First time trying a turkey

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by jefmker, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. jefmker

    jefmker Fire Starter

    I am going to try and smoke a turkey for the first time this weekend. Was going to get about a 10 pounder and give it a go. I have the MES with the vent mod.
    My plan was as follows:
    1. brine the turkey overnight, inject some of the brine into bird
    2. set temp to 225
    3. smoke the crap out of it for 3 hours(mesq. and apple wood).
    vent at top would be completly open during smoke time
    4. leave vent at top just a bit open and cook until int. temp of bird is 170

    I figure pretty much closing the vent will keep enough moisture in as well as create a little 'bark' on the skin. Don't really care about the time it takes as I've realized you can't smoke based on time.

    I'm having difficulty coming up with a brine. I've shot some wild turkeys and we just brine those in a bucket of ice water with a bunch of salt in it. Heard alot about combining spices and such, anyone have a good recommendation on a brine.

    So what do you guys think of me gameplan. Appreciate everyone's time.
     
  2. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds like you have a good plan jefmker!

    I make a brine by starting out with the basic 8 cups of water, 1/4 cup of kosher salt and 1/2 cup of sugar.....then you can add any of your favorites.
    Some of my favorites are garlic cloves, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, honey, chapotles.....I just pick a few that I like and throw into the pot.[​IMG]

    I usually brine overnight.
     
  3. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I forgot to add....take pictures for us.[​IMG]
     
  4. jefmker

    jefmker Fire Starter

    Anyone think that stuffing the bird with say carrots, onions, banana peppers, that sort of thing would add any flavor?
     
  5. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I do not brine due to a salt issue, but usually inject marinade like mojo into the butterball.

    Breast meat cooks faster than dark meat. Shoot for 160 (USDA states 165*) degrees internal for just breast meat. If doing a whole bird. If you place breast DOWN, then dark meat will cook faster. You can still go for 16o to 165 internal temp and the dark meat should be hotter around 165 to 170*
     
  6. wilson

    wilson Meat Mopper

    I always stuff my bird with cut up onions, apples and sometimes oranges. really don't know if it adds any flavor or not, no body has every complained and I'm pretty sure it cant hurt [​IMG] .
    Good luck with you first smoked turkey.
    Ron
     
  7. jefmker

    jefmker Fire Starter

    do any of you guys put a rub on the turkey after you brine but before putting in the smoker?
     
  8. fat sal

    fat sal Fire Starter

    Hey, Jefmker:

    You mentioned that you are looking for a spiced brine. Two Christmases ago, my bro and I make this recipe:

    http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/turkey6.html

    We did it on a GOSM, rather than a WSM. It was fabulous; especially the brine. I highly recommend it, as do many others on the virtualweberbullet site.

    If that one doesn't appeal to you, http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/index.html has some other recipes (e.g., basic brine, honey brine, etc.).

    Good luck, and post pix.

    BTW...Wild Turkey often has the effect of brining me, rather than the other way around. :-O

    Sal
     
  9. msmith

    msmith Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    jermker rub it with olive oil and then your rub of choice and inject it with Tony C's creole and butter you will like it.
     
  10. ron50

    ron50 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    NY
    Here is the brine I use:

    1 gallon water
    1/2 cup kosher salt
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    1/2 cup orange juice
    1 orange cut into 1/4's and squuezed into brine
    freshly ground black pepper
    rosemary

    You can stuff it with some cut up oranges and smoke it over orange wood enhances the flavor from the oj and gives it a nice golden color.
     
  11. ajthepoolman

    ajthepoolman Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Rub mayo or Miracle Whip on the outside then sprinkle on some of Jeff's Famous Rub.

    I have had chicken this way and it is great. I am smoking my first turkey this year as well. I am going to use this method.

    Tell ya what, let's practice. I am over here in Topeka. I'll drive up and sample the bird after you finish smoking it! No charge.
     
  12. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

  13. jefmker

    jefmker Fire Starter

    with everyone's suggestions and looking through other posts I think I might go it as follows:
    Turkey->11lb 7%solution
    1. Brine overnight in the following, per gallon of water:
    1/4 cup kosher salt
    3/4 teaspoon Tony C's Cajun Seasoning
    2. pat dry and rinse
    3. inject with 'Cajun Injector Roasted Garlic and Butter' marinade
    4. rub with a bit of either the following:
    Smokin' Guns BBQ Rub (Mild)
    Rib Stars Chicken Rub
    5. Mesquite and apple smoke at 225 or 250 for 3 hours with vent open
    6. close vent until int. temp reaches 170

    Plan on doing this Saturday as I hope to be enjoying another Kansas Jayhawk football victory over those OSU Cowgirls while i'm eating some good smoked turkey. But I'll have plenty of beer for a backup plan in case the game doesn't go my way and the turkey sucks. I guess either way it's going to end up being a good evening
     
  14. mobcounty

    mobcounty Smoke Blower

    Man, reading your last post just made me hungry... [​IMG]
     
  15. jefmker

    jefmker Fire Starter

    do turkeys 'plateau' like pork/brisket do?
    I put it in at 8:30 this morning at 225 and it's up to int. temp of 134 on the breast. At this rate it should be done around 12:30/1:00. Going off Deb's 30min per pound at 250, this should take about 5 1/2 hours for an 11lb bird. But it looks to be more at only about 4 hours.

    I know you can't go off the time but this doesn't seem to be taking as much time as I thought.
     
  16. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sure can. What's the grate level temp?
     

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