My first attempt at turkey

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by mike3ga88, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. mike3ga88

    mike3ga88 Fire Starter

    Smoked this 14 lb bird tonight for a potluck dinner at church tomorrow, it is my first turkey. Didnt get any prep pics, just the finished shot, I was not prepared as I didnt get it completely thawed until 7:00 tonight. I put some butter under the skin, and stuffed the bird with apple and orange wedges. Did my best to keep the temp consistent around 300, but with my old cheapo charbroil charcoal vertical it can be a challenge in the best of conditions lol, and I was in about 35 degrees and a stiff wind with higher gusts, I had multiple fluctuations in temps from 275 up towards 350, it ended up taking right about 5 hrs to hit 165 IT. wrapped it in foil and let it rest for 45 minutes then basically pulled it, was to tired to slice it or get any more pics, sorry lol. Overall it had a decent smoke taste, I used a combo of hickory and cherry and it had a pretty good taste, wasnt to bad on the moistness either.
  2.  Fine looking bird.

  3. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice Bird. . . first attempt is a winner [​IMG]

    Keep doing the same. . . start a 'Logbook' of your smokes and watch the improvement...[​IMG]

    Have fun and . . .
  4. mike3ga88

    mike3ga88 Fire Starter

    Thanks for the replies, One thing I have found out with this $75 smoker is that it definitely can turn out some fine tasting Q, but it requires a lot of babysitting. I have done pretty much all the modifications I can to it and its still really hard to get a fuel burn longer than 45 minutes tops without adding more charcoal. I have found that even if I close down the lower vents with a full charcoal basket the temp just gets way to hot so I have to use smaller amounts to keep the temp down. There doesnt seem to be a whole lot of air leakage, not a lot of smoke escaping at the door, guess its just the size of the charcoal basket and the overall quality of the smoker, but I do enjoy it whenever I fire it up. I found that the turkey had an awesome color, but the skin was leathery, guess thats from not getting the temp up high enough and maintaining it? it was all good though, just pulled the skin off and the meat was fine.
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My first charcoal smoker was a $25 Meco vertical. I'll never forget my first turkey. Windy, cold, snowing 20 degrees brrrrr that was a cold one. Here are a few things I did to help control the thing. Mine had a water pan which I filled with sand and wrapped with foil. I built a box out of 2" foil back rigid insulation. 3 sides attached with a top, foil sides in. The door was another piece of the insulation only about 2" shorter to allow for a 1" gap top and bottom. I'd stick that on with nails into the sides (tried duct tape but it doesn't stick good to frozen foam. Inside the box had about 1- 1 1 1/2" clearance to smoker. This made a great wind break and added extra insulation which helped with heat retention and fuel efficiency.

    Due to the wind I ended up having to weight the box down with a large rock.

    For charcoal the best method I found with that one was to use the minion method or the light one side (2-4) briquettes.

    With that I could get pretty stable temps around 265-285. If I went much above that then it was hard to regulate.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014

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