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smoked turkey deli style


Fire Starter
Joined Jun 28, 2014
I am thinking I would buy some fibrous casings in the 5 inch diameter range. I would like to make the turkey deli style to be sliced thin and served as sandwiches. What I am planning is chunks of turkey breast mixed with ground turkey from a whole bird. Ifigured brine the bird  and then slice the breast out to be cubed. then debone the rest of the bird and use the skin and rest of the meat in the grinder on a fine blade. add some cure and stuff it into the casing to smoke. I would think 165 IT for poultry. Any advice would be appreciated.


Fire Starter
Joined Nov 9, 2014
Wow, seems like an ambitious project.  I have been smoking, and before my smoker, I was roasting turkey breast for years for  sandwiches.  I now purchase 3 full breasts per smoke, that gives me 6 sides.  I smoke with the meat on the bone, with applewood primarily.  when 165-170 I remove and let cool.  Debone, vacpac, and freeze each individually.  Upon thawing, I use my rotary deli slicer to slice thin for sandwiches.  While the slices are not all uniform, I can get some nice slices by cutting across the wide part (still against the grain) and makes a great sandwich.  

Seems like you are seeking uniform 5" round slices?  If so, and you want pure turkey, no filler, I suggest you get the pre-boned turkey roll sold in supermarkets, or take raw turkey off the bone, and roll and wrap in cheesecloth or just tie it (many chef's videos to show you how).  You can then smoke without the bone, and get 100% pure turkey breast, no filler.

Your project sounds interesting, let us know how it turns out.   Keep in mind, your "sausage" will have different densities, so, you may want to go a little higher in temp, just to be on the safe side!


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Oct 4, 2012
I think that you will have better results going with all ground. Because turkey is leaner than most meats if you go with a mix of chunks and ground you may find that the sausage will fall apart when slicing. Most of the turkey deli meat contains meat glue (Transglutaminase) to hold it together. You could add meat glue to your mix if you want.

Adding cure is a good idea if you plan on smoking the meat. It will however change the flavor. It will be hammy. If you don't want that flavor you could skip the cure and water bath the sausage instead.

165°-170° are acceptable finish IT's no matter how you choose to proceed.


Smoking Guru
Staff member
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jan 4, 2014
What DS said is on target. If you want a little sexy factor, make some 1/2x1/2" cubes of turkey and add them to the mince before stuffing. Gives a little show meat look to the chub.

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