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Turkey Breast inquiry

heyer5

Meat Mopper
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Joined May 4, 2011
Alright guys & gals, my mother just ran by me that she might want me to smoke a turkey breast, enough to feed 8, on Christmas Eve.  I did the search function first and saw some great looking food but I didn't really see any that gave me a time frame on how long the smokes lasted.  Yes, I know, smoke to IT and not by time, which I understand.  The hard part is that I work until noon on Christmas Eve and supper would be served around 5:30 - 6:00.  This just doesn't seem feasible.

I've never brined anything either, which I can easily understand how to do and have a couple food safe 5 gallon pales that could easily be used for this process.  I have my WSM plenty tuned in, probably have a few hundered smokes on the old girl, but never a turkey.

Any input would be great

How long to expect

How many lbs I need to feed 8 people (pulled pork they say 1/4 pound a person, but that's for sandwhiches...)

Not sure what I have left for Apple wood, but I think hickory or cherry would be a bit too potent for the light poultry, thoughts?

Anyways, thanks guys & gals.  I'm really, really looking forward to responses.
 

ryan in louisville

Smoke Blower
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Joined Apr 30, 2007
Smoking the breast alone goes pretty quick. As long as they are prepped before hand and all you have to do it get your smoker up to temp, I don't see any problem getting them done in time. I didn't brine the ones I have done.

I would count on 1/2 lb per person just to be safe (and the leftover turkey is awesome)

I would smoke using all 3 woods you listed. I did that combination a few years ago to some turkey breasts. I brought one in to try and we ate the whole thing in about 5 minutes it was so delicious. Mind you, my wife and I had just eaten lunch an hour earlier.

Hope this helps,

Ryan
 
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heyer5

Meat Mopper
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Joined May 4, 2011
Smoking the breast alone goes pretty quick. As long as they are prepped before hand and all you have to do it get your smoker up to temp, I don't see any problem getting them done in time. I didn't brine the ones I have done.

I would count on 1/2 lb per person just to be safe (and the leftover turkey is awesome)

I would smoke using all 3 woods you listed. I did that combination a few years ago to some turkey breasts. I brough one in to try and we atethe whole thing in about 5 minutes it was so delicious. Mind you, my wife and I had just eaten lunch an hour earlier.

Hope this helps,

Ryan
Thank you for the quick reply Ryan!  I have no problem using all three woods, actually, that sounds like quite the idea!

I don't except it to be a terribly long smoke, but I don't want to have it get done late, have a 20 minute drive to where supper is, and then end up being late for church service after supper!
 

little smokey

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Aug 4, 2011
Yeah a whole turkey usually takes about three hours depending on weight so I totally agree with Ryan you should have no prob getting that done in time, if you are really worried do smaller breasts and just more of them.  The positive to more breasts is more skin, some people love the skin.  Make sure you put up some Qview for us on this smoke.
 

chef jimmyj

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One 8 Lb Breast will feed that many but as others stated leftovers are great. I would do two breasts over 5 lbs at 325°F they will go about 15-20 minutes per pound. For low and slow, 250°F at about 30 minutes per pound but the skin will be rubbery and if you plan to eat it will require 15-20 minutes in a 425-450°F Oven to crisp. Smoke the breast to 165°F. Definitely Brine, recipe below, and allow for an overnight in the refer to dry a bit and form a pellicle...JJ

Here is a Brine and Rub that is a Favorite with members of my Family. 

Families Favorite Brine

1/2C Kosher Salt

2T Paprika

2T Gran. Garlic

2T Gran. Onion

2T 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...

Bubba Chix Rub

1/2C Raw Sugar

2T Paprika (I use Smoked if I'm just Grilling)

1T Cayenne

1T Gran. Garlic

1T Gran. Onion

1tsp Black Pepper

1tsp Wht Pepper

1tsp Allspice

1tsp Bell's Poultry Seasoning or Thyme

Mix well. You can put directly on the skin or mix with Butter, Oil or Bacon Grease and rub on and under the Skin.

Reduce Cayenne to 1teaspoon if less heat is desired.
Here is some additional reading...http://www.smoking-meat.com/october-2010-smoked-bone-in-turkey-breast
 
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heyer5

Meat Mopper
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Joined May 4, 2011
Thank you for the replies and the brine recipe!  I have yet to dunk anything in a brine, but I will be on this.  We picked up one 6.8 lb breast, which according to the time calculations you guys listed, will run roughly 3 hours.  I'll probably try to keep the smoker around 260-275, my usual range that my WSM just seems to love for some reason.

I'll try to remember to take some pictures!
 

oldschoolbbq

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Heyer ,Hello and welcome to our World
 .   The guys have got you pointed in the right way . The timing of 15 to 20min./lb. heat at 300*F and having been brined .

You can add some Flavor by adding it to theBrine . . .i.e.-Garlic , Onion , a little heat if you want and forget about  the plastic thing in the Bird ; use a real thermometer , but don't remove it - the Breast will lose all it's juice


Have a good day and as usual . . .
 

mdboatbum

Master of the Pit
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Joined Apr 22, 2011
As others have said, hot and fast will get you across the finish line in plenty of time with perfectly edible skin. I'd also do 2 or 3 as you'll be sad when the last of the leftovers are gone. I use stronger woods on bird because I do hot and fast and they need a little stronger wood to make up for less time in the smoke. For something different try Pop's brine, it's KILLER.

I did 4 days for a 15lb (or maybe it was 18lb?Getting old, CRS) turkey and it worked out well. White meat isn't as susceptible to the "hammy" flavor as dark meat, so the breasts will just be more moist.

for every 1 gallon of water, add:

1/3 - 1 cup sea salt (depending if you're on a lo-salt diet)

1 cup granulated sugar or Splenda[emoji]174[/emoji]

1 cup brown sugar or Splenda[emoji]174[/emoji] brown sugar mix

1 tbsp cure no. 1 pink salt

The pink salt is the lynchpin to the whole thing. You can sub morton's Tenderquick, but it would be a MUCH higher amount and lead to a much saltier turkey, so I wouldn't.

I also injected the curing brine, but with just breasts I don't think you'd have to. I also injected with Creole Butter right before cooking. If you haven't tried it, do. It's really good. I was afraid with the curing brine AND the Creole butter injection it'd be way too salty, but it wasn't at all. I used the lower amount of salt in the curing brine though.
 
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heyer5

Meat Mopper
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Joined May 4, 2011
So, I've been given two different brine recipes.  One with curing salt, one without.  Which way to go is the question!
 

mdboatbum

Master of the Pit
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Joined Apr 22, 2011
 
So, I've been given two different brine recipes.  One with curing salt, one without.  Which way to go is the question!
Entirely up to you. Both will be delicious. Maybe since it's your first go with turkey start off with JJ's brine and then experiment with curing later.
 

heyer5

Meat Mopper
230
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Joined May 4, 2011
Do I need to boil the brine and let it cool before I put the turkey in it, or can I just mix the seasonings up and dump the turkey breast in?
 

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