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The Turkey Thread

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4 minutes ago, BabaYaga said:

Meh, you can use a food-safe plastic liner if you are worried.  I've never had any issues going old school.  Unless you are adding a significant acid to the brine, petrochemicals leaching into the solution.  I've brined in ice chests, styrofoam, and even a rubbermaid chest and lived to tell the tale.... 

Agreed on that.  Been using a Lowe's bucket for years.  Properly sanitized, of course, and it's the only thing I use it for.  Says "Meat Bucket" on the side.  My wife says she's been tempted to use it over the years for various tasks that require a bucket, but...she knows better...

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8 hours ago, Both Tacos said:

I haven't smoked turkey in about 5 years now. Deep fry them. Easy peasy. Inject, throw some Tony's all over it and let it ride in that hot oil for 3.5 minutes per pound (usually I get around a 12 lb. bird). I did 3 this morning (2 for my son's school and 1 for work function) and will do another 3 on thanksgiving. 

Why not both? :) (username doesn't check out, btw)

And for brining, you can buy huge ZIPLOCS too-- that's what I use, makes it easier to fit into smaller spaces in the fridge, especially after spatchcocking.

Edited by utee94

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Re: wet brine - make sure you get the timing right! You want to leave AT LEAST 12 hours to dry your bird in the fridge after it comes out of the brine. I recommend rubbing with a mixture of baking powder and kosher salt before you put it in the fridge to help with the skin. 

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3 hours ago, BabaYaga said:

Meh, you can use a food-safe plastic liner if you are worried.  I've never had any issues going old school.  Unless you are adding a significant acid to the brine, petrochemicals leaching into the solution.  I've brined in ice chests, styrofoam, and even a rubbermaid chest and lived to tell the tale.... 

Just because you didn't die  immediately after doesn't mean you're not wrong dude. 

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3 hours ago, After irth said:

Agreed on that.  Been using a Lowe's bucket for years.  Properly sanitized, of course, and it's the only thing I use it for.  Says "Meat Bucket" on the side.  My wife says she's been tempted to use it over the years for various tasks that require a bucket, but...she knows better...

that was.... ominous.

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4 hours ago, After irth said:

Agreed on that.  Been using a Lowe's bucket for years.  Properly sanitized, of course, and it's the only thing I use it for.  Says "Meat Bucket" on the side.  My wife says she's been tempted to use it over the years for various tasks that require a bucket, but...she knows better...

We're both going to die horribly now.  True story....I also once microwaved Ramen in a plastic bowl and drank creek water when I was four.  Because I'm a fucking savage!

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On 11/15/2018 at 4:45 PM, kevwun said:

I am a big fan of the Tony's butter injection.  It's a lot easier than brining and I really like the flavor it adds.

If you find yourself around an Academy soon, grab this for $3.99. The dry rub it comes with is a lot spicier than Tony's. Salty too though. 

jkk20w.png

 

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Ended up splitting the turkey completely in half and cooking over coals at my parents because they have a covered slab and it was easier with the weather.  Turned out damn good.  I mopped it with what I usually use on chicken and ribs.  Took just at 3 hours to get it done.  Turned out good and would definitely do it again.

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On 11/16/2018 at 9:37 AM, Baboontyme said:

Re: wet brine - make sure you get the timing right! You want to leave AT LEAST 12 hours to dry your bird in the fridge after it comes out of the brine. I recommend rubbing with a mixture of baking powder and kosher salt before you put it in the fridge to help with the skin. 

I've started following the Franklin Barbecue manifesto on turkeys.  I take the skin completely off before brining.  (I save the skin for gumbo stock that I'll later make with the carcass of the aforementioned bird.)  After brining, I add coarse salt and pepper all over the bird and let it dry overnight or so.  Then I smoke the bird until it gets that mahogany color all over.  Pretty finished product -- no "naked" bird just under the skin when you slice and serve it.

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On 11/15/2018 at 5:06 PM, Gil Bang said:

Don't use a bucket from Lowes.  You need a "food safe" bucket.  I got one from a sandwich shop that originally had pickles in it. 

I used a bucket from Lowe’s.  Still got all my fingers and toes.

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If you find yourself around an Academy soon, grab this for $3.99. The dry rub it comes with is a lot spicier than Tony's. Salty too though. 
jkk20w.png
 
Used this last year on a smoked turkey and really liked it.

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1 hour ago, DalTxHornFan said:

I've started following the Franklin Barbecue manifesto on turkeys.  I take the skin completely off before brining.  (I save the skin for gumbo stock that I'll later make with the carcass of the aforementioned bird.)  After brining, I add coarse salt and pepper all over the bird and let it dry overnight or so.  Then I smoke the bird until it gets that mahogany color all over.  Pretty finished product -- no "naked" bird just under the skin when you slice and serve it.

Never heard of this. Interesting. 

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2 hours ago, DalTxHornFan said:

I've started following the Franklin Barbecue manifesto on turkeys.  I take the skin completely off before brining.  (I save the skin for gumbo stock that I'll later make with the carcass of the aforementioned bird.)  After brining, I add coarse salt and pepper all over the bird and let it dry overnight or so.  Then I smoke the bird until it gets that mahogany color all over.  Pretty finished product -- no "naked" bird just under the skin when you slice and serve it.

I’ve started doing that with smoked chicken thighs. They turn out beautiful, and you just don’t have to worry about skin texture, fat rendering, etc. 

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3 hours ago, Landomatic said:

I used a bucket from Lowe’s.  Still got all my fingers and toes.

But your wife keeps texting me about how you once mediocre cock is now outright poor. 

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Was looking here last night on my phone and my wife asked me what I was looking at.

Fear: The Turkey Talk thread

Wife: Any good information?

Fear: No, this is the point in the thread where two or more posters get into a petty argument and start hurling personal insults.

Wife: Hmm.

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16 hours ago, DalTxHornFan said:

I've started following the Franklin Barbecue manifesto on turkeys.  I take the skin completely off before brining.  (I save the skin for gumbo stock that I'll later make with the carcass of the aforementioned bird.)  After brining, I add coarse salt and pepper all over the bird and let it dry overnight or so.  Then I smoke the bird until it gets that mahogany color all over.  Pretty finished product -- no "naked" bird just under the skin when you slice and serve it.

Did some poking around. So in the book he advocates doing the entire bird skin-off? All I can find online is him doing an entire bird skin-on and talking about when he does breasts only he takes the skin off. 

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Been smoking Turkeys the last few years along with a couple breasts using franklins method. I think this year just gonna do a bunch of breasts. Infinitely easier and darn good, and barely anybody eats the dark meat anyways. 

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30 minutes ago, fluff said:

Been smoking Turkeys the last few years along with a couple breasts using franklins method. I think this year just gonna do a bunch of breasts. Infinitely easier and darn good, and barely anybody eats the dark meat anyways. 

Racist(s).

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55 minutes ago, Baboontyme said:

Did some poking around. So in the book he advocates doing the entire bird skin-off? All I can find online is him doing an entire bird skin-on and talking about when he does breasts only he takes the skin off. 

I watched his three-part video on Thanksgiving turkey.  He brines and rubs the turkey with the skin.

I want my smoked turkey legs with skin.  I might do a topless turkey instead of a naked turkey - remove the skin just from the breasts.

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1 hour ago, Baboontyme said:

Did some poking around. So in the book he advocates doing the entire bird skin-off? All I can find online is him doing an entire bird skin-on and talking about when he does breasts only he takes the skin off. 

Franklin doesn't screw around with whole turkeys at his store -- breasts only.  I've seen that video of him doing a whole bird at home.  That said, I still think the things he says about removing skin on a breast are true about removing the skin from the whole bird, at least that's been my experience.  The slices from the bird look great and don't have that naked-under-the-skin appearance.  He's big on avoiding that "naked" look on cooked product -- he doesn't separate the point on brisket for that very reason.  With a good brine, I've never had any "dryness" issues on fully-skinned whole smoked turkeys.  It's all good once you smoke it!

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Smoked a turkey last year and it came out great. Plan to do the same this year but am going to be at a cabin and would like to smoke at home the day before and then reheat/finish in oven. Any thoughts on this? 

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Poultry doesn't reheat as well as beef and pork do.  I think the quality is going to suffer quite a bit.  Maybe carve it at home, vacuum seal and then reheat in water if that's an option?

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28 minutes ago, kevwun said:

Poultry doesn't reheat as well as beef and pork do.  I think the quality is going to suffer quite a bit.  Maybe carve it at home, vacuum seal and then reheat in water if that's an option?

Hrmm. Maybe I just need to bring the smoker. Or roast it.

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Kosher Salt. Sugar. Water. Check out the Franklin vid. I've done juices, cloves, spices....not sure any of it really imparts. I think that stuff imparts during the post-brine, rub phase. 

 

 

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I'm doing a Heritage Turkey this year.  Did one 4 years ago and don't completely remember what I did, other than brining.  It was great.

After doing some research, I'm not brining this year, but will rub a compound butter between the skin and breast, and I'll roast hot and fast.

 

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7 minutes ago, Baboontyme said:

Kosher Salt. Sugar. Water. Check out the Franklin vid. I've done juices, cloves, spices....not sure any of it really imparts. I think that stuff imparts during the post-brine, rub phase. 

 

 

Garlic powder (or lots of crushed raw garlic) in addition to the above Kosher salt and sugar is a huge flavor addition.

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Great, thanks. Minimal seems better when smoking. Was concerned the spices, citrus, herbs in a lot of brining mixtures would be too much for the smokey flavor I like. 

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8 hours ago, Gambrinus said:

Great, thanks. Minimal seems better when smoking. Was concerned the spices, citrus, herbs in a lot of brining mixtures would be too much for the smokey flavor I like. 

It wouldn't be too much, just unnecessary.  The aromatics really don't come through.  The salt and sugar do.

 

Edit: Oh, and for fowl, I really prefer smoking over pecan/hickory, and leave the oak for beef.  Just my opinion though, tons of great turkey is smoked over oak in Central Texas.

 

Edited by utee94

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Smoking a 15 lb bird for Thanksgiving.  It came injected three (fitty) ways from Sunday with whatever store bought birds have in them.  My understanding is that I should not brine it since it would get too salty or maybe only brine it for 24 hours in that case.  What says the Surly?

Edited by dcbc

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35 minutes ago, dcbc said:

Smoking a 15 lb bird for Thanksgiving.  It came injected three (fitty) ways from Sunday with whatever store bought birds have in them.  My understanding is that I should not brine it since it would get too salty or maybe only brine it for 24 hours in that case.  What says the Surly?

If it's already injected I would not brine it.  It will get too salty.

 

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6 minutes ago, Uncle Nate said:

If it's already injected I would not brine it.  It will get too salty.

 

That's what I figured.  Thanks.

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I tried smoking a whole one and spatchcocking (butterfly) one on a grill.  Both were great with a slight lean to the spatchcock grill.  But I’ve never tried spatchcock smoked.  Are we saying that’s a thing?  Don’t see why not.  Look forward to seeing pics of results

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3 minutes ago, Landomatic said:

I tried smoking a whole one and spatchcocking (butterfly) one on a grill.  Both were great with a slight lean to the spatchcock grill.  But I’ve never tried spatchcock smoked.  Are we saying that’s a thing?  Don’t see why not.  Look forward to seeing pics of results

I don't understand why it wouldn't be.  Spatchcocking just serves to decrease cooking time, right?  As long as you're able to run the smoker at a high enough temp to get the bird done quickly like on a grill, it should be helpful.

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Just now, dcbc said:

I don't understand why it wouldn't be.  Spatchcocking just serves to decrease cooking time, right?  As long as you're able to run the smoker at a high enough temp to get the bird done quickly like on a grill, it should be helpful.

I cooks more evenly too with white and dark being done at the same time.

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Just now, Dr Fear said:

I cooks more evenly too with white and dark being done at the same time.

Ah, didn't know that.  Cool. 

When it's done on a grill, it's not directly over the fire, is it?

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1 minute ago, dcbc said:

Ah, didn't know that.  Cool. 

When it's done on a grill, it's not directly over the fire, is it?

You can do it that way with indirect heat having the lid closed with one burner on and the turkey on the side with the heat off but it is not ideal.  I would throw it in the oven before I did that.

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I've done the spatchcock smoke on the offset for 3-4 years now due to never having a surface area big enough to try the direct grilling with the larger birds I cook. It turns out great and yes, it does cook faster. I posted pics somewhere, maybe on Page 1. 

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If you are cooking over direct heat, I would split the bird completely in half.  It makes moving it around so much easier and speeds up the process even more.  A meat saw makes it very easy if you have access to one.

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2 minutes ago, kevwun said:

If you are cooking over direct heat, I would split the bird completely in half.  It makes moving it around so much easier and speeds up the process even more.  A meat saw makes it very easy if you have access to one.

surprised-turkey_498x635.jpg

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1 minute ago, kevwun said:

If you are cooking over direct heat, I would split the bird completely in half.  It makes moving it around so much easier and speeds up the process even more.  A meat saw makes it very easy if you have access to one.

At what point don’t we just butcher the whole damn bird before cooking and just do the individual parts?  I mean there has to be some fun/history/nostalgia/tradition in keeping the damn thing at least somewhat whole, no?

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I was just curious.  I'm smoking mine in one piece on the WSM this year. 

I routinely split whole chickens to cook on a Pit Barrel and they turn out great. 

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3 minutes ago, Landomatic said:

At what point don’t we just butcher the whole damn bird before cooking and just do the individual parts?  I mean there has to be some fun/history/nostalgia/tradition in keeping the damn thing at least somewhat whole, no?

I like things that taste good.  And a turkey cooked over coals tastes really good.  In order to do it that way, you have to at least spatchcock it.  And if you've already done that, splitting it completely in half like you would for chickens makes thing work that much better.

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