Whenever I am cooking for a smaller group for Thanksgiving, I have just been cooking the turkey breast for a while using a recipe that I got from Cook's Illustrated. I have even figured out how to make a pretty good gravy without the pan drippings (you don't really get any when just cooking the breast). With the original recipe, the brined turkey starts in a 425 oven for 30 minutes and finishes at 325. Yesterday I still put in the 425 regular oven to start, but I finished in the Cookshack at 300 with some peach wood until target temp was hit. It was a subtle smoke flavor using this approach, but it definitely improved the recipe. I will be doing this going forward.
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Excellent! To both posts. Breasts are a real bunch of ... to do right. I've only done it once and quit as too risky.
I gave up on chicken in my sm066 because I like crispy skin. I do parts only on my gas grill, and use a pellet tube for smoke.
Jay: I have done turkey like you do a reverse sear. Put them in the smoker at 250 degrees until they hit 110 to 120 degrees internal and then into a hot oven to finish cooking and crisp up the skin.
Mike, I've tried that but not much success. I've found that once the skin is rubbery in texture, it never really crisps up. Not sure what I'm doing wrong.
Jay: One thing that I do with my birds is prep them the day before, and then let them sit in the fridge uncovered overnight. With big birds I run my hand under the skin and get the seasoning or compound butter under the skin. This really gets the skin dry before the bird goes in the smoker. I can get the skin crisp in the 066 but not a bite through crisp. Some time in the oven at the end gets it to the bite through stage.
Mike - to each his own. I've tried that and everything else I could find in terms of skin crispness, even a spatchcock turkey last year that turned out fantastic, except for the skin. I guess I'm a fanatic - if poultry skin isn't crackling crisp, I don't enjoy it. I'm just weird like that