Smoked Turkey Breast for sandwiches with Qview

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by maplemountain q, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. After some thorough advice from fellow SMF'ers, I was able to pull together a successful first attempt at smoking a whole turkey breast/turkey roll for lunch meat sandwiches.  The debate I was having was whether to brine or cure the turkey prior to smoking.  I went the route of the brine as this has served me well for yardbird in the past and I wasn't looking for a ham-flavored meat.  So on to the goods...!

    I purchased a whole, bone-in turkey breast from BJ's and deboned prior to brining.  Can't hurt to get a little knife work in when you can!  I used a brine consisting of water, brown sugar, salt, fresh garlic, black pepper, thyme, and marjoram.  After mixing and cooling, I brined the breasts for approximately 24 hours.

    Resting comfortably in the ziplock spa!

    Once brined, I rinsed with cold water and patted dry.  I then rubbed with olive oil and applied my version of "Pigs Worst Nightmare" that I originally found here: which then led me to here:  I modified it slightly by adding celery seed and italian seasoning that was ran through a spice grinder...however, instead of typical dried apple, I sliced mine thin on a mandolin, smoked for a few hours, and then dried and ran through a blender.  I'm happy with it so far!

    After applying the rub, I sprinkled about a tablespoon of plain gelatin on each cut side of the breast and tied the two together to form a roll.  I didn't plan ahead very well or I would've found netting to use instead.  Regardless, it simply took a little extra time to tie and form the roll.  I applied more rub then let it rest for several hours prior to smoking.

    All dressed up and looking for a place to go!

    Fired up the MES using bourbon barrel chips.  I was looking to get a hardy smoke since it was going to be a relatively quick cook time.  Once the smoker stabilized, in went the meat.  Using Jeff's guidelines, I held a constant temp. of approximately 240 degrees.  After about 3.5 hours and hitting 161 degrees I pulled the meat and wrapped to allow it to hit 165 degrees.  

    Sweet and smoky!

    After wrapping and cooling overnight, I was super anxious for that first cut to see the inside...

    Perfect!  I love the contrast of color between the white meat and the rub that is created by forming the two breasts into one roll.  Overall, it was a good first run with a meat like this and will definitely do it again.  Next time, I would like to use a heavy pepper rub.  I chose this rub though because a pastrami was next up in the smoker, but that's for another post!
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
    foamheart and bearcarver like this.
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    That is some fine looking Turkey Roll. Thanks for sharing how u did it.

  3. aceoky

    aceoky Smoking Fanatic

    That looks amazing!
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Why the gelatin rub between the two pieces of meat? Does it form a barrier? Does it cause the meats to stick together?

    Nice job. Nice Q-view. Inspirational
  5.  That looks like a fine job. I just thought I would put in a plug for curing one and giving it a try. I recently did my first cured turkey using Pops'  brine and I was more than pleased with the results. Since you said you were debating whether to cure or not, I figured I would try to nudge you toward giving it a try.

     Also, from reading Pops' posts ( which I never miss) I started hanging things like this in ham bags and I really like that as well.

     Great post. Thanks.

  6. My understanding from other sources was it acts as a binder to hold the pieces of meat together.  However, I think the pieces were too large or I didn't do something correctly because as I was slicing it, half of them fell apart.  The taste was still there though, just would've liked to have it remain intact.  This was my first attempt at this type of meat so I'm taking it easy on myself!
    I agree, the next time I will find the netting or bags like you're referring to.  I think it will produce a better end product than trying to tie with kitchen string.  Another thing I will do next time is include the skin on the meat.  It was giving me fits trying to tie with the skin on but with the netting or bags I will certainly include it.  I believe including the skin will create a better product as well.

    Could you provide a link to Pop's brined recipe?

  7. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    You did an Awesome Job[​IMG], and this is Truly a Great post !![​IMG][​IMG]

    Thanks for showing how you did it !![​IMG]

    Keep up the Great Work!!-----------------[​IMG]

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2014
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pop's recipe is a cure. It's done wet which I guess would also be a brine. I gets confusing. Here's his cure recipe as well as Bear's dry cure.

    There is two excellent tutorials here. Pops which is a brine and BearCarvers which is a rub.

    Here is what I understand, max heat allowable is approx. 140 degrees. The warmer the bacon the better the smoke holds on, but you don't want to "Cook" it or render the fat. So from what I have seen some do cold smoke with a smoke generator the entire smoke. Some of the more seasoned veterans do extended smokes gradually increasing the temp from 100 to approx. 140 carefully watching to not render the bacon.

    Some small amounts of weight loss are generally given to loss of water from curing. Less than 5% seems acceptable.

    Cold smoking can but doesn't require a cooling medium like ice. More normally its achieved by just using a smoke generator with no additional heat from the smoker.

    If you still have questions and don't we all I would suggest you read either:

    Bearcarvers Tutorial

     Craigs Tutorial (Pops Brine)

     These guys are ahead of the curve on makin bacon.

    Rub cure (Bearcarver)

    Brine Cure ( Pops)

    Any fluid that has salt or a dehydrate in it is a brine, salt and sugar being the most common here. There are great brines all over this site for pork, fish, beef, fowl..... The water and the salt and/or sugar are the transfer mediums, and you can then add whatever spices, herbs, extracts, etc. you want to impart into the meat. Its all up to your tastes.
  10. Can we add another day to the weekend? Call it Funday or something. There are just too many fun things I want to try on the smoker. Also the reason my wife limits my time on this site:biggrin:
    Thank you for the great posts!
  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    MMMMMM, now that looks like some fine sandwee makings there! I know that Len Poli talks about using gelatin as a binder, but I have not experimented with it. You can get a 2# bag of Activa meat glue off Amazon for $96 bucks...[​IMG]
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What's wrong with Elmer's school paste, its less than a dollar for a small container and it it comes with its own brush? Talmage Gautreau ate it all the time in grade school, well......... maybe you shouldn't eat it on the other hand.
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    LOL----I think everybody our age went to school with somebody who ate that paste!!!


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