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My turkey cooked WAY too quickly!!!


Joined Nov 10, 2016

This was my first time smoking a bird. I brined my 14 lbs bird in a cooler that I kept in my refrigerator over night.  The brine was lukewarm when I added it, but I added ice and the bird was had still been icy in its cavity after 4 days in my refrigerator.  I used the Slaughterhouse Brine recipe I found here on the forums.  I woke up at 5:30 this morning and started preheating my electric Masterbuilt 30inch to 275.  I then made a marinade following Emeril's lead, got my turkey out of the fridge, rinsed it off, and then injected it.  I put the turkey in my smoker around 6:30.  I added maybe 20oz of hot water from my tap to the water tray.  I used apple and a bit of mesquite for smoking.  Based on what I had read, I had been worried this was going to take upwards of 8 hours to cook and that I might have to pull the bird out after two hours and place it in my oven if it looked like I wasn't going to reach 140 degrees before the 4 hour mark.

Here's the catch-  

After 2 hours and 15 minutes of being in a smoker that has a top temperature of 275 (and I think that I recall that the readout said the smoker was at 253 when I came out to check on the smoke the last time), my bird was reading 182 in most places and 175 in the deep breast and in the thickest part between the leg and the body.  I eventually took the bird out to cut it open.  Parts of the breast are pretty dry but it's super moist towards the middle. There are places on the bird where the skin has shrunk and peeled off.  

What the hell happened?  Is it possible to cook a 14lb bird that fast if the bird didn't have too high of an internal temperature to begin with?  When I washed my hands after transferring the bird from my cooler to a baking sheet, I remember how the hot water felt scalding on my cold fingers.  I feel like I would have noticed had my turkey been at 50-60 degrees, but maybe I am being naive.

Any advice or reassurances?  I already ate a few bites and I am going on a 300 mile road trip to Houston tomorrow for a wedding and I am a little scared to eat more, let alone subject my other passenger to it.

I'll post an album shortly.


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Joined Jun 22, 2009
If you were using the MB controller as a temp guide your temp may have been much hotter than the controller was reading.

It sounds to me like the CC temp was in the mid to high 300's.

There's nothing wrong with your turkey that a mess of gravy won't fix!


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