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My First Turkey

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by doogle, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. doogle

    doogle Newbie

    After seeing Jeff's newsletter about his turkey and cranberry brine, I caved in and decided to smoke my first turkey. 

    Here's where I'm at:

    10.5 pound bird

    fresh,not frozen

    WSM 18.5"

    I brined this birdwith 1 cup of Kosher Salt, 1-64 ounce bottle of Ocean Spray Cranberry Pomegranate Juice and 1-64 ounce bottle of Ocean Spray Cranberry Blueberry Juice (was on the wrong shelf in the store and I didn't catch it)  for 17 hours in the fridge in a 2.5 gallon resealable bag. (Don't know how Jeff got 4 bottles in a 2.5 gallon bag!) 

    I washed down and patted my purpleish colored bird dry and put it back into a 2.5 gallon bag and added 1/3 cup Canola Oil and 1.2 cup of Jeff's Rub.

    1:15pm        put chimney of lit charcoal into WSM on top of ½ filled charcoal bowl

    1:18pm        275°;  closed the bottom 3 vents to ½

    1:25pm        300°;  added 4 cherry and 2 ??? wood

    1:30pm        put in lower rack with foil catch container and top rack with turkey;  outside temp was 57°

    2:30PM        adjusting vents trying to maintain 230°-240°

  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    That is looking awesome I look forward to more Qview of it
  3. richoso1

    richoso1 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for joining the SMF, looks as if you've already got some good advise. Your M.O. looks like the plan. It's all good my friend.
  4. Looks good to me!  I am going to try the brine next week on my other bird.  Good luck!
  5. Looking nice. Regarding how to get two gallons of brine and a turkey into a 2.5 gallon Ziplock bag - see my posts regarding the turkey I smoked today here.
  6. doogle

    doogle Newbie

    Well, it's over and been sampled. For a first try, it wasn't bad. I pulled it off right at the 4 hour mark. Being the newbie I am, it was breast side down the whole smoke.

    The white meat was a bit on the dry side and the dark meat holds a bit too much of the smoke/brine flavor. My next one will be more straight up basic. I thought the process was as easy as anything I've done in the last year since starting. I didn't use the water bowl so I could get the temp up a bit. 

    Gotta say...there is nothing like smoking over charcoal. I love the process and the results!!

    Here are a few pics:




  7. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    It looks great!!!!!!!!
  8. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    The coloring of the finished bird looks good!  Did you have a thermo?  What was the internal temp when you pulled?
  9. doogle

    doogle Newbie

    The breast measured 161 when I pulled it. I wrapped it up in foil for half an hour before eating.
  10. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    If you pulled it at 161 then something is wrong.   The thermo might have been touching a bone or a void or the other idea is that you may have had too much hot smoke in the beginning - TBS for a turkey is crucial - From what I see it looks great but based on your comments that the breast was dry at 161 that is the only conclusion I can draw
  11. smokingnd

    smokingnd Smoke Blower

    That looks great, I have a turkey in brine right now and will be putting it in the smoker in the morning.

  12. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Bird looks good.  [​IMG]

    I smoked a 14lbder a few weeks back on a 22.5 WSM and left the water out of the pan, had all vents open and it took me 4 hours to get to 175*. Smoker was at 450* when I took it off and it was super moist. 
  13. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    You have some good vittles to partake in now. It looks like you stuck that bird into a panni press thou. Next time ytou need to smoke it breast up. It just amkes for a better looking bird.
  14. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Looks great but I don't think I would have scored the skin on that bird, that could be a reason for a less moist bird on the breasts as well as breast side down. Keep on smokin.
  15. doogle

    doogle Newbie

    First, what is TBS? Second, Isn't 165 a target for turkey? I definitely screwed up getting the bird in upside down (ask my wife when she saw it after she got home from work!!) Along with that, I might agree there was some hot smoke at the beginning. I had never smoked with no water pan and It took a bit to balance out the temperature. Once I got going, it got better. 
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010