Lo-salt Cured and Smoked Turkey

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by pops6927, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Since I've had a second stroke a few weeks ago, I have to make some changes in my diet and the way I do things.  I don't want to give up the one hobby I truly enjoy, I just have to make some modifications.  You may see me come out with some crazy (who, me?) new methods trying to reduce fats and calories in smoked foods and I will certainly let you know how bad it is BEFORE you try anything I post, I promise![​IMG]

    My first attempt will be a lo-salt cured and smoked turkey.

    I bought a small hen turkey (about 12 lbs) and thawed it then put it down to pickle.  However I cut the amount of salt in ½.  My 'normal' recipe calls for:

    1 cup salt

    1 cup sugar*

    1 cup brown sugar*

    1 tbsp DQ cure

    1 gallon water

    This time I made up my cure with half the salt:

    ½ cup salt

    1 cup sugar*

    1 cup brown sugar*

    1 tbsp DQ cure 

    1 gallon water

    (I substitute Splenda® for regular sugar and brown sugar as I am diabetic)

    I am trying it out on my unsuspecting family Monday... my oldest son is having his annual get together for Labor day as it's his birthday also and that's what I'm bringing!

    I will be doing subsequent turkeys this fall and may try to cut it down another 50% to ¼ cup; I'll let you know!
     
  2. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'll just bet that's going to work out just fine, Pops!  What kind of cure is DQ?  I may have to try your method as I've never cured a turkey.  Don't forget the pics.
     
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This is Great Pops !

    A step by step on anything you cook would be appreciated by many of us.

    That promise is a must too---I like that.

    This will be more for my "How To" file,

    Bear
     
  4. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These are pics of my maiden smoke with the smokehouse doing a cured chicken and turkey.  The pics I'll be posting tomorrow won't look like these, they will be much darker in the smokehouse, it's already well used!

    DQ cure is through Butcher Packer

    http://www.butcher-packer.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=237_12&products_id=56

    As it says in the description

    "..All pink tinted cures have the same sodium nitrite concentration, which is 6.25%. Prague Powder # 1, Insta-Cure, Modern Cure are all the same. The pink color is not what gives the meat a reddish hue - that is done by the curing process. Using DQ CURE, your sausage will be ready to cook or smoke as soon as you have it stuffed (there is no need to wait). When used in a brine solution, the reason for allowing the product to set for 24 hours is to make sure that all of the curing compounds have had a chance to be distributed evenly into the meat. After the meat has been cured and cooked, it will have a longer shelf life than uncured cooked meat. Use 4 oz per 100 lb.

    Note: some books reference  this product as DC Cure  or DC Curing Salt. .."
     
  5. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Pops, I'm looking forward to the end result. I've been avoiding salt as much as possible the last few years myself. Thanks.
     
  6. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Turkey is on, 4:30 am.  Took it out of the brine, rinsed it off and let it drain in the sink while I got a stockinette (you can buy 100 of them from Butcher Packer) and a ham hook (ditto), then hung in smokehouse, a few progressive views;

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ... and will reside there until done.  I will probe it in about 4 hours.  Being pickled it won't be affected to much extent with the danger zone, even though it only has half the salt content, it still has the full measure of curing salt which is the main factor. 
     
  7. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Probed the turkey and it's going good, 135° at 10:30 am, getting some color too!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Target time will be 2pm, should be around 170° to 180°, and can hold it running only one burner vs. two at around that temp if need be, but should be done in plenty of time and take it hot to the party!  You can see the thin blue, just added a couple more wood chunks.
     
  8. rw willy

    rw willy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Looking good.

    Congrats on taking a huge change in stride.  Don't give up your hobby, I enjoy your pictorials too much.

    Thanks
     
  9. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Got it smoked, taking it to the son's house!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Letcha know it tastes!
     
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You're still the man Pops!

    Nothing can look that good without tasting GREAT !

    Bear
     
  11. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The turkey received a good reception... tried to get some carving pics, but by the time the smoke cleared, this is what was left...

    [​IMG]

    Guess the lo-salt was a big hit!  Everyone said it was the best one I've ever done!

    Thank you so much for viewing in!
     
  12. arnie

    arnie Smoking Fanatic

    Nicely done, Pops!

    I have been looking into trying lower sodium smokes also, but have not taken the plunge yet.

    I looked at substituting Splenda® for the sugar, but was scared off by the price.

    Is there an economical way to lower the sugar or am I just going to have to suck it up and go it?

    Thanks for blazing the trail.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  13. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pops, good to know you're still in the game. Thanks for the heath tips, I know there are some of us who will make good use of your information. Kepp up the with the great postinghs.

    Rich
     
  14. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

      You can get the Walmart brand of Splenda®, that's what I use and it's about 20% cheaper.  Have you had your glucose tested lately? Being diabetic it's a must-do for me, regardless the price.  See my thread or Wiki on Risk Factors for Strokes for more information.
     
     
  15. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pops, thanks for the info on the DQ.  I have used Tender Quick and Insta Cure #1, just hadn't heard of the others.  Good looking turkey you have there.
     
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey Pops,

    That low-salt pickle must really be bad for the health of the Turkey though.

    Look at your last picture---Nothing left of him but bones![​IMG]

    Great job,

    Bear
     
  17. arnie

    arnie Smoking Fanatic

    After two years of stabbing my fingers I am weaning myself away from it (dropped it 25 points).

    It took a new doctor and a lot of hard work, but the weight is down and I am now off of most of the meds I was taking.

    I am still wrestling a bit with cholesterol and triglyceride, but I feel much better. 

    Your point is well taken. The Wiki is both well done and informative.

    Thanks and I’m glad you’re getting back up to snuff, I have much to learn.
     
  18. northern greenhorn

    northern greenhorn Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Nice bird Pops, and thanks for all the great info, I'm not a big salt fan, so I'll try your brine next time.
     
  19. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Pops - I'm a little confused, so is DQ the same thing and the Prague Powder #1? That's what I have and was wondering if it would be the same? Also where do you get the net bags you hang the turkeys in? Thanks!
     
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Squirrel,

    Cure ----Post #4

    Starts out "All Pink Tinted Cures"........

    Link to net bags----Post #6
     

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