Turkey in new RecTec - early Canadian TG this SAturday

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by sparksals, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. We just got our new RecTec.  Canadian TG is in october (I live in the US), but I am doing it early b/c I will be crazy busy in October.  We have 16 people coming over on Saturday.  I have 2 - 15lb Turkeys.  

    We also have a MES that we enjoyed learning on, but found the unstable temp stressful b/c I could never tell what the exact temp was for timing.  A 13 lb turkey was done in 4 to 6 hours in the MES.  Since I could never tell the actual temp. I can't use that as a gauge.

    We got a cookbook with our RecTec, but it doesn't have  recipe for smoking, only roasting a stuffed turkey.  Can I smoke a stuffed turkey on the RecTec?  I know it is not advised in the MES.

    How long do I do two 15 lb turkeys?  What temp do I start?  Do I need to add more pellets?I know there are guidelines for temp to a certain point after 4 hours for food safety.

    I would appreciate instructions on Time, temp etc for two 15 lb turkeys.  I am looking forward to having my oven free for everything else!

    We got two very large bags of pellets.  One is a hickory/apple/Cherry mix the other is a hard wood mix.  What do we use the hard wood mix for?
  2. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This is my honest opinion  and should be used as such...!st. a MES won't get the temps. needed for a crisp Skin ( if that matters to you ), 275*F  to 300*F is optimal for crispy skin . The Turkeys CAN b done in your unit at the highest temp. your unit

    settings will go . . . then you can place it a Gas Grill to crisp it up !

    I will usually not worry about the skin ,  as  many folks discard it to the side of their plate for the Pets.

    Use a good probe type thermometer in the Breast ( as deep as possible without touching the 'Bone' . Cook until it reaches 165*F and wrap , (foil ,towels and in a warmed cooler -hot water) . this will hold for several hrs. , while the rest of the meal is


    * note ,  the wish bone can be removed before cooking to make carving much easier .

    Send Q-view of your cook ... You asked about Stuffing ? Only if Stuffing is (cooked) before inserting into the cavity). Do this sid3 dish in a foil pan (over the Turkey) and add cooked juices after the Smoke and broil in the oven at last min. to get a

    toasty top...( nothing under Poultry) .

    I suggest the C/A/H blend for a great flavor . Let the  Birds sit side by side , if possible  or one on each rack if space is limited , they will cook in approx. the same time , but go by Temperature within the Breast , 165*F is done here , leaving a moist

    meat on the finished product.  The Thigh will be around 165*F and good to go . . .

    Don't rush things , just hold on with the door shut until your done temp. is  reached , then check temp. check temp. in several places to confirm donness .

    Enjoy and Happy faux Thanksgiving day...
  3. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  4. I must not have been clear.  I will be using our new RecTec.  We used the MES previously.  I got crispy skin from that, which tells me the temp was higher than 225.   Sorry to be confusing.  I tried to explain I used the MES before, but can't gauge the time the RecTec will take b/c of the difference in temp.

    I need to know how many minutes per pound at 225  two 15 pounders will take in the RecTec.
  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I can only echo what the master above says.

    The biggest suggestion I have, get a remote thermometer, they are only like 30 bucks, and they not only guarantee safety, but a pretty delicious meal also no matter how bad life gets.

    I have never seen or used a Rec-Tec, maybe someone could help you that has one. I have not really used a pellet smoker. The AMPs is as close as I have come.

    My second biggest suggestion is get a chicken and cook it this week as a warm up.

    Here is a time and temp chart. I don't really recommend it for a first smoke. you have to take into effect the weather, the pit, the meat, the modifiers used, etc....  But here is a chart for when there is no other help available. A remote thermometer is the best way to go! Buy one and every time you smoke just smile and think if the idiot who talked you into it.

    IMHO the hardwood mix would be for long smokes like butts or brisket. The apple cherry is great on fowl, making a beautiful colored skin. BUT the hickory can be extremely harsh in a short smoke because most folks just can't use a light touch when laoding it. Seriously use a light hand with the pellets on your first smoke until you can better reconize the smoke's flavor. LIght handed with hickory with fowl. Nothing ruins a smoke like too much smoke.

    I very seldom ever stuff fowl, but when I do, both are pre-cooked. I bet your bride makes great stuffing/dressing, let her bask in some of the glory. Believe me its better than you trying to do it all.

    I wish I could help more.

    Remember to enjoy the smoke, and Bon Chance.
  6. BTW, I did a pork butt today to christen the RecTec.  Didn't do it for pulled pork.  Put it in at 225 at 1 PM and it was ready at 7 PM.  Nice and juicy and OH so tasty!

  7. thanks for that info.  It came with a Maverick and I already have one as well, so I have two to monitor the temp.  
  8. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It really then doesn't matter if you smoke it at 200 or 350 just cook it till it get around 160+ knowing its going to coast on up after pulling depending upon how fast you were smoking it. Personally I am a low and slow fan,  200/210 it will take awhile, but its well worth it.

    Also, even if you do not brine, make sure and dehydrate your birds skin, it will form what is called a pellicle before smoking. you can do it by either washing and drying the bird the night before and putting it in the reefer uncovered over night, and/or wash and dry then set a fan blowing on it for 30 mins to and hour. You will see the skin start turning yellow and become very tacky. Thats what you want. Its like smoke glue...LOL Then give it a massage with a bit of EVOO just before throwing it on the smoker. That helps the skin cook and dry out some.

    Calibrate your thermometer, boiling H2o. If its is good, you really have little chance of a bad bird. Time it though, watch the outside conditions, use the thermometer as a learning tool and don't let it become a crutch.

    You'll be Ok, just trust the thermometer and ya can't go wrong, and be light handed with that smoke.
  9. The turkeys were a success.  I took your advice and didn't smoke for too long.  I did 3 hours at 225 and then the rest at 325 . Had a nice brown skin, could have had a bit more smoke flavour.  So at least I know I can go a bit longer for the smoky flavour.  The turkey was nice and juicy, even the white meat.  All told, a successful Turkey Maiden Voyage.

    My digital thermometers worked great and displayed how evenly the RecTec cooks.  The temps showed the turkeys were done after about 4 hours, but when I tested the wings and underside, the temp was a bit too low, so I covered with foil and kept in until Ifelt the temp was safe.  I doubled up the foil pans just b/c I didn't want to have a weight issue, so that could have been why the lower part cooked slower.   All in all, it was very good!

  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Tasty looking birds! Been thinking turkey sounds good. Better go find me one to smoke!
  11. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is some nice lookin turkey. If you can do that the first time, how will you top it next time?

    Congrats on the first turkey flight!.
  12. I made some stock but didnt get alot, so I was thinking of getting some utility chickens and smoking them to make stock. Thinking about getting 6 or 8. Has anyone ever done something like that? I love the rich taste of smoky stock and my turkeys didnt have that.

    I imagine several 3lb chickens wouldnt take too long?
  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you are just working for stock, nothing beats an old hen that is boiled till the cartilage melts........ Mom always boiled a hen to make dressing while Pop smoked the turkey. I don't know why you couldn't smoke them a couple a hours before starting the boil. Sometimes when I am after the primo broth, I'll later rip the meat, grind it and make chicken salad.... more good stuff!

    I always boil my smoked turkey bones, joints and skin That is liquid gold for gumbos and now I use it in homemade tamales also!

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