First Turkey - in the WSM with Q-view.

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by bass, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. bass

    bass Fire Starter

    OK  I'm a newbie at smoking in general (although I bought the WSM 2 years ago) in general does not give me that many days where I have extended stretches of time around the house to tend a smoker.   

    Anyhow here goes:  

    12 lb butterball.  Brined for 12 hours in 1/2 cup kosher salt & 1/2 gallon of water.  After cutting out the backbone the whole bird fit in this big stainless steel bowl I have and 1/2 gallon of water was adequate to cover.   taped it in foil and put him back in the fridge overnght.  

    This morning before heading out to band rehearsal I pulled him out, rinsed and patted dry.   used the Jeff Phillips basic BBQ rub recipe and rubbed down the bird, getting the rub under the skin and onto the meat.   Back in the fridge until I got back from rehearsal at 11.  

    Onto the WSM, I used a mix of apple wood and hickory wood as smoke woods, and I burn briquettes as fuel.   

    here's a photo of about 2 hours in.  At this point I have a small spray bottle loaded up with apple cider and every time I lift the lid I hose it down with cider.   

    Here's the bird fresh off the smoker.   The skin is a bit dark but I'm hungry.   Its dead now and I'm ready to eat.  

    All carved up and ready for the table.  

    Lousy cell phone pix.  Some people get good pix with a cell phone.  I don't.   

    Anyway, the wife made homemade sweet potato biscuits and cooked up a big pot full of collard greens to go with the bird.   

    The meat is moist and flavorful.   Even the white meat is outstanding and generally I stay away from the white meat as its apt to be dry and not as much flavor.  

    Is the dark skin normal / not a concern?   


  2. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great,I have yet to smoke a turkey but they generally get a little darker like yours it's fine. Thumbs Up
    bass likes this.
  3. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice smoke ! What temp ya smoke that bird at ? Ya know as far as brines, to each their own... However that being said, consider maybe tossing a few more things in your brine to experiment... Dark brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, peppercorns, celery seed... the possibilities & combos are endless... LOL !
  4. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Another member here posted his brine... I add a few things to it, but it's a dang nice brine to go with....

    Slaughterhouse Poultry Brine By Tip Piper of Hillbilly Vittles
    1 ½ Gal Water
    ½ C Salt - Kosher
    ½ C Dark Brown Sugar
    2 tsp Garlic Powder
    2 tsp Onion Powder
    2 tsp Cajun Spice (Louisiana Cajun Seasoning)
    2 tsp Celery Seed
    bass likes this.
  5. bass

    bass Fire Starter

    Temps....well I try to target to keep the lid thermometer at its mid scale of the "smoke range" as indicated, or - an indicated 225 (F). 

    I saw temps on that lid thermometer average between 225 to 250 for the most part.  I did have one spike up to 320 at one point and also had a dip to around 200.   I have an Omega type K thermocouple inserted into the breast about 1/2 way into the smoke and I use that to gauge when its done.   I got the WSM fired up this morning about 11 am and the bird was on the cooker by 11:30; came off around 5 pm and let it rest for 1/2 hr before slicing.  

    I'll send you a virtual turkey sandwich on made of thigh meat on one of the biscuits.   just wait for it.   [​IMG]

    Sometimes when I first started smoking I would tie off a second thermocouple onto the lower grate to give me a smoker temperature, but I saw more fluctuations with that so I generally don't bother any more and run off the lid mount.  

    ​I'd like to set up a temperature controller, but I'm not willing to spend $350 for one of the commercially available units.   I can pick up a basic PID universal process controller from eBay & build my own; that way when I eventually have a probe failure I know what type to buy without second guessing it.   
  6. bass

    bass Fire Starter

    nice looking recipie, I'll have to bookmark this one.  [​IMG]
  7. halfsmoked

    halfsmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    sometimes sugar will cause things to be darker like in the cider I once brined a turkey in cider before deep frying and that thing turned jet black it was good and very moist but not pretty.

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