Smoking a turkey this Christmas...

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by jteer, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. jteer

    jteer Fire Starter

    I have an 11 lb bird I will be smoking on Christmas Eve. So far, I made a brine of sea salt, brown sugar, orange juice, garlic powder and onion powder. I just finished putting the brine, the turkey and some ice into a 5 gallon bucket and put it in the fridge. Wednesday, I plan to pull it from the brine, rinse it off, inject it with some jalapeno butter injectable marinade and put back into the fridge to sit overnight.

    Am I brining too long?

    Thursday, I plan to fire up the MES 40 and smoke it at 275 using some apple wood.  Approx how long can I expect it to take to get to an IT of 165?
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
  2. plume-o-smoke

    plume-o-smoke Fire Starter

    ​A day to brine doesn't seem like overkill by any means. PROVIDED you have a turkey that hasn't been packed in a salt solution as most birds are. At least most of the cheap ones. I wouldn't want to double-salt, but if you have a salt-free bird 24 hrs brine seems perfect to me.

    ​Cook time... I dunno. I'll bet it isn't as long as you would think. I also have an MES and am toying w/ the idea of smoking a turkey this week. But I don't know if you/I/we can make 275 work. Every chicken I have ever done on my MES has crappy skin. Rubbery as heck unless I toss it in an extremely hot oven or over the weber to finish it. I'm considering just doing the turkey in the Weber where I can get the temps as hot as I like. Or roasting in the oven and bagging the smoking part. I'm curious what others have to say.

    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    No problem Brining an Enhanced Bird because the saltiness of Your brine is what you will end up with. Salt equalizes. More salt in the bird it comes out...More salt in the brine, it goes in until all the same in the bird And the brine. Your brine taste salty, you got a salty bird. I use 1/2C Morton Kosher per 1 to 1 1/2 Gallon of water and soak 1-3 days depending on the bird size..

    Next here is some quick info on smoking...

     For a One Step Smoke with Crispy Skin the birds have to be smoked at a temp of 300-325°F. You can figure about 15 minutes per pound to reach the desired IT. Electric smokers usually only go to 275°F. With these you will be smoking at the most common temp range of 225-275°F. You can figure on about 25 minutes per pound cook time + or - 5 minutes depending what part of the range you choose. Usually the skin will not crisp so if the skin is not Crisp enough when the IT is 145*F in the Breast, put the Bird in a 425*F Oven to finish cooking to 165* and Crisp the Skin...JJ
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015

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