Starting with some Foggy Turkey

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Original poster
Nov 14, 2006
Clovis, CA

My name is Patrick and I'm new to smoking. Started grilling 16 years ago at the ripe 'ol age of 14. Did some volunteer work alongside my aunt and uncle (she worked for Pac Bell and was a Telephone Pioneer) BBQ ribs at the local farmers market. We were a smash hit and I got hooked. Getting hooked on grilling is bad considering what else kids get hooked on in their teens.

At home we had a Weber kettle, then moved into an apt and the Kettle went...well, actually I'm not sure. I guess the landfill. So I cooked on a little propane portable for a few years.

Easter of '95 I picked up a Brinkman Smoke and Pit. This one is like the offsets, without the offset. I've been using that thing since. It's like a rundown house and in serious need of a remodal. All the wood is just trashed. :( It still makes good food, just looks neglected.

The last couple of years I've grilled some turkeys. We get them at work, and considering my brother works at the same place we end up with a LOT of turkey. So this year we decided to try something different. Smoke 'em!

Yesterday we picked up a Brinkman Gourmet Charcoal Smoker. That's a story in an of itself. Went to the local edition of a large national "hardware" store and the only unit they had the box was oepn, the instruction manual & temp. gauge were gone. Sooo...out across town to ANOTHER edition of same store to find they had none. :( So in the same parking lot we hit a BBQ place. Ended up getting the floor model with free assembly. $15 premium over the big box was worth not having to put it together.

Picked up a thermometer to go alongside the idiot gauge. These things remind me of Ford's truck gauges. (And I'm a Ford guy.) "You don't need to know the actual temp, but things are ok, for now." Also picked up an Oregon Scientific digital remote thermometer for the meat.

Anyways.... Got a free turkey from granny who didn't want one she was given. So this makes 3 birds this year. So it's out in the smoker as the trial run for Turkey Day.

The weather isn't the best today. It's REALLY foggy. Started out at about 500' this morning around 6am. Smoker is holding right about the "D" in Ideal. I was busy yesterday evening so I didn't get a chance to install the thermometer in there. Any recommendations on where I should mount it? It's got a pretty good sized dial on it.

Smoking with mesquite lump I grill with (pick it up at restaraunt supply shop for $15 /40# bag.) Laced that with some apple we picked up at the BBQ place. Sure seems to be cooking fast. At about 8:15 is was 54F. Now at 9:15 it's at 92F.
Hi BRW, Did ya fill the water pan? a 12 pounder should take about 5 hrs.
Also, watch your mesquite with turkey (although, I love it!) itâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]s strong stuff! Remember to take the breast to 165-170° and the thigh to 180°. Anymore and she will be overcooked. Good Luck!
I've got the water pan full. The temps are down now. About at a 45degree angel to the cool side of idea.

Here's my little log I've got going just to see how things track.

8:20 Probe - 54F

8:53 Probe - 73F
Smoker - vertical line in "D"

9:15 Probe - 96F
Smoker - dropped to "I"

9:30 Probe - 107F
Smoker - Angle 135

9:54 Probe - 123F
Smoker - Angle 130

10:00 Probe - 126F

She does look pretty nice.

A note on the "Smoker - Angle" thing. That's the temperature gauge on the smoker. I'm a draftsman so those are in angles from the right. 0 degrees is right "HOT", 90 is up "IDEAL", 180 is left "WARM", 270 is down "Something is horribly wrong".
Thanks for the compliments guys.

Well, there will be an encore on Thursday (or this weekend). Besides the two turkeys I knew I would be doing (brother and I work at the same place and the company gives out turkeys for T-Day (I get to go and pick those up tomorrow)) the boss asked me to take home his bird and smoke it and bring it back to the office for people to eat. Now I just need to find some containers to brine them in...

I figure I could get it all done on Thursday...wait...fridge isn't big enough to put three birds a'brining in there.

At least I get to experiment w/o having to pay for the meat. :D :twisted:

Anyone have any suggestions?

First one was brined overnight in just 2 cups kosher salt in 2 gallons of water. The seasoning was about 1/2 cup butter (the real stuff!) some garlic powder, seasoned salt, fresh ground black pepper, a ton of paprika, and poultry seasoning. Melted and left to just sit there for a while. Then drizzled over the bird. Smoked over mesquite lump with some apple.

Thinking of trying something a little milder in the smoke dept. I like the strong mesquite flavor, just want to try other things.
Gotta watch out with these turkeys. They keep multiplying. There's now 4. No, I don't have a freezer. Might be 2 more at work left over...

I'm not going to want any turkey for a LONG time.

I'm thinking I might just toss all the birds in the ice chest at once. Most are in the 12lb or so range. 52qt chest.
BRW-Welcome to SMF. Looks like a great bird. Check out the Poultry Forum for different ideas on brines. I also like to add a cup of sugar to my brine.
Hickory with some apple or cherry mixed in makes for a nice smoke. Not as strong as mesquite.
Great lookin' bird BRW, I'm sure it was mighty good eating. Welcome to the forum! I hope your Thanksgiving went well. Glad you're here, enjoy! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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