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 Post subject: Smoking a turkey
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:24 am 
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Wrangler
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I have been given the task of preparing the turkey for this thanksgiving. I would like to make a few practice runs at this before hand. Just wondering a few things.

1. What seasonings?

2. temp?

3. How long?

4. What wood?

5. Foil?

6. How will I know its finished?

Thanks in advance for your help

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking a turkey
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:15 am 
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Bandolero
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Location: Plano TX
MOST IMPORTANT find you a good brine recipe theres plenty on here Im sure
wood I use pecan Academy has 40 lb bags for 10 bux. I want to try apple next time lots of people use it.

google turkey rub or if theres a rudys near you they have a good one or try Sucklebusters HOOCHIE MAMA

right before putting it on stuff a BUNCH of butter under the skin all over let it baste you may want to spray it with some apple juice once an hour or so
cook till temp is right I think its 165 in the breast and 175 in the thigh im sure someone will chime in but i think thats where ya want it.
the last hour or so you may want to crank up the temp and cook it breast side down to crisp up the skin I did not foil mine no need too really just remeber to keep your stack vent wide open and control head with the intake on the firebox. Turkeys probably dont take stale smoke well\
Mine too about hours I think
good luck
gobble gobble

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking a turkey
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:28 am 
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Chuck Wagon
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Location: Jonesboro,Tx
Lots of ways to get it done this is mine
Unpack and wash the bird remove the giblet pack, wash inside & out under cold running water
Spatchcock; Remove the Back bone wish bone and wing tips( save for stock for gravy)
Inject the bird with Butter (the real stuff) or Creole Butter
Season with Tony Cacheres and lightly brush all over with oil
Bring the pit to 325 put the bird on skin side up insert a thermo probe into the thickest part of the breast I like Pecan for flavor or a fruit wood during the first hr. A 12 lb bird will cook in about 6 hrs depending on you fire management. Close the pit and maintain temp I never need foil during a cook.
Cook until the breast reaches 165 pull and remove to the counter and rest under a tent for 30 min before carving.

Some will tell you to brine your bird. Every commercially packed bird I have ever looked at is already brined unless it is a fresh pack. If it is fresh pack brine it if it is a frozen bird IMO a total waste of time.

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking a turkey
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:11 am 
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Wrangler
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Thanks guys.... got some goo advice here. 2 more questions.

1. Water pan or no water pan?

2. Should I put the bird closer to the fire box or the smoke stack?

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I really want to thank every one for taking time out to answer my questions. I grew up with out a dad and had no one to teach me this stuff. You are a great help!


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking a turkey
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:34 am 
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Chuck Wagon
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Location: Jonesboro,Tx
Wild_Bill83 wrote:
Thanks guys.... got some goo advice here. 2 more questions.

1. Water pan or no water pan?

2. Should I put the bird closer to the fire box or the smoke stack?

Never saw the need for a water pan even back in the ECB days


:dont: I don't know you pit Hot spots /Cold spots The important thing is the grate temp at 325, my pit it has a 2 deg variance so it don't much matter. :smokin:

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking a turkey
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:45 am
Posts: 77
BluDawg wrote:
Wild_Bill83 wrote:
Thanks guys.... got some goo advice here. 2 more questions.

1. Water pan or no water pan?

2. Should I put the bird closer to the fire box or the smoke stack?

Never saw the need for a water pan even back in the ECB days


:dont: I don't know you pit Hot spots /Cold spots The important thing is the grate temp at 325, my pit it has a 2 deg variance so it don't much matter. :smokin:

cool....cant wait.

Is over noght brine ok or do you need to brine a big bird for days?

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking a turkey
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:03 pm 
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Cowboy
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Location: Round Rock TX
If you have a brisket rub you like, try mixing it with some poultry seasoning.
x2 on the brine. It helps a lot. There's tons of brine recipe's on here too.

Keep an eye on your bird when you smoke it. If you're skin starts to get too dark you can put some loose foil over it.


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking a turkey
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:55 pm 
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Chuck Wagon
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Location: Jonesboro,Tx
Some will tell you to brine your bird I don't!!! Every commercially packed frozen bird I have ever looked at is already brined. If it is fresh bird, brine it if it is a frozen bird IMO a total waste of time.

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Never met a cow I didn't like with a little salt and pepper.
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My Blog: Http://acountryboyeats.blogspot.com
CharGriller Outlaw/SFB
Webber 22"
Memorial UDS:"Big Jim"


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking a turkey
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:46 pm 
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Bandolero
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Posts: 673
Wild_Bill83, A favorite brine of many folks is Smokin Okie's Holiday brine it is wonderful on turkeys.
http://www.cookshack.com/store/Smokin-O ... c528293334" target="_blank" target="_blank
You will also find a lot of useful information at the site on brining. I brine turkeys with 8% solutions all the time with great success it simply pushes the bird over the top as far as moisture and taste goes. I prefer to use water pans in all my uprights but not in my offsets. The water in the offsets is a great heat sink when needed. For wood on poultry my go to is Oak, or Apple.
I like to use rubs with very little sugar on turkeys especially if presentation is needed. As Dawg mentioned Tony's is a good rub for this. I like to cook my birds in a pan at around 300° to 350° and keep them in the 15lb. range if possible. I also prefer my thighs to reach 170° before tenting and resting.
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I hope this helps. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking a turkey
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:35 am 
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Wrangler
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BluDawg wrote:
Some will tell you to brine your bird I don't!!! Every commercially packed frozen bird I have ever looked at is already brined. If it is fresh bird, brine it if it is a frozen bird IMO a total waste of time.

saw this the first time, guess over looked it lol. Thank you!

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I really want to thank every one for taking time out to answer my questions. I grew up with out a dad and had no one to teach me this stuff. You are a great help!


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking a turkey
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:44 am 
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Bandolero
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:38 pm
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Wild_Bill83 wrote:
BluDawg wrote:
Some will tell you to brine your bird I don't!!! Every commercially packed frozen bird I have ever looked at is already brined. If it is fresh bird, brine it if it is a frozen bird IMO a total waste of time.

saw this the first time, guess over looked it lol. Thank you!

Believe the statement if you like but 8% solution birds will turn to a dried out mistake if your not careful. There are birds like Butterballs that are truly brined with higher solutions of 12% or more. Injections while flavorful are more local meaning where you plug it is where you get it. I do like creole butter for birds that are fried but not smoked.
These are just my thoughts. :D
Good Luck with your bird. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking a turkey
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:51 am 
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Cowboy

Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 1:38 am
Posts: 319
Location: RtCoastTxExPat
FWIW my best smoked turkeys were the ones that ended up with totally inedible skin once they were cooked. +1 whut davidtx said about seasoning under the skin.
Sock the smoke to it and ditch the wrapper!

dub(and use pecan)


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking a turkey
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:50 am 
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Rustler

Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:36 pm
Posts: 178
One tip I picked up from a Weber cookbook is to start the bird breast side down for the fist hour or so. This helps keep the breast from drying out and browns the bottom a bit. Then flip it to breast side up for the rest of the cook. It was meant for kettle roasting, but I can see it working the same for smoking. I smoke my turkey in a roasting pan on a bed of carrots, onions and celery with a bit of stock in the bottom. You get some nice drippings for excellent pan gravy.


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking a turkey
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:30 am 
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Wrangler
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:45 am
Posts: 77
well here she is... seasoned her with Tonys. I actually injected her with Franks red hot and butter. It was the most juicy bird I had ever eaten.

I smoked her at 325 and in three hours she was ready to come off. She was fully cooked but the meat at the bottome was a bit rough to come off. The breast meat was really amazing. Should I have gone with a lower temp and longer time?

http://i.imgur.com/xar7T.jpg

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I really want to thank every one for taking time out to answer my questions. I grew up with out a dad and had no one to teach me this stuff. You are a great help!


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking a turkey
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:04 am 
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Chuck Wagon
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:55 am
Posts: 3293
Location: Jonesboro,Tx
If your cooking the bird Whole( not spatchcocking) use an aluminum pan with a rack in the bottom next time to shield it from th blast of heat. If your happy with the flavor and the moistness that would be my only change.

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Never met a cow I didn't like with a little salt and pepper.
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My Blog: Http://acountryboyeats.blogspot.com
CharGriller Outlaw/SFB
Webber 22"
Memorial UDS:"Big Jim"


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