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Smoking turkey
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daddiomiller
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Joined: 11 Aug 2012
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Location: Circleville, OH

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17 13 11:39 pm    Post subject: Smoking turkey Reply with quote

Need to review the cooking temps for turkey again? Internal temp? Also trying to calculate the cook time per pound? Thanks for your advice.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17 13 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I run my smoker between 275° and 325°. Internal thigh temp 170°. 12 to 15 lb birds. Depending on when I tent it about 5 hours on average.
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Petunia
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18 13 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spatchcock the bird so it cooks evenly and more quickly, keep your heat down around 225. Put the bird right onto the cooking rack. Keep the dark meat towards the hot side of your rig. Be sure to brine it (Dan Gill's Buttermilk Brine is your best bet) for at least 12 hours, don't rinse, give a sprinkle of your favorite rub, and take the thigh up to 180. I do 2-3 birds every Thanksgiving this way and the breast meat comes out so juicy you can practically wring out the juice just like a wet rag. Nothing compares.

IMO one of the biggest negatives to come out of the wave of "bbq pitmaster" types of TV shows is the trend toward cooking at high temps to finish faster. No offense to anyone using the Myron Mixon method, but to me when you go higher than 250 you're baking with smoke instead of actually smoking low & slow/traditional.
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Last edited by Petunia on Mon Nov 18 13 9:30 am; edited 3 times in total
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18 13 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Petunia wrote:
IMO one of the biggest negatives to come out of the wave of "bbq pitmaster" types of TV shows is the trend toward cooking at high temps to finish faster. No offense to anyone using the Myron Mixon method, but to me when you go higher than 250 you're baking with smoke instead of actually smoking low & slow/traditional.

I do not watch BBQ Pitmasters never cared for it. I and many others have been cooking poultry between 275° and 325° way before the term "Hot and fast" was ever conceived. It is not a matter of getting done quicker (Read my signature") Laughing it is a matter of quality in the end.
I do not spatchcock my birds I prefer to cook them in a pan whole they cook quite evenly this way. I use Smokin'Okie's Holiday brine in my opinion there is not another brine to compare.
The largest problem with folks new to smoking turkeys is they will get a bird upwards in weight to 20+ lbs and try to cook it at around 225° in my opinion the bird stays in the danger zone longer than I want it there but to each his own. Very Happy
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BUGSnBBQ
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18 13 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've gotta agree with k.a.m on all points, especially about doing monster birds low and slow. I do like to cut the big ones (20+ pounders) in half, but they just don't present as well for a holiday gathering.
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Petunia
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18 13 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not looking to have THE opinion, just one of them. Apologies if anyone takes offense with my wording, my opinion, or the fact that (with all due respect) I'm not in lockstep with KAM's (or any other "Ring regular's") advice. There's more than one way to skin a cat, or something like that. I thought the concept here was to offer multiple opinion(s) based on our experience, not to dicker over who's opinion is best or most popular. The thing is, unless we're going to arm-wrestle over who's brine recipe will yield the best results or which temperature is more effective I guess we'll all just have to go to bed tonight being certain of only one thing: that we offered daddiomiller what he asked for: opinions on the appropriate internal temp for turkeys, and as a bonus he now has multiple brine recipes and cooking methods & philosophies he can experiment with.

Haven't posted in a while. Now I remember why. Sheesh.

BTW - Spatchcocking IS the remedy for cooking larger birds (anything over 12-14 pounds) and keeping them out of the Danger Zone for too long. Plus IMO it makes for a dramatic presentation. So there. Very Happy
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Cat797
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18 13 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simmer down Petunia........I don't think anyone was attacking your method.

I spatchcock my bird if I use my big smoker and I also run it at about 325 because I like the way the skin turns out at that temp. I'm not carving my bird at the table so I don't care about the presentation because it all gets picked off to serve.

I like a simple brine of SPGO, and sugar. Smokin Okie's holiday brine has too much stuff in it for me.
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roxy
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18 13 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its funny, I have not BBQ'd long compaired to my years and it is amazing how the culture and terms and techniques have blossemed injust a short time. Was a time when you were the odd person who cooked with a temp probe and relied on your grill therm..

I agree with hotter for turkey.. and the range stated is spot on..

And I am with spatchcocking larger birds.. They turn out amazing..

Oh yeah..

everyone back in their corners. Dont make the big bear come around with that big stick of his.. Razz
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zysmith
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18 13 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer higher temps for crispier skin. My rig only fits spatchcocked bird.

I use lump only (whicked good) with no additional wood, for light smoke flavor.

Brine. Cook to 165 - 170 measured in thigh, not near bone.
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BUGSnBBQ
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18 13 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cat797 wrote:
Simmer down Petunia........I don't think anyone was attacking your method.


I (or Kevin, i'm sure) wasn't trying to ruffle any one's feathers. Just offering our different opinions on how we like to cook turkeys. Calm down and take a chill pill, dude - you'll live longer Laughing
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yardman5508
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18 13 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The method I have been using for almost 30 years is somewhat different. I fill the cavities (both ends) of the bird with rough chopped celery, onion, carrots tossed with salt and poultry seasoning/sage...seal the ends with half an apple. Throw some rub under the skin. Oil the outside. Throw it on a low and slow (<250) smoker and cook it for one hour less than the poundage. The veggies keep the bird moist for the longer time and the meat comes out juicy.

I tried various methods over the years, but have found nothing that proved to be any better than this. I even brined a bird one year...the only way you could taste a difference between the brined bird and my usual was if you took a bite of each one right after the other.

What ever you try to do, good luck and be ready for a GREAT taste treat.
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Petunia
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18 13 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Food for thought. You can argue your opinion but you can't argue with chemistry.

www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/cooking_temperatures_and_reverse_sear.html

www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/meat_science.html

(with regards to low & slow vs. hot & fast) A wise man once said, "With BBQ you're either cooking for competition or you're cooking for customers." Cool
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NaughtyNurse
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19 13 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We stopped brining last year and inject instead with Butcher's Bird Booster products. A lot less hassle and as good or better results*
* my opinion only Wink
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Alien BBQ
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19 13 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is multiple ways to cook any type of meat. Generally when smoking in the 225 to 275 range a good rule of thumb is to not exceed a 14lb bird. This is because larger birds can sit in the food safety danger zone too long and develop bacteria that will die off at 140ish but when they die, they leave behind a toxin that is heat resistant. Many cooks will spatch cook a larger bird to keep it within a cooking zone. Brining and injecting are both good for getting moisture and flavoring inside the bird. While rubs and basting work well for keeping the bird moist or skin crisp.

For most of us, we tend to find a method that works for us and limits the chances of dried turkey. Tenting, covering in cheese cloth, and or quick heating for crispy skin are quality issues that all have their place for the type of bird you want. I once experimented with flipping the bird in the pan for the last half of the cook to insure moist meat. It worked really well but I don’t do it all the time for one reason or another.

Look at the different ways and choose the one you think will work out for you. The only firm hard and fast rule I can think of is…… don’t try and smoke a turkey for the first time on Thanksgiving without having a viable backup plan.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19 13 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Petunia wrote:
Food for thought. You can argue your opinion but you can't argue with chemistry.

www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/cooking_temperatures_and_reverse_sear.html

www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/meat_science.html

(with regards to low & slow vs. hot & fast) A wise man once said, "With BBQ you're either cooking for competition or you're cooking for customers." Cool


I guess if you are bored those articles are entertaining, but I found them about as useful as the stuff you may learn on BBQ PitMasters. Laughing
I did however find one piece of information about cooking poultry that pertains to this post, as the rest of that gibberish was about beef and pork I believe.Laughing
And I quote. Very Happy
Quote:

"At 325°F you can crisp chicken and turkey skins better than at 225°F if you are roasting whole birds."

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BUGSnBBQ
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19 13 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Petunia wrote:
You can argue your opinion but you can't argue with chemistry.


But I can argue about rubbery skin Laughing

And (IMHO, of course) BBQ Pissmasters is one of the dumbest shows on TV. First season was somewhat entertaining, but now it's like watching 'The Real Housewives of (insert dumba$$'s name here)'. JM2C, YMMV.
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Cat797
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19 13 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think in the end, the most important thing is regardless of method, don't over cook the flippin' bird........ Laughing

And, if you decide to cook an Albatross of a bird, cut the darn thing in half so as to reduce your chances of getting someone sick! Shocked
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TheTony
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19 13 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone brine AND inject?
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19 13 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheTony wrote:
Does anyone brine AND inject?

I have and it works pretty good.
I suggest using a simple salt water brine so your flavored brine doesn't clash with the injection flavor.
Brine first then inject just before cooking.
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edouble33



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19 13 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[I run my smoker between 275° and 325°. Internal thigh temp 170°. 12 to 15 lb birds. Depending on when I tent it about 5 hours on average.ote]

kam what do you mean by tent.[/quote]
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