My First Smoked Turkey w/photos!

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Original poster
Nov 17, 2006
Colorado Springs, Colorado
After deep frying turkey for several years I wanted to try smoking a turkey. I had several bags of apple and cherry wood and I bought some lump charcoal (I used it to keep the temp up on several occasions). I brined it in a brine my wife and I bought from the William's & Sanoma store. Being new to smoking meat I struggled with temp control for the first hour, then I struck onto the right mix of hardwood and charcoal that kept it right around 300. Today was a bit on the cold side (and kind of windy) but I strapped on my kilt and bravely fought the elements to smoke my first turkey. The skin got a little dark (I forgot to use the EVOO on the skin) but it tastes great!
My wife is now using the bones to make a stock that will be used to make gravy that will go along with the turkey we are going to have for dinner tonight. This forum has been a fountian of information and I look forward to many more years gaining knowledge from serious smokers. Cheers!
I have also included photos!











First off, Welcome to the forum, you'll find lots of good advice from many many Q'in experts here.
The bird looks pretty good for a first attempt. What are you planning on trying next?
When I took it off the grill the internal was at 160. I wrapped it in tin foil and let it rest for 30 minutes at it ended up at 175 internal.
Since the weather was 'frightfull" I moved the smoker under my deck to get out of the wind.
My next smoking project is going to be either smoked pheasant (and Quail and Chuckars) or elk jerky. Not sure yet. I have a freezer full of both and since it is bird season again I need to clean out some of last years game birds. I will definately brine the game birds since they can dry out really quickly.
Oh and the gravy my wife made with this turkey is AWESOME! It has a great smokey flavour that is going to go great with the meatloaf I'm going to make tonight. I'm using some of the elk meat I have in the freezer to mix in with the pork and beef.
Aye, lad-when you said that you were strapping on yer kilt and knowin' that Colorado has been having some "blustery" weather; I thought ye was either a might daft or a true son of the Highlands and it's as plain as the cold nose on yer face that you're not daft! :P

Grand looking bird you have there Rik, but you really ought to do something about you legs-maybe a bit of a tan? :mrgreen:
Sadly being a true son of the highlands that I am, I burn if I stand in front of a open refrigerator for too long! Sadly my legs and the belly of a trout share the same colour and get the same amount of sun!
Nice Bird, Rik. If you tone it down to "Thin Blue Smoke", your Bird may not be so dark. I can say say that it looks much better than the 1st Bird I ever tried eons ago! LOL!

I have a good friend who lives in Edingurgh (Kilts and all!).

What are some of the methods to thin down to "thin blue smoke"? I am new to the world of smoking am trying to learn the art of smoke/fire control. Any tips to offer?
"Thin Blue Smoke" is the Nirvana of Smoking Meat. Learning proper smoke and heat control is mainly a trial and error method due to the fact that most cookers are quite different. What works for one may not work for another.

Always make sure the damper on your chute (chimney) is wide open and control heat with the damper of your Firebox. Don't be afaid to remove coals or wood if the temps get too hot or too much smoke is permeating the cooking chamber. If smoke is bellowing out of your chute and the sides of the chamber, you're using too much smoke! You want to achieve small "wisps" of blue smoke from the chute. The cooker in your avatar needs a baffle from the opening of the firebox into the cooking chamber and at least 3 inches of the chute should extend into the chamber. These Mods are easy and can be found throughout the site.

If you look up my Burn Barrel technique, Thin Blue Smoke is easily achieved because you are feeding the Firebox real wood embers and no extra wood is added to the Firebox. You just need a good supply of wood, and from what I see, you have plenty around you.

Hope this helps!

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