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Why is my Turkey Black?

equinn

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Hi All,

I have seen posts about black turkey on here, and I think it boils down to the quality of the smoke.  There's stuff about not overloading the hopper, and opening the exhaust, etc.  But I have a pellet smoker, that is supposed to feed the pellets in by an auger all automatic-like.  When the smoker is turned off, it automatically cleans the fire box. How can I adjust the smoke quality?

I used apple wood pellets from Camp Chef and I set the temperature to 225 and I waited about 2 hours (I always wait at least 30 minutes to make sure the temp stays stable because I had an incident one time with the temperature sensor).  Then I put in my birds (actually 2 bone in breasts about 8 pounds each).  After about an hour, they were black.  They tasted fine, mind you.  But they weren't very appealing with that black skin.  Sorry, I have no pics.

So how can I get them to be a nice golden brown AND have a nice smoke flavor?  I'm looking to do another one for Christmas.

Appreciate any advice.

Thanks.
 

dirtsailor2003

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Several things can cause the skin to go black. Smoke quality is one item. Sugar in the rub, or brine is another, especially when cooking at higher temps.

Your smoke should be very light, thin blue to not being able to see it all. White smoke is bad.
 

gary s

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You have a Pic ?   Keeping your Chimney damper closed or almost closed causes stale smoke and makes for a dark smoke,

Here is mine I did in my RF using Oak with a little Hickory

After you get the color you are looking for tent your bird with foil, that will really help in not let it getting any darker,

 

marctrees

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Ballpark 300f +   for poultry. For skin goodness to eat.

Equinn -      Blackness is usually due to sugar on surface.

I LOVE sweetened meats, but the sugar content of your applications whatever they are, rubs, sauce, etc., Will blacken.

We often make "sweet steak"

Chuck steak crosshatch cut like Waffle fries,see through like a screen  if you pick it up, covered in Soy sauce  and ketchup and LOTSA brown sugar, garlic, coarse black pepper.

Tends to turn black on edges,  but not overly burned  sugar tasting.

But clearly beginning to "caramelize", slightly beginning to "Burn".

If you want sweet on anything, put on last half hour or so.

Like if at 225, last hour. Maybe 90 minutes.

If hotter, like 300, last 30 - 45  minutes. Marc
 
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marctrees

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The GaryS photo is about the ideal target, w/o sugary sauce.

W Sugar, will be darker.   Marc
 

equinn

Newbie
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Joined Nov 29, 2016
So I bought a new temp probe. This one has both the grill and meat temps. Set the smoker to 275 and my thermometer says it's 322. Which one should I go by?

I opened up the exhaust as far as it will go and I only see the heat coming from there. A wee bit of smoke. Assuming that's right?
 

marctrees

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I wanted to check, yet again, after a few months, my Polder.

To lazy to boil water.

Wiped it off on my T shirt been wearin for 3 days, and put under my tongue.

Settled at 98.7, close enough for me.    Marc
 

equinn

Newbie
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Joined Nov 29, 2016
So it's at 300 with the exhaust wide open. I'm using apple wood. This is what the chicken looks like after an hour. I'm very sad now.
 

Bearcarver

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Hmmm, The Turkeys that often walk through my yard are black too, but they're Wild & still have their Black feathers on.


Bear
 

chef jimmyj

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Sugar can't burn at temp below 320. Honey can as low as 225. If your temps are accurate, exhaust open, all that is left is the brand of Pellets being used. Try somehing else...JJ
 

dirtsailor2003

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Or something isn't working right with the pellet smoker.
It almost appears that the fire pit is getting overloaded with pellets and they aren't burning properly. An inefficient burn would produce awful smoke that could cause that too.

Are the pellets you are using 100% apple wood or is there a filler?
 

equinn

Newbie
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Joined Nov 29, 2016
Well they say 100% applewood. They're from Camp chef. When looking at the exhaust it was almost clear. I thought that was what I needed. I don't think it's carmelized sugar or honey because I can wipe some of the black off.
 

sqwib

Smoking Guru
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It's soot.
Try less smoke.
Try different pellets.
Make sure chicken skin is dry once in the smoker.
Place a baffle or something next to the poultry in the path of the smoke to deflect smoke

If it happens again squirt with some water and wipe down the poultry and Pat dry.
 
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dirtsailor2003

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What brand of pellet smoker are you using? When was the last time you cleaned out the fire pot? Door can also form from the pelllets being overloaded into the fire pot and not burning completely. There may be an issue with the auger.
 

marctrees

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That's somekinda layman's terms "Soot"

Black crap smoke.

I'm a newbie, someone help here.

Intake air shut off or WTH ???

Dang, the stuff that can happen.  

Something very odd. 

Was that REALLY @ 300 for an hour??????

Looks like a cold singed deadddd  Karkass.

So sorry.

Also, did someone drive over it?        

Nothing good to say, Very sorry,  Ban me maybe for insolence.    Marc

I see tread marks.

May or may not be Positraction. (My Cousin Vinny) reference.

Marc
 
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