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Smoking a Turkey this weekend, here's my plan so far.

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by tropez, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. 2013-11-5 - Whole Thanksgiving Turkey

    Monday: Start thawing in the fridge.

    Thursday Evening: Make wet rub

    Makes 1 cup of wet rub
    4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
    4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
    4 teaspoons minced onion or 2 teaspoons granulated onion (my own conversion using garlic as a guide)
    4 teaspoons minced garlic or 2 teaspoons granulated garlic (reference)
    1/4 cup white wine Worcestershire sauce
    2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/4 cup olive oil
    In a blender or food processor, mix rosemary, thyme, onion, garlic, white wine Worcestershire sauce, coarse salt, pepper, and olive oil. Pulse until well blended. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator at least 10 minutes before rubbing under turkey skin or injecting into meat as desired.

    Thursday Evening: Brine (8 hours)

    1 Gallon = 1.5 Cup Morton Kosher Salt + 2 Cup white sugar (reference)

    Brine for 1 hour per lb so 22 hours (reference) but my brining basics pdf says no more than 8 max (reference). I was worried about using brine on an an already “ 8% enhanced” bird but it seems to not be a big deal (reference).

    Friday Morning: Air Dry (8 hours)

    Rinse brine off, towel dry, apply wet rub, air dry in fridge while at work (reference)

    Friday Evening: Cook

    300-325 (reference)

    21.71 lbs x 15 min per lb = 5.42hours (reference)

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  2. I'm on the fence in regards to my cook temp. I know the skin will be crummy at 225 but the bird is going to be cold and warmed up (for the people I'm cooking it for) so the skin isn't going to be "crispy" anyways I feel. I know that at 225 the meat will be super tasty as it has been in the past when I slow smoked chicken and turkey but the higher temp does sound appealing (to shorten cook time).
  3. I'm cooking my practice bird Saturday, too! 

    I had thought about brining, but I don't have a cooler/pot big enough, so I think I'm just going to treat it how I usually treat my whole chickens. Rub some spiced/herbed butter under the skin, a quartered onion and a head of garlic in the cavity, and smoke away.

    Mine is only 14 lbs, though. They have one in the case at my local market that is about 25.5 lbs. I was like O.o. Had to take a pic with it near average sized turkeys for perspective. It's massive! lol
  4. If you have a 5 gallon round drink cooler they work great for brining
  5. I plan to use a 5 gallon homer bucket from home depot with a lid and put the entire bucket in my spare fridge. I have a pretty easy setup for this actually.
  6. jsdspif

    jsdspif Meat Mopper

    Maybe others will post their thoughts on the cooking temps . When I do my whole turkeys I brine them for about 24 hours , just make sure the brine is always below 40 degrees and I cook them in my MES at 274 degrees ( as high as my temp setting goes ) . I know there has been talk in the past as to whether or not it stays in the temp. "danger zone " for longer than 4 hours when done at the lower temps . I have cooked them at 225 and things were ok ( I usually do a 12 to 14 lb. turkey )but after reading more folks thoughts and agreeing to a higher cooking temp so it doesn't stay in the "danger zone " for as long and poultry not needing the "low and slow " method , I started cooking mine at 274 . I couldn't tell a difference between the 2 except the higher temp got done quicker , both were very juicy after letting them rest for 20 - 30 minutes . I cooked them until they were 170 - 175 in the breast . I have an idea others will post go with a higher cooking temp .
  7. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I have cooked a ton of poultry on my WSM and it ALWAYS comes out moist (esp if brined) and I always cook it at 300. The time saving aspect is important to me , so I like that.
    I don't think you can go wrong either way. Smoked turkey is just AMAZING .
  8. Wow, that white wine worchestershire, aka Marinade for Chicken was a tough product to find locally. I called like 6 stores before I could even find a store that carried it.
  9. So it sounds like 300 degrees will be a good temp of choice. It will save me time and get me out of the danger zone faster which is a worry with this big beast of a bird.
  10. Yeah, not worried about the moistness, I also haven't had a problem with dry meat either. My main concern on the temps was the quality of the finished skin (higher temps usually mean better, crispy skin to some extent) and getting out of the danger zone (40-140) within 4 hours. So I'm leaning towards the 300 degrees like you mention.

    This link was handy.


    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  12. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I used to do the low and slow, but now its 325º. The only difference I have noticed is the time it takes to cook the bird!

    One thing to consider with the Homer Bucket is that they are not made with food grade plastic (at least the ones at my HD). I would line it just to be on the safe side. Lowes carries food grade safe buckets in the BBQ section. Here's a tidbit on identifying food grade buckets:

    Check the recycling symbol on the bottom of the bucket.

    This number will be between 1 and 7 and will be stamped inside a triangle of arrows. As a general rule, the numbers that are safe for use with food are 1, 2, 4, and 5.
    • The best type of plastic for use in long-term food storage is high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is indicated by the "2" symbol. HDPE is one of the most stable and inert forms of plastic, and all plastic buckets sold specifically for food storage will be made from this material.
    • Other types of plastic acceptable for food storage include PETE, LDPE, and polypropylene (PP). These plastics are represented by the numbers 1, 4, and 5 respectively.
    • An exception to this rule is bio-plastics, which are categorized under the catch-all symbol "7." Bio-plastics are plastic-like materials that are synthesized from plant-based sources such as corn. These materials are nonreactive and can be used to store food, but note that not all plastics marked as "7" are bio-plastics.
  13. Ahh, great tips here, thank you!
  14. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I forgot to mention that a good place to source free food grade buckets is your grocery store. Both the deli and the Bakery get items that come in them. Never hurts to ask!
  15. I just had my wife check my existing homer buckets and they are marked with a "2" which seems to be just fine per the information shared about the different plastics. I think I will be okay for this 8 hour brine...
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  16. jsdspif

    jsdspif Meat Mopper

    you may want to get some oxiclean type powder that is fragrance free . I buy the stuff at family dollar I think they call it oxiwhite or something . It's the stuff you add a scoop to the washing machine . The name brand stuff sometimes has blue crystals or colored crystals added for fragrance , you don't want that , just the white powder kind . Maybe put a couple scoops of it in the bucket and fill with hot water and let it soak for 8 hours or so , then do it again and then rinse very well . The reason being when I started making beer I used plastic buckets from the local brew supply place my first few batches tasted kind of "plasticky ??" and when I went back to the brew store and told the guy he asked if I had soaked the buckets in PBW ( it's like oxiclean for homebrewers but I make my own with the oxiclean from family dollar and this other powder called TSP ) and he said it sounds like I need to soak the buckets in PBW . So I soaked my buckets like I've explained here and no more plasicky taste . I haven't heard too many people speak of this but occasionally I hear it . You don't want to use dish soap or anything else especially with a fragrance because that would probably give everything an odor and or taste . Even bleach would probably have a lingering effect that would show up as odor and or taste in whatever you brine .If you've already used the buckets a few times you probably don't have to worry about it but if they're brand new you may want to soak them . I know it nearly made my beer undrinkable from the plastic smell / taste .
  17. Beer can turkey works well too.

    I do mine in this: :)

    I second the 300 F as well.
  18. All done.

    Took less than 6 hours.

  19. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Looks good !:grilling_smilie:
  20. Thanks!