Thanksgiving Bird

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binnesman

Meat Mopper
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
May 23, 2021
180
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I am going to smoke a turkey for thanksgiving this year. I will be doing a brine on it. I was wondering first should I smoke it whole or should I spatchcock it? If I keep it whole I am making an herb butter going to put it under the skin and on top. Then stuff it it with fresh herbs apples onion and garlic ect….. If I spatchcock it going to do the herb butter only. Any suggestions and what temp should I do it at.
 
We brine ours and smoke whole. When looking for a turkey, look for the one with the lowest salt content listed on the tag. Kids dont eat a lot of turkey, so we usually just get a breast and seems the store brand bird has the lowest salt content we have found unless you are paying $$$$ for an organic, free range, wholesome, virgin bird.
 
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I am going to smoke a turkey for thanksgiving this year. I will be doing a brine on it. I was wondering first should I smoke it whole or should I spatchcock it? If I keep it whole I am making an herb butter going to put it under the skin and on top. Then stuff it it with fresh herbs apples onion and garlic ect….. If I spatchcock it going to do the herb butter only. Any suggestions and what temp should I do it at.

If you brine you conquer most of the flavor and juiciness battle. I see no issues with your approach in either case other than stuffed turkey takes longer to cook.

Temp, hands down 325F or higher, never under if you can reach a temp of 325F. If you cant go as high as you can.

Turkey skin will want to rubbery or leathery if not cooked at a high enough temp. So the 325F will solve the problem and give you edible or even crispy skin.
Also be aware that if you foil wrap a turkey the steam and moisture starts to take the skin from being edible back into rubbery territory. So it is best to cook rest unwrapped or in an oven that is off and then serve. You don't rest these things too long.

Feel free to do a practice run on a turkey or even a giant 5-6pound chicken for practice and to see what I'm talking about with the skin :)
 
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This is still my favorite Brine. Give it a try if you have no plans.

Families Favorite Brine

1/2C Kosher Salt
2T Paprika
2T Gran. Garlic
2T Gran. Onion2T Dry Thyme
2T Black Pepper
1C Vinegar (Any)
1-11/2Gal Cold Water to cover Chix
1/2C Brown Sugar, Optional
1T Red Pepper Flake Optional

Mix well and Soak the Bird over night or up to 24 Hours.
Remove the Chix, rinse if desired and pat dry with paper towels.
Place in an open container in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours for the Skin to dry.
This will give a crispier skin when Smokng or Roasting...

Smoke temp will depend on you. Like Smokey? 225 to an IT of 145 and finish at 425-450°F. Lighter smoke? 325-350 until done...JJ
 
This is still my favorite Brine. Give it a try if you have no plans.

Families Favorite Brine

1/2C Kosher Salt
2T Paprika
2T Gran. Garlic
2T Gran. Onion2T Dry Thyme
2T Black Pepper
1C Vinegar (Any)
1-11/2Gal Cold Water to cover Chix
1/2C Brown Sugar, Optional
1T Red Pepper Flake Optional

Mix well and Soak the Bird over night or up to 24 Hours.
Remove the Chix, rinse if desired and pat dry with paper towels.
Place in an open container in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours for the Skin to dry.
This will give a crispier skin when Smokng or Roasting...

Smoke temp will depend on you. Like Smokey? 225 to an IT of 145 and finish at 425-450°F. Lighter smoke? 325-350 until done...JJ
This is a recipe for success. Thanks JJ.
 
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