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Author Topic: smoked turkey  (Read 249 times)

Offline toppredator

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smoked turkey
« on: February 24, 2011, 02:31:00 PM »
Anyone have a good recipe for smoking a turkey?  I recently got an egg type smoker from a friend and would love to try and smoke a bird.  I'm a total newbie to smoker cooking so any advice would be very cool.  Thanks  TRW

Offline Al Dente

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Re: smoked turkey
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2011, 01:25:00 PM »
Welcome to the smoking fold and congrats on your kamodo type cooker.  Do not go with a very large bird, you are better off doing 2 10-12 pounders than a 20 pounder, because you lessen the risk of drying out the bird.  Get a fresh bird, not one that has been previously altered, such a commercial turkey that has liquid added.  You will brine the bird yourself and be rewarded for your effort.  Bring several gallons of water to a boil and add 1/2 cup of salt and 1/2 cup of sugar for every gallon.  Stir until it dissolves and remove from the heat.  Add some pepper corns and fresh herbs, such as sage, thyme, rosemary.  Place the bird in a 5 gallon bucket and pour the cooled brine over it.  Cover and place in the fridge for 12-24 hours.  If the fridge is not big enough, you can do it in a cooler, but make sure to keep it filled with plenty of ice to maintain a temp below 38 degrees.
Now, when ready to smoke, remove the bird from the brine and dry off with paper towels.  Rub the bird down with your favorite rub.   Keep it out at room temp for an hour before placing it in the smoker.  Meanwhile, start your fire and get the smoker temp to 275 degrees.  Place your bird in the smoker breast side down for the first half of the smoking, then turn over to complete the time.  Shoot for 13-15 minutes per pound and check the temp between the leg/thigh joint.  Pull it off at 158-160 degrees abd tent with foil.  Enjoy.
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Offline toppredator

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Re: smoked turkey
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2011, 02:35:00 PM »
Thanks Al.  Sounds like a simple but tasty way to smoke a bird. Should I let it smoke the whole time?  How often should I add wood chips?  Charcoal?  I appoligize for all the questions but like I said, I'm a total newbie at this.
I was mistaken I beleive when I called it an egg style smoker.  I beleive it is called a verticle water smoker.  It has a base where the charcoal(fuel) goes then a water pan then the racks and of course the lid.  There is a temp guage but I plan to replace it with a thermometer as well as using a meat thermometer.  My friend gave it to me because he said everything he cooked on it tasted terrible.  I'm hoping I will have better luck.  TRW

Offline Al Dente

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Re: smoked turkey
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2011, 10:22:00 AM »
It sounds like a "bullet" type smoker.  A base that has a charcoal pan, then the middle section that will hold your water pan and racks, then the cover that will have the gauge.  there should be a door also on the middle section, this will help control your airflow.  I stop adding wood after three hours, the meat will not absorb any more flavor after that, so why waste the wood.  For a 10-12 pound bird, you will smoking it around 2-3 hours.  It is hard to say how often to stoke the fire, every smoker is different, that's why installing the thermometer is a great idea.  You want your temp to be 275, but you will always have some fluctuation, especially on damp, rainy, cold, or windy days.

Wrap the water pan in 2 layers of heavy duty foil, all the way around the entire pan, inside and out.  This will help with the clean up.  Fill you charcoal pan with unlit coals and throw some wood chunks on top.  Light your chimney starter and make sure all of the coals in the chimney starter are glowing.  Place the water pan into the middle section, along with the rack.  Dump the coals from the chimney starter ontop of the coals in the charocal pan.  Set the middle section on top of the base/charcoal pan, and cover.  When the temp hits 275, place the bird on the rack and cover again.  Now, lift off the middle section and add some more wood chunks and quickly replace the middle section.   Monitor the bird, and turn halfway through the smoke.  If you need to add coals, you can do so through the door.  If you have a probe type thermometer you can insert it into the leg/thigh area prior to adding the bird, then run the cord under the cover and plug it into the unit.  You can monitor the bird's temp this way, and it is way easier than opening the smoker.  Each time you lift the cover, you lose valuable heat and add to the cook time.

Make sure the smoker is set upon a flat/level surface that is fire retardant, such as a concrete patio.  Never on grass or wood.  The same goes for the chimeny starter.  Keep a fire extingusher nearby and/or a hose just in case.
Never use lighter fluid or quick-lite, match-lite charcoal, as these contain an accelerant and you WILL taste it on your food.  This may be why your buddy always had problems with the taste.  Use only pure charcoal in your chimney, lump charcoal in the smoker, and wood chunks for the smoke flavor.  I use hickory, oak, peach, apple, and pecan.  Mesquite to me imparts an overpowering flavor.  Good luck, and shoot if you have any more questions.
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New York Bowhunters, Inc.
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