Hickory & Turkey?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by planethill, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. Hey All,

    Like most of you I was planning on smoking a Turkey for the upcoming holiday. I can't seem to get anything but Hickory & Mesquite locally, so I mail ordered some Applewood (and Alder for a future Salmon). Well, lo and behold, UPS has notified me that due to an "exception" they it will be arriving on the 30th. <sigh>

    I have plenty of Hickory. Will this overpower a Turkey, or should I go on a mad hunt for Applewood?


  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Bummer on the smoke wood delivery...

    I've done one turkey with straight hickory...very, very light smoke for only about 2 hours. It was good, but now that I know what apple or cherry can do to a bird, I would opt for either of them over hickory.

    I did one with mesquite as well, and that was an overpowering flavor...very heavy for a domesticated bird.

    Go light with the hickory if all alse fails...good luck!

  3. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I think you would be fine with hickory, just dont add too much. It does not take much wood to impart a flavor. What kind of smoker are you using? A stick burner? Electric, gasser?
  4. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Both above are correct- mesquite is too strong for poultry unless you want to give it a 30 min smoke over it maximum. Even then, I'd recommend against it, however you may like the intensity.

    Cherry is my favourite for poultry. Real nice flavour and colour.

    Nothing wrong with hickory, just take it easy on your bird.
  5. newb

    newb Smoke Blower

    What about using some bradley pucks in apple or cherry? Granted it would be expensive but...

    You may need to soak it, foil it or just toss in on a couple lumps of charcoal...guess it depends on what your rig is.
  6. It's the "Perfect Flame" propane smoker from Lowe's. I have smoked a ton of butts and chickens, and man do I love it! Thermometer was way off though.

    So it sounds like Hickory should be OK, just go easy. So, only 2 hours of smoke then for a small (9 Pound) Turkey? Normally I refill and do four.
  7. irish dog

    irish dog Newbie

    Newbie? I been smokin for 25+ years!

    I got what I call a sweet wood mix. I use sugar maple, cherry, peach, and plum. Some times I change out the maple with oak. But this next one I am goiing with a 75% plum and 25% maple because I am using a molasis based brine. I found that with turkey or chickens with a sweet brine really brings out the flavors of the fruit woods. I got a 14lb-er will brine about 18 hrs and smoke @ 280 for 7hrs If you can get your hands on some plum wood I highly encourage you to. Baby Backs and plum with my special rub and BBQ sauce
    OU- LA-LA!
  8. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If ya like a stronger smoke (fer personal use I do) hickory is the choice an I never cut back on it. But this all relates ta yer personal choice, bout all ya can really do is try it an see if it's to strong fer yer tastes. The good part about that is ya get ta eat the experiment![​IMG]
  9. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    All apple for me this year, Just wish I could find chunks instead of chips locally.
  10. irish dog

    irish dog Newbie

    Drive around till you find a apple tree with some dead branches on it an go tell the owner that you will prune his tree for him if you can keep the wood then cut up some chuncks. I have done this before and the wood is ready to burn
  11. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have to go with Tip on this one, I like hickory on just about everything...
  12. Hmmm...well therein lies the rub.

    Me: I like things STRONG. I like the smoky/peaty Scotch like Lagavulin and Laphroaig. I LOVE Habanero's and grow my own. I enjoy a good Indian Curry or a killer Thai meal...the kind that wakes you up at 3am! When I drink beer, gimme an IPA with lots-o-hops!

    My Family? Ketchup is too spicy for my wife, and my kids would rather have a plate of boiled noodles w/butter than just about anything else!

    How did I end up with such a taste-bland family?

    So...if it were just ME eating, I would probably Hickory smoke the crap out of it. BUT...since I am feeding a family of 5 with "sensitive" palates, I will probably hold back and do 2.

    OK maybe 3. [​IMG]
    sargango likes this.
  13. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    If ya like it that strong go for mesquite! [​IMG]

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