure solution the meat is sitting in and I use a meat syringe to inject the crap out of the meat and let it sit like 1-3 days.
This GREATLY increases the brine/curing time since it is happening from outside-in and from inside-out. If you just inject a ton all over you don't have to wait more than a day or 2.

I do all my turkeys this way with injection unless parting out the turkey then no injection.
With my chickens I don't inject they are a lot smaller.... if youve never hade a cured chicken WOW you are missing out :)

I hope this info helps :)
All good advice.
I’d add that being carful with salt content with poultry and time it’s exposed. The flesh is delicate and will become mushy if left too long. 24hrs is good, beyond 48hrs the meat gets soft.
 

noboundaries

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Those Wally birds are injected with a 3% solution of salt and water. That doesn't add much flavor.

Injection right before tossing it on the smoker is generally a waste. First, you've added an entry AND exit point for the injection. As the muscle tightens from the heat, it will push the injection right back out the hole. Injecting 12 hours before allows the salt in the injection to be absorbed into the muscle and denature (break down) the protein. Kind of like brining from the inside. Just DON'T inject with an acid (citrus or vinegar) because it will cause the meat to be tough.

Butter and commercial broth alone without seasoning won't do much for flavor. Try using one of the Better Than Bouillon pastes to make your injection broth.

One thing I found that makes for great flavor in a brine is adding merely 1/2 to 1 tsp of Prague Powder #1 to the brine (NOT the injection). It won't cure the bird but adds a very slight hammy flavor to the smoked turkey that will cause your guests to rave and think you are a smoking genius. And believe me, more IS NOT better when coming to adding cure #1 to the brine.

Turkeys are cheap right now. Buy another one and try again. If you've got the freezer space, lots of leftovers for soup, casseroles, etc.
 

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