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kevwun

The Turkey Thread

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First time I'd had the chance to brine and spatchcock. Will definitely continue to do so, got rave reviews. Hullabrine FTW.

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11 hours ago, Jerry Callo said:

I had to run to the store mid-spatchcock yesterday because my shears broke in my hand.

Buy one of these for $30 on amazon and keep it sharp.  It cuts right through the tough spots. 

Old-Hickory-Cleaver-2-518x365.jpg

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On 11/22/2018 at 1:43 PM, ZB'Tejas said:

Here is my turkey I’m working on:

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The color looks good and I applaud any smoked turkey effort, but, like, um, well, I mean, just what are we looking at here when we are looking at this turkey's neck? 

 

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Local Costco has fresh Butterball turkeys for .99/pound, then an additional $15 at the register.  Would have pick one up, but they were all 20-22 pounds and I don't have faith in my ability to smoke one that large.

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20 hours ago, Judge Roybeanbag said:

Buy one of these for $30 on amazon and keep it sharp.  It cuts right through the tough spots. 

Old-Hickory-Cleaver-2-518x365.jpg

This.  Have had an old cleaver in the drawer for years. Never even knew where it came from. Made spatchcocking (lord, I love that word!) a breeze. My kitchen shears were struggling.

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3 hours ago, Gambrinus said:

This.  Have had an old cleaver in the drawer for years. Never even knew where it came from. Made spatchcocking (lord, I love that word!) a breeze. My kitchen shears were struggling.

A hunting buddy bought mine for me for Christmas.  I bust it out a couple times a year.  Has a nice dark patina to it now.  Love that thing. 

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Sous vide turkey was a success. Amazingly tender and moist.

Legs - 24 hours, breast 12 hours, both pre-seared, cooked with duck fat and herbs, and seared afterward in a skillet + broiler to crisp the skin up. Also, no need to brine with sous vide - every bite was very well seasoned.

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On 11/22/2018 at 6:46 PM, pepper brooks said:

Turkey sucks. I made one. It was fine. Juicy, edible, but frankly sucked compared to this:
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Smoked over very low heat/oak in a tejas stick burner at 180 for 4 hours. Put it in a 450 oven for 10 minutes. It was awesome.


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This is pretty much where I am at.  Told my dad I would bring a rib to cook, but he wanted to do turkey. No complaints, it was awesome. But I think that prime rib should get more t day love. 

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19 hours ago, bigcigar said:

Sous vide turkey was a success. Amazingly tender and moist.

Legs - 24 hours, breast 12 hours, both pre-seared, cooked with duck fat and herbs, and seared afterward in a skillet + broiler to crisp the skin up. Also, no need to brine with sous vide - every bite was very well seasoned.

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I may have missed if you did all the details up thread (temp), but I fucking love this. Looks great. 

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34 minutes ago, Anastasis said:

I may have missed if you did all the details up thread (temp), but I fucking love this. Looks great. 

Oops. 149 for leg. 133 for breast. Guess the science worked...meat wasn’t even pink.

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From yesterday. This was the breast off of the 18 lb 'cocked bird. 

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Dry brine after 'cock.

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Prep yesterday before transporting and plopping on the cooker. 

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Setup. He looks so small. I cut the wing tips off. Took off the top shelf so I could get a foil pan underneath and get some drippings. 

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I tried to get the light blue smoke here. Fail. But still kinda pretty. 

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The legs and thighs were done way ahead of the breasts. I guess I overdid the ice. I cut them off and rested them well before the breasts. This pic also includes the arm pits. Pulled those and the wings, too. Funny, my kid and his cousins love the drums. No one else wants anything to do with them. 

45124797905_4afb094a72_c.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Probably about time to revive this thread.

Gonna do our typical one smoked, one fried.  Hosting at my house this year so it makes the cooking easier with no need to transport.

@Baboontyme Looks like you're doing dry brine, how'd that work out?  Standard wet brine works great for me but I'm always open to simpler alternatives...

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Hey. Yeah it worked out pretty well. I have gone the full spectrum on the brine - from the hulla brine to the dry brine - and also done no brine. I have mentioned before - I honestly don't notice a difference. I mostly brine for fun/tradition now. I get a pretty juicy turkey brine or no brine. The one last year above with the dry brine was excellent. We'll see how motivated I am this year. I may do the wet brine in a cooler/tub thing. 

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On 11/15/2018 at 3:06 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. 

Bumping this as I see y'all have "Firehouse Subs" out there too.   They sell their 5 gal pickle buckets with lids for a couple of bucks.   Food-safe plastic. 

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5 hours ago, Gil Bang said:

Bumping this as I see y'all have "Firehouse Subs" out there too.   They sell their 5 gal pickle buckets with lids for a couple of bucks.   Food-safe plastic. 

You can probably go around almost any BBQ place and ask them for 5 gallon pickle buckets and get them for free. We always had a dozen lying around our restaurant waiting to be taken out.

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I cooked 2 turkeys over coals on Sunday.  They were both around 11 pounds.  We split them and then I injected them with Tony's.  Seasoned and mopped them just like I do chicken after that and they turned out great.  I don't think I'm ever making one in the oven again.

Edited by kevwun

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Same here.

 

And we haven't done an oven-roasted turkey in... a decade maybe?  Always fried and BBQ, I vastly prefer that over oven baked.

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This year my wife wants to do some turkey legs too.  She has this person at work that sells them every so often, they're smoked for a while but then wrapped in foil with fresh garlic cloves and other herbs, and cooked the remainder of the way in that style.  When they pull them out of the foil, they give them a quick strike to the table (skinny part down) and all of the meat just shivers off the bone into a pile on the foil.  Then they re-wrap and hand them over to you.  They are freaking unbelievable, so I'm going to try my hand at that this year and see how it works out.

I'll probably also smoke a duck while I'm at it, the pit's so big it's a shame to fire it up and not use all the capacity.

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Alton Brown just did turkey legs the other day on his show.  His cooking method was ridiculous because he made a smoker out of a cardboard box, but the brine recipe was nice and easy.  All it was was brown sugar and kosher salt.

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One wet-brined and smoked.  The other dry-brined, spatchcocked, and roasted on the grill.  After Thanksgiving, pick up another fresh turkey on sale at Costco for $3-5 to smoke for future consumption.

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Anyone made their own Cajun injection mixture?  I have noticed that Tony’s has a bit of an off flavor and I think it could be improved on with something simpler like just butter and Cajun seasoning maybe?

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Posted this last year, but the link is dead now. Stand by it. 

On 11/16/2018 at 6:42 PM, spystud13 said:

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.

creole-butter-with-injector-800.png

 

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OK, I'm gonna chime in here.  Anybody who says that brining a turkey doesn't really make a difference in the finished bird is doing it all wrong.  You didn't use near enough garlic powder in your brine!  Garlic in the bird is what makes the great fried chicken chains successful.  Same for turkey.  It's science.  Salt, sugar, garlic powder and other aromatics.  24-48 hours.  Your turkey will be way better.  Google for a specific recipe, but double whatever garlic they talk about.

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Posted this last year, but the link is dead now. Stand by it. 
creole-butter-with-injector-800.png
 

Just bought 6 of those for next week, last year I bought the other flavor by mistake and had to make my own injection.

Had to go to Walmart at 6am on thanksgiving to get stuff to make it, wasn’t crowded (which was awesome), there was a fight on the aisle next to me (which was awesomer)

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OK, I'm gonna chime in here.  Anybody who says that brining a turkey doesn't really make a difference in the finished bird is doing it all wrong.  You didn't use near enough garlic powder in your brine!  Garlic in the bird is what makes the great fried chicken chains successful.  Same for turkey.  It's science.  Salt, sugar, garlic powder and other aromatics.  24-48 hours.  Your turkey will be way better.  Google for a specific recipe, but double whatever garlic they talk about.

The first time I brined a turkey I made a mess when I sliced it. There was so much moisture in the bird, it overflowed the pan and ran off the counter onto the floor. It was way juicer than previous smoked turkeys.

I just order brining bags off amazon, put the bird in with brine, then load them all up in a cooler with ice for a few days.

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On 11/24/2018 at 8:22 PM, bigcigar said:

Sous vide turkey was a success. Amazingly tender and moist.

Legs - 24 hours, breast 12 hours, both pre-seared, cooked with duck fat and herbs, and seared afterward in a skillet + broiler to crisp the skin up. 

On 11/25/2018 at 4:54 PM, bigcigar said:

Oops. 149 for leg. 133 for breast. Guess the science worked...meat wasn’t even pink.

 

This sounds like a win from keeping Tday cooking to a minimum.  Couple of questions: Do do you have 2 sous vide setups or how did you manage that?  Did you pre-sear them skin down in a skillet or skin up under the broiler?  How much fat did you add for the cook?

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1 minute ago, drt said:

This sounds like a win from keeping Tday cooking to a minimum.  Couple of questions: Do do you have 2 sous vide setups or how did you manage that?  Did you pre-sear them skin down in a skillet or skin up under the broiler?  How much fat did you add for the cook?

1 setup and I had a large food container I got on amazon. Skin down in cast iron for pre-sear. I don’t recall adding fat, but if I did, it was just butter.

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Neighbor had a free extra turkey she didn't want so I took it. Spatchcock, dry brine and smoke is so easy and good. Wish my in-laws would learn this.

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Looks great. Wife and kids went up to the farm to pick up our freshly slaughtered bird after they saw Frozen 2 Olaf Bugaloo. Guy asked what size bird and my 10 year old confidently told him "medium". So 20 lbs it is! I'm going to wet brine this fucker because fun and I'm going to cut the backbone out with the reciprocating saw again because also fun. I guess I'm going to do extra garlic powder to make sure it's juicy.

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I've never had an issue cutting the backbone out with shears.

I'm also typically doing 14-lb birds not 20-lb birds so that might have something to do with it.

This year's bird is 13 lbs.  I'll cut out the backbone and throw it in the wet brine tomorrow.  It'll sit at the back of the beer fridge until Wednesday morning, when I'll pull it, dry it, and then let it dry out open in the fridge overnight.  It'll go on the offset Thursday morning around 8 and cook on pecan until it's done.  I'll also fire up the frying rig and we'll fry one, but that's my dad's deal not mine.  

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8 hours ago, utee94 said:

I've never had an issue cutting the backbone out with shears.

I'm also typically doing 14-lb birds not 20-lb birds so that might have something to do with it.

This year's bird is 13 lbs.  I'll cut out the backbone and throw it in the wet brine tomorrow.  It'll sit at the back of the beer fridge until Wednesday morning, when I'll pull it, dry it, and then let it dry out open in the fridge overnight.  It'll go on the offset Thursday morning around 8 and cook on pecan until it's done.  I'll also fire up the frying rig and we'll fry one, but that's my dad's deal not mine.  

Excellent. I'm cooking mine Friday so I think I will put it in the brine Tuesday morning for about 48 hours. I bought a bunch of frozen Apple juice tins grocery shopping today because they were on sale. I think I'm gonna do 2 cups each of salt and sugar. 

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6 hours ago, Jerry Callo said:

Last year I broke a pair of shears removing a backbone.

Maybe y'all are weak girly-men.  Just kidding.

 

6 minutes ago, Baboontyme said:

Excellent. I'm cooking mine Friday so I think I will put it in the brine Tuesday morning for about 48 hours. I bought a bunch of frozen Apple juice tins grocery shopping today because they were on sale. I think I'm gonna do 2 cups each of salt and sugar. 

Sounds good!

 

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I bought the DeWalt reciprocating saw to cut down the Griswold family tree at the tree farm. They give you a hand saw but one year I remember it being a huge pain in the ass. Basically I think I had a bad saw that year because last year it was no sweat. Anywho. Today I left it at home to cut down the tree. So really, I need to use it for something. 

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On 11/20/2018 at 11:14 AM, 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.

I agree with this. I sprotch one almost every year cooked over coals on a Webber kettle in addition to one I fry or cook in a Big Easy. If you sprotch it, then it is a bitch to flip/turn/move on the grill, and you will end up quartering it anyway. Split it and hit it. 

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3 minutes ago, utee94 said:

Sprotch?

 

However you say it. Wasn't going to google proper spelling. 

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1 minute ago, squib said:

However you say it. Wasn't going to google proper spelling. 

Gotcha.  Spatchcock?  Just wasn't sure if you were talking about something else.

 

 

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Don't have a smoker or large grill this year. Only have a 22-inch weber kettle. I'm guessing that I will not have enough room to spatchcock. Anyone ever spatchcocked on a 22-inch weber? I've got a 13lb bird and a 16lb bird I'm doing for a "friendsgiving" the saturday after. 

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2 hours ago, irishtexan said:

Don't have a smoker or large grill this year. Only have a 22-inch weber kettle. I'm guessing that I will not have enough room to spatchcock. Anyone ever spatchcocked on a 22-inch weber? I've got a 13lb bird and a 16lb bird I'm doing for a "friendsgiving" the saturday after. 

Yep, that is the size of mine. Cut out the backbone then split the bird in half at the keel. It is much easier to move around on the grill this way. You are probably maxed out at around a 15 pound bird. 

Lay some fresh rosemarry on the grill and then baste with a good sop. Watch for hot spots. It will come out great. 

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3 hours ago, Jameslaw121 said:

After the brine is done and dried off. What do you guys rub it with before it goes in the smoker?

I just put on some kosher salt and coarse grind black pepper, the same as I would do to a brisket.

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I have a turkey that is not completely thawed which I'll be brining prior to smoking on Thursday.  Any reason not to start the brining tonight as opposed to waiting until tomorrow when the bird is completely thawed?

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