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Oh yes you CAN fit 4 turkeys in a MES 40!!! (with Q-view)

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by biteme7951, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Smoking Fanatic

    This project all started when my daughter, who teaches pre-school asked if I could smoke some turkey for the schools thanksgiving feast that they have every year. I naturally said yes....then I asked how much do they need and she said they usually do 4 12Lb birds. OH CRAP!!!  because all I have at home is a Bradley which I have done 2 10LBer's in before (no easy task), and my Big Block GOSM is at the cottage 200 miles north!!!  I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I would have to make a trip north to get my GOSM when I was at Sam's Club and saw the MES 40 for $298.......PROBLEM SOLVED!!!  I have heard about how everybody here has good luck with them and loaded one up. I started a brine with the following thinking I would need about 6 gallons of brine.  I used tenderquik to do a Cure-brine just for some insurance because I was cooking for so many strangers, I could have used salt instead and you can too.

    Thanks to Pineywoods for helping me Figure out how to do the Q-View!!!

    Into the Big stock pot went:

    2 Gal Water
    2-½ C Tenderquik
    3 C Brown Sugar

    6 bay leaves

    The following I added but did not measure...use your imagination:
    Garlic Powder
    Onion Powder
    Old Bay Seasoning

    Brought to a boil and simmered 10 minutes


    I then put the pot in a sink full of cold water and changed the water every 10 minutes till the brine was room temp. I then filled the rest of the pot with water and Ice and set aside.


    On to the turkeys....4 12-14lb birds Could only find 6% enhanced but gave them a cold water bath changing the water 3 times to get rid of some of the Mc-nasties they put in it.



    I put the birds in food safe bags and set in coolers and added brine. There were some cubes that did not melt so I fished them out before putting on birds.


    Took all air out of bags, sealed with tie-wraps and set a bag of ice on top of each to rest for 24 hrs


    My first issue came when I realized that the shelf configuration in the MES 40 will not allow 4 turkeys to fit inside. I had to get creative with some S-hooks to lower the top rack so all would fit.



    The MES 40 all set up and seasoned...ready to go.  I put it in my garage next to a window with a fan in it to take all the smoke right outside. Have used this with my Bradley and it works well. Yes, yes I know the instructions say not to run it indoors but I figure if I can use an electric stove in the house I can use a smoker too! I think they say no because of the smoke  and CO produced from the smoke... but the fan takes care of that and you hardly know it's in there


    Quick rinse on the Birds and in they go. I did not add anything else besides the brine because I was cooking for a bunch of picky preschools and their picky parents so I wanted to keep it simple. Smoker was preheated to 275 degrees. I put some of the brine in the water pan to give some seasoning as it cooked. Loaded the birds at 1AM so I could target them being done by 10AM when I had to leave for the event. I left the timers in the birds to see what they would do and wrapped the birds in cheesecloth to hold them together. ( I didn't have Bags like I usually put them in.)


    I fired up one end of the AMNS loaded with apple dust and set it on the lower rails in the MES (Thanks Todd, this thing really IS AMAZING!!!)


    Checked the birds at 4AM and they were already at 140 degrees! didn't want them to get done too early so I dropped the smoker temp to 225 degrees. The AMNS was about 1/2 way burnt so I went back to bed.


    6AM and the birds are around 155 and there is still dust in the AMNS


    Gee...I hope they turn out moist. (taken thru the window in door)


    9:30AM the birds hit 165 degrees...Perfect! I unloaded them  and put 2 birds per full serving tray and put them in a hot-box for transport to the church where they were setting up for the event. I called by daughter who was already there (10 minutes away) and asked if they had an empty oven. She said that they had one so I told her to set it at 350 degrees so I could crisp up the skin and I would be right there.

    Birds coming out of the smoker[​IMG]

    30 minutes in the oven and all the little timers were popped up and skin was crispy.



    Pay no attention to the tray on the left...Somebody decided I needed help and oven roasted one at home....nobody touched it! (heh, heh, heh) mine are the 2 trays on the right.







    I gotta tell  you I was a little apprehensive about putting 50lbs of meat in a smoker I had never used....but all turned out great and everyone enjoyed it. I would not hesitate to do it again. I REALLY like this smoker and the remote that came with it is awesome! I have since done Dried Beef and CSR's in it and I've only had it a couple of weeks. I snuck it in the house while the wife was out of town and when she asked "what's up with the new smoker???" I said that I did that to save $100 in gas money and to have an extra 8 hours to spend in quality time wit you my dear!!! (I don't think she was impressed but I still got the smoker!!!!

    Thanks for looking!
  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Congrats on the new smoker and the successful smoke.  Those daughters really know just how to get to us, don't they?  Good job, dad!!!
  3. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    I would have NEVER thought of the S-Hooks. That is just brilliant!

    Great job, dad!! (oh the things we do for our kids...) They look fantabulous.
  4. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Great job - Those turkeys look great!
  5. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Great excuse for a new smoker !

    Birdsd look great. I bet you get alot more use out of the mes  from now on.
  6. Great job, it is so rewarding to be able to do things like that for you kids, even more so when they think enough of your work to ask you. Those turkeys look great, you can sure tell the difference in the ones you did & the one done in the oven, the color on yours was so much better & I bet the flavor was way better. [​IMG]
  7. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks For Posting!

    I would never believe you could fit 4 large turkeys in a 40" MES and you got it done.   WOW!

    Look at the color difference between the smoked and oven roasted turkeys.


  8. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    All looks great Biteme7951!!!


    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  9. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Smoking Fanatic

    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  10. ryanhoelzer

    ryanhoelzer Smoking Fanatic

    The S Hook idea is awesome.  That's an easy solution to something I've been thinking about.  I want to double up racks for jerky and had thought about buying the rack slides from MB but just hanging extras will work easily.
  11. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sorry, I screwed this post up.

    I think my brain finally collapsed !

    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  12. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Smoking Fanatic

    It's all good Bear Feel free to chime in anytime

    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  13. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Smoking Fanatic

    Princess and Ryahhoelzer,

    So glad I found the S-hooks in my junk cabinet that night. They were a little clumsy setting the racks because I used so many of them but sure beat the solid wire I was searching for when I found them...some things are just meant to be!
  14. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    That last picture captures the Holiday.

    Indians & White Men sitting down together, to enjoy some great Turkey, and to give thanks.

    Thanks Barry,

  15. teeznuts

    teeznuts Master of the Pit

    I know this is an old thread but  I thank you for the S hook idea. I've been trying to plan a way to smoke several turkeys and hams and smoke as many at a time as I can. Besides it's smoked turkey season so the thread bump may help some folks here.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  16. tailgate72

    tailgate72 Smoke Blower

    Teeznuts Im really glad you did bump this thread. I was racking my brain trying to figure out what I was going to do myself when I came across this. This was an excellant idea.

    Thanks again

  17. teeznuts

    teeznuts Master of the Pit

    I know what you mean. When I read this it was like a weight dropped off my shoulders. I've been stressed about the holiday smokes. Now I can double the efficiency of my smoker. Plus I just ordered 4 more cooking racks from Masterbuilt so I can use 6-7 racks at once using hooks for smoking smaller items like chicken breasts to feed a large crowd. Biteme7951 is a true genius.
  18. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    It's pretty amazing what some of these guys come up with!
  19. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    $298 for a MES 40, Ive posted on this before but you guys have it good on price.Turkeys look great big set of balls to charge out of the chute with a big day meal like that first time up. Great work.
  20. rawk

    rawk Fire Starter

    Fantastic Q-View!!  And the turkeys looks great.