Well, the wife and I spent Thanksgiving in New Zealand where my son and his family live. Another whole story there, teaching Kiwi's about Thanksgiving, what it means to Americans and all. BTW, a whole turkey in NZ costs $10 per pound!! A 12 pound turkey cost me $120 in NZ dollars, about $90 US.
When I got back home, Safeway had their turkeys still on sale, any bird over 16 lbs is $8.99 and under 16 lbs is $6.99. That price is per turkey not per pound like in NZ. I got three, a 20.5, 17.5 and 13 pound bird. I decided since I've never smoked a turkey before to begin with the 17.5 pound bird. It said on the package that it was 8% solution. I'm not sure what that meant, but probably that it was injected with a brine that contained 8% salt. Anyway, I brined the bird. I used High Mountain Jerky brand of brine.
After receiving the order and reading the ingredients, I didn't think it was worth it. It was mainly salt, sugar and coloring; the three first ingredients. The only other things in there were preservatives. Next time I'll save me some money and make my own brine.
So, the turkey was frozen, I thawed it and stuck it in the brine mixed in a 5 gallon bucket and set it in the fridge. I did loosen the skin from the breast and legs to allow the brine to have better contact with the meat. I left it in for 60 hours. For some reason, there was a layer of ice on the brine even though I stirred it several times during the brining time. I thought salt prevented freezing, like, in salting roads and such. But my fridge is set at 34 and the brine was 34 measured with my thermapen. I can't explain the ice. I took the turkey out, drained and rinsed. Then I cut a 1/4 stick of unsalted butter into tabs and placed them under the breast skin, 6 tabs total. I dusted the breast and thigh meat under the skin with Montreal Chicken Seasoning.
I then put the bird onto my turkey cannon. What's a turkey cannon? I don't know! Something someone bought me from Cabela's.
You are supposed to add a liquid into the cannon and it internally bastes the turkey from the inside. I put some apple juice in there.
Next, I covered the bird with cheese cloth and basted it with melted butter. The butter set up quickly on the cold bird and made a great shell protecting it quite well from the creosote from smoking. I put the bird in the smoker at 11am preheated to 100 degrees and set for 300 degrees. I added 3 oz of hickory. The breast measured in at 44 degrees to start and the thigh at 34 degrees. Here's what it looked like before going in;
And here we are before the door closes;
NOTE: out of time, I will come back and finish this report later. Jerry