I read a post not too long ago about someone smoking a 10-12 lb Turkey and that it took 10-12 hours to finish. I smoked a 17 lb Butterball Turkey a couple days ago and it was ready to come out in only 8 hours. Why such a huge difference? I should have pulled it out then, but I let it stay in another 3-4 hours, the internal temp stayed at 168.
I used Big Wheel's Brine recipe and marinaded fir 12 hours then drained and patted dry. Rubbed down with mayonaise and used spicy chicken rub. Set internal temp alarm for 165 (for white meat) and set smoker to 225. I used 6 oz of cherry wood.
Oh yeah, I also put chopped onions and apples in the cavity.
The mayonaise mixture seemed to all run off because the brine mixture was wanting to seep out even after I patted dry after draining. What a mess!! Seemed like way too much work. The big wheel brine did not seem to make any difference either. Is this because the Butterball Turkey has already been injected with a 7% tenderising solution?
Next time, I think I will just use the tenderquick brine mixture and some other kind of seasoning salt or just garlic salt and pepper. The spicy chicken rub on top of the mayonaise just accumulated large deposits of the rub on the skin turning black and very unappetizing. The meat was very tender, but the white meat was dry by about 15 minutes after I removed from the bone.
Next time I will set the internal temp to 160 and immediately turn down heat to 140 once this has been reached (or remove).
Oh well, first time you learn alot, the dark meat was still excellent though. I think I went way overboard on all the excessive preparation. I like to go by the KISS method
(Keep It Simple Stupid) LOL. This usually will give better results. Heck, the butterball probably didn't even need the brine either.
Hey,woodking. It sounds like you figured out most of the items you didn't care for....I've found that brining will reduce cooking time by about 1/3. You say internal stayed at 168 degrees. where was the probe?..I've found it difficult to insert deeply into inner thigh and not hit something to throw it off...I like to use a breast probe for 160 degrees,another in the thigh for about 178 degrees...Instantly, when the breast hits 160,I open up and check both sides of breast and both thighs with a pocket insta-read thermometer....If the thigh reads around 172,I close up and figure the brined breast will cushion up to just hitting 165...The other choice is to foil the breast and close back up till the thigh comes to 180....This is probably the reason most chefs like about 12 lb. turkey...........As to the skin,I have better luck on the turkey with just oil and a rub,sprinkled on.I also loosen the skin and apply rub all under that I can reach....You will probably discard the skin anyway,so you can always oil the skinless breast before cooking,season it and cover lightly with cheesecloth to keep the smoke from blackening it....I would guess the pumped fluid in that Butterball changes it a little.....I still try to double foil the bird for around an hour to really set the smoke and juices,before I serve it and it will be even better tomorrow....Sounds like you are keeping good records and remembering what worked....IMHO ,I agree with you that you tried too many things.Hope this confirms some things for you.
Thanks Tom, yeah I had the probe deep in one side of the breast. The internal temp reached 165 after 8 hours, but I thought it must have to smoke longer because the post I had read stated that a 12 lb turkey took 12 hours and this one was 16 lbs. So, without any logic, I let it smoke for 4 more hours thus, kind of drying out the white meat. The temp only went up to 168 even after the 4 extra hours, so it must have maxed out. It was probably completely done even when the breast meat was at 160 after about 7 hours. next time I will know better. Just follow the internal temp and don't worry what has happened to other people. Too many variables between peoples smokers, extension cords, brine etc. Do most people stuff the cavity before smoking? The CS cookbook said it is good to do this to keep in moisture, that's why I used the chopped apples & onions.
I really appreciate your feedback Tom.
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Many of the times in the CS book are not what you'll hear in the forum...go with the forum.
and always remember...
It's done when it's done. Pull the turkey when the breast hits 160. It's done.
Woodking,Smokin' knows.It can't hurt to put a piece of celery or a couple pieces of apple in the cavity,but I wouldn't worry much with it....The only thing I stuff is a couple of pork tenderloins that I flatten out to the size of dinner plates,fill with a precooked and room temp. stuffing,roll and tie together and cook till the stuffing hits 140ï¿½.I admire your spirit of adventure.
that pork tenderloin sounds great Tom. Is it easy to prepare? Maybe you could post a recipe?
I have found that if I brine with Smokin's Honey Brine (brined about 24 hours), that a 12# turkey will cook up in 3-5 hours. I put a probe in the breast and cook to about 160 F with the thermostat at 250F with about 3-4 oz of wood (1-2 chunks). I have never had a problem or complaint. I agree with Tom that you are probably not going to want to eat the skin (way rubbery, unless you put it on the grill (or oven) for a few minutes to crisp up). However, I do season the skin and season under the skin (as far as I can reach). After brining, I do not think that you need anything in the cavity for moisture, but feel free to experiemnt for flavor.
I have gotten rave reviews and have given them as gifts. Those are my suggestions.
Good luck on your next one. As Smokin' says, "it's done when it's done".
I have read that with poultry, you are not cooking to tenderize (ie. low and slow), but rather to add the smoke flavor only.
For this reason, I cook my poultry at 250 F (max setting on the Smokette). I get PLENTY of smoke flavor in the 3-5 hours of smoking/cooking time.
Thanks for the input guys!!!
Any suggestions for a rub or seasoning to use other than "CS Spicy Chicken Rub" for smoking turkey's?
Does coating with oil first before adding rub really help after the turkey has already been brined?
I wonder if anybody ever rubbed poultry with yummy Pork Lard first instead of vegetable oil? (Same with Brisket)? This would be similar to covering with bacon I guess.
Hey ,nj-pony.It is easy to make,and I'll see if I can get the recipe in without Smokin' having to clean it up too much.
Cajun Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
2 lb. pack pork tenderloin[2 in the pack],remove silver skin and slice almost in half horizontally....Cover with plastic wrap and flatten out to the size of a dinner plate....Season with cajun seasoning and refrigerate while you make stuffing.
1/2 lb. smoked sausage
Saute 5 mins.,add bread crumbs to hold together well,add a little apple juice to moisten...Chill to refrigerator temp.
Place stuffing on lower tenderloin,leaving a little room around edges...Cover with other tenderloin..Turn up sides to make as good a long roll as possible...Tie 4 times along roll with twine...Coat with favorite pork rub and chill to refrigerator temp.
...Place on center rack,probe in stuffing, at 225ï¿½. I use 3 oz. apple wood and cook to an internal of 140ï¿½ in the stuffing..this takes less than 2 hrs. usually....Wrap in foil for at least 30 mins...Slice across and enjoy.
You could use chopped shrimp as well,but this is a pork fat thing. Smokin',fell free to help me all you want on this contraption.
thanks Tom. It sounds great althoughI may cut back on the amount of wood. 3oz sounds like alot for such a small roast and relatively short cook. Plus, my family is still getting used to the smoke flavor in foods. Maybe I'm going overboard, but I thought the smoked Lucky Charms were quite good!!
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