More first time turkey advice needed ;)

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

  1. torkey

    torkey Newbie

    Alright, i just posted my intro thread not 5 mins ago and signed up for the 5 day ecourse...unfortunately, thanksgiving isnt 5 days away hahaha. I have found the answers to most the questions i've had on here but had juuuuust a few more. I plan on using the brine recipe that Travcoman put up in another thread, it sounds excellent. However, Is it ok to use with a turkey that has already been injected w salt, sugar etc etc? I dont want to brine it for 24 hours and have it come out too salty. But on the other hand, I want to brine it so we're not eating shoe leather come thursday lol.

    Next, after telling my wife to grab an 11-12 lb turkey, she comes home with a 15 pounder..[​IMG] I know that optimal is around 12, and you shouldn't try to smoke a turkey that big due to potential bacteria growth. But am I gonna be in trouble w a 15 pound turkey? Its just a matter of whether Im going to be running back to the store I plan on cooking at 285-300 degrees in order to get a crispier skin, so if I cook at the upper end of this, it should help me avoid being in that window for too long, right? or will that still not cut it?

    And lastly (for right now ;) im sure ill be back w a few more later, but i have to get back to studying for an exam lol. I know this one comes down more to preference, but as far as wood goes, I dont think the family coming in wants meat that has TOO strong of a smokey taste, so I was thinking of using dry pecan logs, and wet applewood chunks. Does this sound like an Ok wood combo for the turkey that wont overpower it too much, but still give it a good flavor? And Im also curious how much wood is TOO much? Like would you just throw a small log and a couple chunks of apple on every hour or so? And how many bags of charcoal will be necessary to cook a bird this size through? Can I get away with just one? (sorry for the Newb questions, I just found out yesterday that Im going to be in charge of getting the turkey right for this holiday hahaha)
  2. gemohler

    gemohler Newbie

    Go ahead and brine it..dont be afraid to use a normal brine, the commercial brining wont be very aggressive at all. Do NOT, NOT..brine it. :)

    15lbs will be ok, just smoke it hot, 300-325, after 140, then you can come down some if you need to stretch for time.

    I like apple, but hey, it wont _pollute_ the bird if you use a heavy smoke..but sure, start small, play later.

    You'll do fine.
  3. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So are you saying to brine or not?[​IMG]
  4. gemohler

    gemohler Newbie

    DO brine it..heh..

    Dont, not..not..NOT do ig?


    Always brine it.
  5. torkey

    torkey Newbie

    thanks for the input! now i gotta try and find some apple
  6. raceyb

    raceyb Smoking Fanatic

    just make sure to brine for 10-12 hours and get it out of there. Before brining, let it soak in cold water and ice for a few hours to leech some of the enhancement out of the bird before brining.

    As Ron said, get that smoker hot, maybe double the amount of coals to start so you get that bird out of the danger zone asap.

    Good luck!
  7. torkey

    torkey Newbie

    excellent..thanks for the tip...any amount of time necessary to soak in the cold water and Ice?
  8. raceyb

    raceyb Smoking Fanatic

    Thats debateable. At least for a few hours. Some say to switch water every hour.

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