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My Cheap Turkey Post

browneyesvictim

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After the holidays, turkeys go on sale and I stock up the freezer! At 69¢ a lb. it makes a great smoking bargain! I would venture to go out on a limb and say, that other than the holidays, its not a regular "go-to" BBQ item you see too often around here. But I'll make my case here in that turkey is very inexpensive, generally healthier for you, so very versatile, and WAAAY under-rated! It is super simple to transform this protein into something special that is NOT some dried out old bird!

A lot of them I will spatchcock, season, inject and roast them indirect on the Kettle. These are just as good, if not better, than any "beer can" chicken or grocery store rotisserie chicken! What isn't consumed immediately, is deboned and vacuum sealed up for quick weekday meals- soups, stir-fries, tacos, and whatnot.

Roasted.jpg


Another of my favorites is to chisel out the raw bird into different cuts: breast fillets, wings, drums, and deboned thighs and back meat. The, bones, broken down carcass, neck and gibblets are tossed into a stock pot with water to boil and reduce for stock. The stock is strained, defatted and frozen into blocks, and vacuum sealed. The bits and pieces the fall off the bones are saved for THE BEST soups and stews! The Legs and Wings are too much work to debone raw. So they will usually get thrown on the grill with the vortex. Sometimes I will cure them for a couple of days, others I will straight brine, and/or just a light rub or seasoning.
wingslegs.jpg

The thighs meat makes a GREAT ground sausage! Here is 5 lbs of Richies Turkey Italian Sausage which I highly recommend! Vacuum seal in packages or stuff into casings- smoked or fresh brats- amazing!
Groundts.jpg

Now lastly for the breast meat…. Those get dry brined and seasoned with a little salt, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Injecting is optional. Curing is also an option and I do recommend. In any case they get stuffed into a 5” nylon mesh bag and hung for a few days in the refrigerator to form and firm up before smoking. There are just the skinless boneless breasts from one 13 lb turkey in this photo. You can use "meat glue" if you want, but I found that it is not needed! It holds together just fine. Then it gets put on a rack in a pan with a little braising liquid to go in the smoker. I used apple juice here on this one.
netted.jpg

Started smoking @225 with cherry. because I was about 3 hours in and hadn’t hit safe temps yet (130’ IT), I wrapped the pan and bumped temp to 235’ I sterilized and inserted meat probes. About 1 hour and a half later it hit~160-163” internal and I cut the power let it rest in the smoker (low 40s outside) to cool and then went in the fridge. overnight before slicing.
smoked deli turkey.jpg



The next day, time to put the slicer and vac sealer to work. Most excellent flavor, tender, juicy and texture worthy of the finest deli around!

sliceing1.jpg


sliced pkgs.jpg


Thanks for watching folks! I hope I have inspired you to find the cheapest turkey you can find and transform it. Go ahead and "flip the bird" into something special!
 

HalfSmoked

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Nice looking bird and a awesome write up. Will have to say though I beat you on the price I guess Walmart was cleaning out their back up freezer space and they had whole turkeys for $.39 lb.

Warren
 

browneyesvictim

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Thanks Warren! Yup, @ $39 cents, that is way cheap!
I've got some "free" ones roaming around my front yard just about every day. But I cant bring myself to take any of them... I let my son once though. That was the best turkey jerky ever! But the plucking and gutting is just not for me... Did that enough when I was a kid. I digress... I can afford cheap domestic raised turkey at that price.
Thanks for the like.
 

sawhorseray

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I love it! I'm a huge fan of not spending any more than I have to obtaining what I like to eat, and I hate wasting food. That being said, I'm not a real big turkey fan, I'll do maybe two a year at most, more of a chicken guy. Great write-up showing how to use every part of the bird, and at a fantastic price. Like, RAY
 

smokerjim

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everything looks great, nice write up.
 

tropics

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Erik Thanks for the mention Turkey Sausage ,Chicken is all good 69 cents is a bargain I would be all over.
Richie
 

chopsaw

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Awesome job on all that , but the deli meat is fantastic and way better that store bought , not to mention cheaper . You nailed the breast meat . Perfect .
5 lbs of Richies Turkey Italian Sausage which I highly recommend!
AMEN ! I stuffed 5 lbs this morning . ( chicken thighs ) That is some great sausage .

Nice work !
 

gary s

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Looks Great Nice stockpile

Gary
 

browneyesvictim

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I love it! I'm a huge fan of not spending any more than I have to obtaining what I like to eat, and I hate wasting food. That being said, I'm not a real big turkey fan, I'll do maybe two a year at most, more of a chicken guy. Great write-up showing how to use every part of the bird, and at a fantastic price. Like, RAY
Thanks Ray for the kind words. I cant tell the difference in taste between turkey and chicken... I think I need a few more taste tests to change my mind.
Thanks for the like.
everything looks great, nice write up.
Thanks Jim. Appreciate the like.
Erik Thanks for the mention Turkey Sausage ,Chicken is all good 69 cents is a bargain I would be all over.
Richie
Mrs. BEV approves as well! Guaranteed I will be making more with Turkey as well as Chicken. I cant tell the difference...

Awesome job on all that , but the deli meat is fantastic and way better that store bought , not to mention cheaper . You nailed the breast meat . Perfect .

AMEN ! I stuffed 5 lbs this morning . ( chicken thighs ) That is some great sausage .

Nice work !
No doubt! Since I know what is in this vs the processed turkey at the deli counter...
Both the slices and the sausage are spot on for what I was after. Thanks for the like.

Looks Great Nice stockpile

Gary
Thanks Gary. I'm afraid this stockpile wont last very long especially since I have to share!
Thanks for the like.
 

Bearcarver

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Awesome!!!
Beautiful Job, Victim!!
I especially like your Deli Turkey Breast!!
Like.

Bear
 

jcam222

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It al looks fantastic. We love doing the breast for sure, yours looks great. I really do need to give the turkey Italian sausage a try.
 

browneyesvictim

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Awesome!!!
Beautiful Job, Victim!!
I especially like your Deli Turkey Breast!!
Like.

Bear
Thanks Bear. You know you want a deli turkey sammie about now.. :-)
Appreciate the compliment and like.

It al looks fantastic. We love doing the breast for sure, yours looks great. I really do need to give the turkey Italian sausage a try.
I'm normally a dark meat guy, but breast done this way is a winner for me. As for the sausage, I will plug tropics tropics thread for the recipe. I went with 4 TBS of Italian seasoning for 5 lbs plus the caraway, fennel, garlic, dextrose, cure#1 and Soy Protein Concentrate from the recipe and omitted the added sugar, and crushed red pepper. Ill be making more soon to stuff in casings and smoke.

 

chopsaw

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As for the sausage, I will plug tropics tropics tropics tropics thread for the recipe.
I just had this for supper tonight . Ground and seasoned yesterday , stuffed this morning .
I up the fennel and add anise . I use the sugar and dextrose , gives it great color when cooked .
BEV , hope I'm not messing up your thread , but tropics tropics this sausage is just great .
 

pc farmer

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Great thread. I have wanted to make deli turkey. Was it ground or whole meat? Looks whole.
 

browneyesvictim

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I just had this for supper tonight . Ground and seasoned yesterday , stuffed this morning .
I up the fennel and add anise . I use the sugar and dextrose , gives it great color when cooked .
BEV , hope I'm not messing up your thread , but tropics tropics this sausage is just great .
I do like the fennel seed and like as much as 1TBS per each lb of meat normally. That's also has caraway in addition so I dont miss it. Anise would be good.
As for the sugar, I dont miss it either and can do without the extra calories. Plenty of dextrose already in it.
No harm by me for further calling out topics on his receipe! Credit is due!

Great thread. I have wanted to make deli turkey. Was it ground or whole meat? Looks whole.
This was the whole breasts. I like a natural texture. I would bet a ground would be good too into a turkey loaf.
 

pc farmer

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OK. So How did you stuff them in a big casing? I have been wanting to make this.
 

browneyesvictim

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Well, the whole breasts aren't in a casing, but rather a nylon mesh sock. If I were to go with a grind I would use my trick of forming and firming up in a plastic bagel or English muffin bag. (Omit the ice water) It holds the shape just fine. I've done this with Bears beef loaf but not turkey but the principle would be the same. Theres a link in my list of threads
 

browneyesvictim

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This is for chopsaw chopsaw .
Dinner tonight is a turkey sausage patty topped with mozzarella, garlic cilantro ginger quinoa and garlic fried green beans.
Yes, we are on a metabolic diet these days.
20200211_193251.jpg
 

chopsaw

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Great meal bud . Had ours with garlic and butter pasta .
 

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