Here you go, just updated this in time for this year.

It's now in a PDF, not a webpage. I'll also be updating the photos this year as I cook my next one.

As always if it's confusing, you see corrections and of course, have questions, please post them here.

It's a long document and it wouldn't surprise me if I said one thing in one place and something different in another (or even in a post).

Keep me honest. Questions are allowed and I probably won't ban you if you do... Wink

Enjoy:

Russ

Turkey 101 PDF
Original Post
Very nicely done Smokin'. I'd say a person outta be able to smoke a turkey using this as his guide. I guess you know that I would have a question or at least a thought about it...right?

I've done turkeys both ways on the cheese cloth, that is using one after getting some smoke and using one at the start and taking it off 45 minutes or so before the end. I tend to think that I like the results of taking it off towards the end and hitting it with Pam spray.

While I lost more heat doing it this way, it seems that the breast doesn't heat up as fast or at least that's my thoughts. Oh well, you asked for it anyway!

THANKS for the guide, it was kind of you.
I touch on that briefly, it would take a couple of pages to really cover it.

I like to do mine later now, than starting out with it. I like the turkey to take on the smoker first and use the Cheese cloth to achieve the COLOR I want in the bird. Since I put butter under the skin, I don't have any issues with a dry breast (well, Brining takes care of that).

the KEY to doing the cheese cloth late.

When the bird looks pretty, put it on, soaked in butter, but...

don't let it dry out. Keep it moist. If it dries, it will peel the rub off when you pull it off.

Then, IF you must have crispy skin, pull it off at the last and let the buttered skin crisp up.

See, all I did was raise more questions didn't I?

And who would have guess YOU would be the first with questions Wink
Smokin, wondering how you "soak your cheesecloth in butter".

Do you melt butter then dip the cheesecloth in it, or pour the melted butter over the cheesecloth? How much butter do you use?

I was wondering if another way would be to rub butter into the cheesecloth.

Thank you.
Jerin, no right or wrong way.

I heat the butter up in the microwave and soak the cloth in it, then put it on.

Hadn't really thought about putting it on cold, that might work really well.

Key is don't let it dry out enough that when you take it off, it takes off all the skin and/or the rub.
quote:
Originally posted by RocketQue:
I'm having trouble accessing Brining 101 - keep getting redirected to the cookshack home page - is anyone else having this problem or could someone help debug my issue

Ray
Click the link in the first post of this thread. The PDF version is newer than the web version.
While I'm posting - ill ask for opinions on an ideal that I had.

I was reading smokins turkey 101 - always great info (my fav is the prime rib....) and was thinking that instead of using butter soaked cheesecloth on the breast that I might put some strips of bacon over the breast instead of cheese cloth... what better than pork fat for a little extra flavor.

might be able to weave it into a lattice pattern - like you would on a fattie...

It would definitely be a conversation piece
The cheesecloth allows the smoke flavor through to the turkey while preventing it from turning black and the butter helping the skin. Depending on the flavor you're looking for, I think the bacon won't allow much smoke through to the turkey.
I had thought about bacon drippings instead of butter. Also, I bought a package of fresh herbs which were labeled "poultry herbs" I am thinking chopping these very fine and using in a compound butter under the skin. I recognized Rosemary, Sage, Parsley and Basel and there were a couple more I did not recognize. Smokin, your thoughts?
Thanks for the great turkey primer. I am doing a couple sacrificial turkeys before Christmas company comes over (Not stupid) I got a big bone in breast turkey, brined it as per recipe with some minor changes. Dissolved the Rub in a cube of butter and put it inside and out under the skin. Smoked with some Hickory and a little cherry wood. That thing cooked fast at 300 degrees. I took a half hour power nap after it was in the smoker for an hour and when I got up, the skin was already dark brown and split. I obviously should have put the cheese cloth on earlier. I also let it cook to 165 degrees instead of 160. I lowered the temp to give the cheese cloth some time on the bird. Another mistake. The extra cooking time and cheese cloth delay did dry out a little of the white meat. Once past that, the breast was moist.
So lessons learned. The flavor of the meat was wonderful. The brine and rub are very good. (By the way Costco sells a very nice smoked paprika in big containers. Ideal for rubs)
So thanks again. I will be on top of my bird next time...so to speak.
Should be a good Christmas. Twelve people and a twelve pound turkey may not go around. I'll probably also smoke a boneless Foster Farms turkey roll just to make sure we have enough of every kind of meat for everyone.
I also hate cleaning the smoker so I smoked seven kinds of cheeses before the turkey based on instructions I got on this forum. I smoked two kinds of cheddar, yellow and white, pepper jack, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan and creamy Toscano. People go nuts for these smoked cheeses. These are my favorites so far. Dubliner, Havarti and string cheese, not so much.

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