A few Thanksgiving questions

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by bret, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. bret

    bret Newbie

    I'd like to use the Slaughterhouse brine recipe this year.  Do I increase the other ingredients proportionally with the increase in water that I use to cover the birds?  Can anyone suggest a rub to go with this recipe?  What is the best fuel to use in my smoker?  I have a tough time keeping temperature with just charcoal.

    Thank You!
     
  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    See my comments above. If you can give some more info that would help. 
     
  3. bret

    bret Newbie

    Thanks for your help.  I'm going for traditional turkey.  I built my vertical smoker from an old air compressor.  It is 15" diameter by about 3' high.  I've asked about the air flow on here recently and used the advice to add a few intake holes to the side rather than the bottom of the tank.  I look at my store bought smoker and some Weber grills and can't believe I need more air intake; it looks sufficient.  I've used original Kingsford and Cowboy charcoal.  I can get the heat I want when I cut up oak firewood into chunks and use it on top of the charcoal.  It sure has a strong smokiness to it when I do that.

    Thanks.
     
  4. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Here is a turkey with herb butter recipe from Jeff. I will be following my own but similar recipe this year. Should be a more traditional flavored turkey. 

    http://www.smoking-meat.com/november-12-2015-spatchcocked-turkey-with-herbed-butter

    As for the heat issues, I read your other thread. It sounds like you have a similar setup to a UDS. In my UDS I have three separate intakes. Two 3/4" and one 1". I can get over 350 with this much air. I think your problem might just be the draft through the unit as it sounds like you have a large enough opening. Do you have some pictures?
     
  5. bret

    bret Newbie

    Thank you.  I now have five 3/4" holes drilled on the side just below the fire grate.  I used the water pan from my store bought.  The air gap between the pan and the walls is about the same as the original, but maybe that gap needs to be greater.  I'm sorry, I don't have any pictures.
     
  6. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Have you tried it without the water pan? The water will work as a heat sink but in doing that it absorbs a lot of the heat causing the smoker to work harder. 
     
  7. bret

    bret Newbie

    I burned a good fire in it without the water pan after building it.  That was more like a campfire in the tank than a smoking source.  Do you think I should try drilling some holes in the lip of the water bowl to allow for more airflow from the fire to the top of the smoker?
     
  8. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    It is hard to tell since this is a custom build and I haven't seen any pictures of it. If the unit is well sealed and you can accurately control the intake then you should be able to get over 250. How much charcoal are you starting with? When I start my UDS with a full chimney of charcoal it easily gets to 350. 
     
  9. bret

    bret Newbie

    I used about half a bag of Kingsford last dry run.  It is well sealed. 
     
  10. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Half a bag of lit charcoal? Or you put half a bag in then place some lit ones on top? 
     
  11. bret

    bret Newbie

    I did another test run yesterday evening.  I made a charcoal rack this time kind of like the one in your UDS and filled it with about 6 lbs (1/2 bag) and really let it get going this time with the door open and the top off before I scattered it on the cooking grate.  I drilled holes in the lip of the water pan and had a nice base going but still had to add chunks of oak firewood to bring it up to 300.  The wind wasn't very strong but still seemed to keep it from staying at 230-250.  I put the wind screen I used in previous years around it and was able to sustain the temp at 225-240 with no problems.  The disappointing thing about it was that I built this smoker out of that heavy compressor so that I didn't need a wind screen.  I guess I was wrong.  Thanks for the help.
     
  12. bret

    bret Newbie

    It's been a year!  I wanted to let anyone who has followed or helped me with my questions to know what I've done to the smoker since; it's pretty simple.  I bought a 3' double walled chimney pipe from Ace.  It's a 4" diameter pipe, so I got a 3" x 4" coned adapter that snug/gravity fits into my original smoke stack.  I put a 4" chimney flue in toward the bottom so I could reach it.  I have to pull the chimney to remove the top pf the smoker, but the extra draft is the key to maintaining some good heat.  Last year's turkey was great, St. Patrick's day corned beef was great, the Oktoberfest pork loin was great!  I can't wait for this year's turkey.

    I love the Royal Oak with some applewood chunks and the Ivation dual probe wireless thermometer.  Thanks for the quality recommendations on this forum!
     

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