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Smoked a Turkey in my 'New' Brinkmans Trailmaster Limited and need some advice.

slimsmoker

Newbie
10
10
Joined May 7, 2014
Hey all,

First and foremost I've gotten tons of help since I've been on these forums for the last 2 years, thanks to all who have been apart of that!

Started smoking two years ago with one of those cheap Brinkmans offset smokers that everyone mods. I did a few mods to it after the first smoke and even thou it was a struggle some times to keep temp it always did me proud. Well, I would grill in it as well and the bottom fell out a few weeks ago when I was cleaning it in prep for thanksgiving. I was able to score a lightly used Trailmaster Limited Edition but didnt have time to do minor mods, so I went ahead and dove in head first ... how hard could it be?

Well, pretty fucking hard I guess. LOL.

Here's a link to my first smoke to give you an idea of the way I was thinking when I start... http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/172223/turkey-smoking-advice#post_1271060

Ok, so this is what happened. We cranked her up about 5 and was ready to go about 6. I juiced the bird with Jalapeno Butter and butter under the skin, butter garlic rub on the outside, chopped onion and apple on the inside. Apple Wood used, Lump Carcoal as well.Initially I had a bit of trouble getting her to 200 and keeping her there. The bird was 20 LBS -- the linked smoke was a 22 lbs bird -- so I figured this would be like any other smoke I've done .. I'd spend more time messing with the firebox than anything else but in the end I'd win ... welll....

As usual I didnt open to the top for the first 2 1/2 hours and I struggled with the temp the entire time. By the time I felt like I had it figured out I was 3 hours in and I decided it was time to peek ... well, the peek turned to horror as I found the bird was jet black -- the skin was absolutely burnt  .... dove in with thermo and it was at 190 OH MY GOD -- immediately pulled ... also found my drip pan was full -- looked like every bit of juice that could come out came out (turkey sat on rack, thats how Ive always done it).... that's never happened. Generally I'll get a little drip but I'd say 80% would stay in bird and the side with have a lake of juice in it....

I let it rest for awhile and carved. It was slightly over done, pretty dry, but had a pretty good flavor. Gravy saved the day but I was DEF. very saddened by the result .... so, I guess my question is ... what the hell happened? I dont feel like I did anything different ... had the same issues Ive always had with temp, but the turkey seemed to cook in half the time. Are the smokers that much different? Did I do something wrong? 
 

dirtsailor2003

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
21,606
3,322
Joined Oct 4, 2012
The only way a 20 pound bird could be at an IT of 190 at the 3 hour mark is if your pit temp was at 350-400.

How are you measuring your pit temp?
 

slimsmoker

Newbie
10
10
Joined May 7, 2014
With the lid thermo that's built in. I had 6 installed on the previous modded smoker, but Ive only had this about a week and some change and didnt have time to change anything. I guess it could be off ... that didnt even cross my mind. 
 

JckDanls 07

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Group Lead
5,707
481
Joined Sep 10, 2011
With the lid thermo that's built in. I had 6 installed on the previous modded smoker, but Ive only had this about a week and some change and didnt have time to change anything. I guess it could be off ... that didnt even cross my mind. 
You just answered your own question... obviously the temps were really high... you'll have to get a good therm and check it against the notoriously off factory therm
 

slimsmoker

Newbie
10
10
Joined May 7, 2014
You just answered your own question... obviously the temps were really high... you'll have to get a good therm and check it against the notoriously off factory therm
Got two last night, fired up the grill, and the thermo is fine. Right on point. So obviously it wasnt the thermo. 
 

hardcookin

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,245
687
Joined Aug 13, 2015
I tend to agree with dirtsailor. Usually a whole 15lb turkey takes me 3hrs on my smoker @ 300.
I would use a Maverick or any temp gauge like that. And set one probe on the grate and the other probe in your meat. And do your smoke and monitor where things are at and take notes.
You need to learn your smoker and what temp it likes to run and how things cook.
 

slimsmoker

Newbie
10
10
Joined May 7, 2014
I tend to agree with dirtsailor. Usually a whole 15lb turkey takes me 3hrs on my smoker @ 300.
I would use a Maverick or any temp gauge like that. And set one probe on the grate and the other probe in your meat. And do your smoke and monitor where things are at and take notes.
You need to learn your smoker and what temp it likes to run and how things cook.
Well, I smoked some breast last night and I think I know whats going on .... I think its a combination of this smoker being so much better than the one I was using before, flames are too strong in box, and air flow ....... while smoking last night I used a camera tool I have to get a peak inside .... the flames are reaching VERY far into the smoking area ... like they are being pulled by air .... could this JUST be the damper ..... or something else? I look all over the grill and can't find an 'air pulls' that would causes this in my opinion ... but its clear that this is why my turkey was SCORTCHED on the outside and over cook. Based on where I had it sitting the flames coming out of the box would have been touching it.
 

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