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Party Time Again!

pops6927

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It is 'that time' again for our annual Party, the 3rd Thursday (of every month, but..) in December!  (see from previous parties - http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/174365/the-party).  I do 2 or 3 cured and smoked turkeys for the party.  This year i am doing 2 huge ones, ave. 22 lbs each.  Any bigger and I couldn't have fit them into my back fridge!

I put them down in the curing brine on Nov. 26th after purchasing them two days before Thanksgiving and letting them thaw in the back fridge.  Ohhhh the smell of turkey giblets cooking!

Now, I am smoking them all day.  Because they are cured and not fresh, the curing protects them from forming botulism, retarding its growth.  Still, you must handle them carefully and cautiously regardless.  I use gloves putting them in the brine and pulling them out, making sure they are well submerged in the brine, and maintain them at all times at under 40°.  I have to move swiftly and accurately to do so, practicing good sanitation.

I got them in the smokehouse at 9:30 am and lit 'er up, and they're doing their thing, smoking away!  Took these photos right after starting the smokehouse:


Have to make sure I tie a square knot on the stockinette or they could undo and cause the turkeys to fall.  A square knot keeps tightening on itself vs. loosening.


Just a handful of wood chips in the pan, don't need a lot to make smoke!


And the smoking starts!  I did not inject the turkey breasts or thighs as the curing brine invades the inner cavities and it cures from both sides of the bird - inside and outside. (I'd experimented on many birds to prove this to myself).

I will post updates as they progress!


3:45 pm, getting some nice color on them, up to 133° in the breasts and 142° in the thighs (ave.) normal time and temp at this point!  Will check the temps around 5:30-6:00 pm, don't need to poke holes any more than necessary!  Tomorrow is Cooling day, Tuesday is Sectioning day, Wednesday is Slicing day and Thursday is The PARTY!  Only can do so much with my left hand, have to divide it up.


The finished product, 160°+ internal in the breasts and 170°+ in the thighs.

Put them in the back fridge and let them cool until Tuesday, then brought them out and sectioned them into boneless breast halves with tenderloins separated, wings disjointed, drumsticks and thighs, put them back in the fridge.  Pulled them out Wednesday and sliced the breasts and tenderloins without the skins, deboned, skinned and cubed up the thigh meat and what breast pieces were left from slicing, put the sectioned wings and drumsticks in a separate container, then cubed up smoked cheese, about 10 quarter pieces and stacked them back in the fridge ready to take to the party:


(bucket to the right is another turkey for my younger son's stepkids to take back to college after Christmas day to gobble on as they both have to work the holidays).  Didn't forget the mustard for the smoked cheese, either! (Southwestern).  All set to go!

FROM THE PARTY

Tons of food, lots of Christmas cups (Chinese Auction) and happy stroke survivors, along with their caregivers too!  











Some hadn't come yet, but ! got most!  A photographer I definitely am not with live subjects!  But, we all ate good, celebrated another month of birthdays (it is scientifically proven that the more birthdays you have, the longer you live!).  And that is what our group is about, celebrating life and how to cope and feel good about living, even after strokes!
 
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SmokinAl

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Looks great so far Pops!

Al
 

GaryHibbert

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Oh yeah. I'm in for this one Pops

Gary
 

pops6927

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Of course, I have to include my Regular and Lo-Salt Curing Brine Recipe:
[h1]Pops6927's Curing Brines - Regular and Lo-Salt[/h1]

By: Pops6927

Posted 10/27/14 • Last updated 10/27/14 • 2,112 views • 0 comments

These are my Curing brines for pork, beef (corned and dried), poultry, and so on.

Regular Curing Brine:

1 gallon of clean water

1 cup plain, regular non-iodized table salt

1 cup sugar or sucrolose

1 cup brown sugar or sucrolose equiv.

1 tablespoon of Cure#1

Lo-Salt Curing Brine:

1 gallon of clean water

½ cup plain, regular non-iodized rable salt

½ cup sugar or sucrolose 

½ cup brown sugar or sucrolose equiv.

1 tablespoon of Cure #1

mix in food-safe container, stir until clear.

Add meat.  Do not add different species of meats, but you can add pieces of the same species.

Refrigerate 1 to 21 days, depending on thickness of meat. 

Up to 2 inches, 1-10 days.

2 - 4 inches, 5 - 15 days, may require injecting to cure from the inside-out as well as from the outside-in.

4 inches and larger.  15 - 21 days, requires injecting.

Injecting - use a Morton's injection 4 oz. manual injection pump with the Broadcast needle.



or equivalent.

Brine can become frothy (ropy).  It has both salt and sugar in it.  It also is inputting curing ingredients into the meat and oozing out blood and plasma.  Just dump the brine and make up fresh and continue curing should that happen.  Make sure you keep it at 38° - 40°.  

Weigh down meat into curing brine with half-filled ziploc bags of water on top.

No further mixing or stirring required, let it cure until done.  Meats will come out of the brine wish a distinct grayish look.  This is normal.

Cure #1:

I use this as reference:


Computing equivalency, for 100 gallons of curing brine, you add 24 lbs. of curing salt to 100 gallons of water and mix.

That is .24 lbs, or 3.84 oz. of curing salt to 1 gallon of water maximum.

My recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of curing salt to 1 gallon of water.  A level tablespoon is .88 of an ounce.  Heaping is approx. 1 ounce.  Either is fine.  Neither comes close to the maximum amount allowed, but just enough to do the job.  Curing at Maximum, plus with injection, requires 48 hours of cure time maximum.  This process uses less than one third the curing salt and a longer curing time to tenderize and flavor the meat.

You must cover the product until it floats off the bottom of the container, then weight it down to stay submersed in the brine, leaving no area to be exposed to air.  You must keep at 38° to 40° until curing time is over.  Remove from brine, put or hang in smokehouse or smoker.  I personally go from refrigeration to heat with no wait time myself.  There is different thoughts, whether to allow a pellicle to form or not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pellicle_(cooking)

A pellicle is mainly, to my knowledge, allowed to form on fish prior to smoking.  We were only 30 miles from Salmon River in Pulaski, NY, a very well known salmon run.  We had many bring us their salmon to process and usually allowed a pellicle to form  But, pork and beef are not tender like fish.

Anything I have left out or any questions, be sure to PM me!  Don't hesitate!
 

disco

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Great food, great times, great people! 

Disco
 

redheelerdog

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Pops, thanks for the pics and your turkeys and food look fantastic!

"it is scientifically proven that the more birthdays you have, the longer you live!." - I love it! Science at its best.

Here's wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. and a POINT!
 

bdskelly

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Magnificent post pops.  Point!

Brian 
 
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