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Thanksgiving Bird Experience

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by cvcal, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. cvcal

    cvcal Newbie


     This was my first experience at smoking a whole bird for Thanksgiving.  I picked up an almost new ECB at a garage sale and was checking  the internet for how to use it, when I came across Jeff's Smoking Meat website.

      I took the whole thing to heart and followed his instructions the best I could. Made the necessary modifications to the ECB. Got plenty of charcoal and wood chunks.  A new temp gauge for the EBC and a digital thermometer.

    I picked a nice 17# Free range, min- processed bird. (Couldn't get a 12#). Cost $50.00 "yipes".   Brined it overnight in cranberry brine recipe.

      The cooking went fine, I was able to keep the temp fairly even, between 200* and 240*. I was expecting it to take close to 7 hrs but the temp reached 162 in about 5 hrs.

    The results were a little disappointing.  Bird was overcooked,   dark and dry but tasted great. See my photo album.

     So lessons learned were:

          (1) Bird was too big at 17#.

          (2) Bird was a Free Range, too lean.

          (3) New gauge may be defective, cooked too hot.

          (4) Didn't brine well, put in plastic bag and packed in ice chest.

           Any one have other ideas that  I might try next time?

    Thanks for listening, Cal
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  2. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview. [​IMG]
  3. I've never tried the Free Range bird, I've just done the cheapo's at the grocery store and brined them.  But I also inject after brining, using basically just apple juice and butter.  My feeble attempt to keep it moist.  One other thing, smoking the turkey is a lot like baking it in the oven.  so I still rub butter under the skin and stuff it with celery, onion, and apples into the cavity prior to smoking.  Looking forward to seeing the pictures!
  4. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Same way i do it  sans the stuffing.

  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    First off Welcome Cal to SMF. Next time you need to comein here alittle earlier and get the advice from the whole gang of folks here. You could even sign up for the News Letters too. You'll like it here for there are alot of really good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking. Now there are alot of proven recipes for some amazing things here too. So if you need sign up for the E-Course it's free and it will give you the basics of smoking and some good methods to use also. So the next big thing for you to do is go out and get you something to smoke and if you happen to have any questions just post it here and we will be happy to answer them for you.

    Welcome To Your New Addiction