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Smoked Turkey Two Ways For Scouting Cook Off

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by fatbastard09, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. fatbastard09

    fatbastard09 Smoke Blower

    Smoked 4 whole turkeys at a Boy Scout turkey day meal competition campout; Que View and run down of the event: We were camping out so the turkeys needed to be cooked with fire or charcoal (frying would have been way too easy). We got to the campsite Friday night along with the other 6 troops in the competition and had time to set up the tents and the camp kitchen before dark.
    The competition was much bigger than the turkey meal plate turn in at 6pm, but I left out the rest of the day in this post at this point (it was a very long day). The scouts didn’t receive the turkeys until ~8 am Saturday and a few of the them were still partially frozen! Along with the turkeys we received fresh bread dough, fresh green beans, and potatoes. We were also required to prepare a side dish of our choosing, we ended up doing Dutch Oven Glazed Carrots in the fire. All of this had to be cooked onsite, out in woods, on top of what in Western PA is considered “a mountain”, during the forecasted first snow of the year and be turned in at 6pm! Other than the judging plates turned in, the rest of the food was brought into the dining hall for a pot luck meal for the 150 or so participants in the campout (by dinner time it was basically raining so hard at ~32 degrees it couldn’t quite snow – that came later).

    We ended up cutting up the birds and cooking the dark meat (rubbed with a pork style sugar based rub) on the top rack of my reverse flow rig at around 250-275F and the breasts (rubbed with a more traditional poultry seasoning herb/butter paste) on the lowest rack between 225-250F.
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    Smoked for about 2hrs and then wrapped in foil pans with some apple juice until the breasts reached 165F and the dark meat reached ~190F. It was raining in between some spotty sunshine so we went on internal meat temp, not time just too be sure. The breasts started to hit temp around 2pm (4 hours early) so we dumped several gallons of boiling water into a cooler, let it sit for 15 minutes and then dumped it out and dried it. Then took out the breasts, wrapped in foil, then in terry cloth towels, then paper grocery bags and into the warmed cooler to rest. We took out the dark meat around 3:30pm and pulled it to make BBQ pulled dark meat turkey sliders.
    My son and I had made the homemade tomato / vinegar BBQ sauce from the garden prior to the event, the scouts put that on the pulled dark meat and put the warming pans back into the smoker to let the flavors work together and keep it in the safe zone until plating time. All while that was going on we used some of the turkey backs, necks, and gizzards to make some gravy.

    As the rest of the side dishes came together, they pulled the breasts out of the warmers and sliced them for a traditional style presentation. The warmer worked perfect, the temp was still 145F several hours after going in and the tenderness of the meat was spot on. The skin was rubber at that point however (expected but conditions were tough), so we didn’t include it on the plates. The group of scouts in charge of the bread dough made the turkey crew some slider buns in addition to some incredible Dutch Oven Pull Apart Garlic Cubes (the adventures they had trying to get bread dough to rise in 30 degree rain is worth a post of its own). They cut some slices of cranberry sauce, put it and the pulled dark meat on the bun and topped it off with more sauce for plating. The scouts did a great job managing the firebox and both turned out excellent, in fact better smoked turkey than I have ever made! The scouts that worked the smoker are all middle schoolers and well on their way to being future pit masters.

    This was one of our 3 turn in plates:

    Here is the turkey breast served at the pot luck:

    Another view of the dishes at the pot luck, pulled dark meat bottom right:


    What great weekend of camping! This is what we woke up to on Sunday:
  2. That looks like some really good food. I know that y’all had a blast that weekend. That will be something those scouts will always remember. Good job!
  3. unclejhim

    unclejhim Meat Mopper

    Wow great post. Looks like y'all had a grand time. The food (specially the buns) looks fantastic.
  4. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks like a great meal and a good time was had by all. Nice Job.

    Point for sure.
  5. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Great looking food. Those boys sure did themselves proud. They'll be talking about that camp out for years.
    Having spent years in the Boy Scouts in Saskatchewan (many, many decades ago) I know all about the joys of camping in the rain and snow.
    BTW, I just gotta ask. What are "Dutch Oven Pull Apart Garlic Cubes"??? If they're those little buns, they really look good.
  6. crazymoon

    crazymoon Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    FB09, looks like a great weekend for the Scouts even with the rain,cold and snow. Good looking smoke !
  7. fatbastard09

    fatbastard09 Smoke Blower

    Yes, it was a great weekend and one to remember. Gary, the Dutch Oven Pull Apart Garlic Cubes were a recipe on the fly with the fresh bread dough the scouts received in the morning. After trying multiple ways to get it to rise, they ended up leaving the dough in dutch ovens right next to the fire. The dough finally did rise, but after so many hours in the cold it kinda fell when baking and turned into a kinda flat bread. So they left it in the dutch oven and sliced 90% through the bread to make grid, melted the butter and sautéed the garlic in it and poured it over it all.

    There is a picture of a cube on the turn in plate above. It was fantastic!
  8. SmokinAl

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

    Looks like a fun weekend for all!
    Great times & great food!
    Nice work & congrats on making the carousel!!!
    BTW I like your smoker too!
  9. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for sharing looks like a great weekend!!
    Teaching the young scouts life skills.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  10. kelbro

    kelbro Meat Mopper

    Thanks for supporting Scouting.
  11. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Amazing to have mentors like you to get these kids on the right path to adulthood!
  12. nimrod

    nimrod Meat Mopper

    You sure gave those Scouts some good food and a great memory! I still have fond memories of our scout master teaching us how to find & cook Morrel mushrooms back in Michigan.