Turkey Question......

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Original poster
Dec 23, 2010
I'm going to do 5 turkey breasts for Christmas on my Smoker Vault..........I usually sear them in a frying pan then put them in the oven.......But resently I got my Vault and I've started to inject my turkey breast now I'm wondering would I be OK to sear them on the stove top then inject them and put them in the smoker..........I really want crispy skin.............I'm worried if I inject first then sear I might lose to much injection in the frying pan and might not crisp up...........I hope that makes sense.............Or am I worrying about nothing and it'll crisp up fine anyways...........I'll be maxing my smoker out at about 370.................I'm guessing it'll take around 1 hr to cook the breasts should I fill my water pan or cook it dry?............Do the water pan effect the skin?...............JHM...........I'm not asking to much am I?...........
If you are wanting crispy skin NO WATER!! I use a SFB style smoker, so I have no experience with a water pan (except when I have put a pot of water on the hot spot in my smoker for like chicken breasts and tenderloin), but I do know filling it will make the air moister and keep the skin from crisping. I would say to use it THEN remove it to crisp, but you are only smoking for an hour. 

As for searing in a pan, and this is highly debated, but I feel most of the smoke enters the meat while it is still relatively cool, so IMO searing it would defeat the purpose of smoking and only leave flavor on the very outer edge. 
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I usually inject ,then smoke and then crisp up the skin on a pit or in the oven.
If you are smoking at over 300 degrees your going to get a crispy skin normally. I might suggest rubbing with EVOO before applying your rub or spices it seems to help with the crispy skin as well
My smoker has a water pan and I use it. The skin on my turkeys is not all that crisp but then again we don't eat the skin so it don't matter. I have smoked with out the water and I did see a deference in the moisture content of the turkeys. I brine my turkeys before I smoke, and when i did the experiment with no water in pan they were more dry, not desert dry but less moist is a better term. Now with that said I have done turkeys for friends who do like the skin and what I did was smoked normally and then placed on the grill for 30 min with high heat and crisped the skin. Before they went on the grill i did rub the skin with EVOO. Hope that helps you out.
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