I would like to smoke my heritage turkey for Thanksgiving.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by CDennis, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. CDennis

    CDennis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2009
    Idaho
    I have never smoked a turkey before, my husband and I just bought a SmokeHollow electric smoker I am considering smoking my 18lb delicious friend who has been sitting in brine for the past 24 hours. The SmokeHollow website says 12 hours..but everything else I read seem like a lot less. Also, this turkey is an older guy, 3 years to be exact,so I hoped smoking would be a good low and slow method to get him tender. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    I've no idea, so can't help at all.... but if you do smoke it would you pretty please post pictures and let us know how it tastes? I've been wanting to smoke one sometime too.
     
  3. CDennis

    CDennis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2009
    Idaho
    Will do!
     
  4. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Smoked my first turkey last night, with our eletric smoker. Nom, nom, nom. 11lb bird was 5.5 hours. Wanted to run a trial before to see how it would go. It was also an heritage bird, but only 5 months or so old.

    30 minutes per pound is a general guideline. Smoke between 200F-225F, if you can reach those temps. Shoot for a deep thigh temp of 170 and a breast temp of 165. Get an instant read digital thermometer if you don't already have one. You really need one if you don't already have one.

    Wet the chips between 30 minutes and an hour. I used about 3 cups. I placed my chips on foil, regular wrapping foil, and made a pouch, leaving one end open. Tossed the chips on the element, placed the turkey on the rack, split down the back bone, cavity down. I have an electronic thermometer that you put in the bird (thigh), and set the alarm for 170 degrees. A wire runs from the probe to the display and is designed to be closed in the door.

    Don't open the smoker often to check on progress, this will add 10-30 minutes to your cook time, each time you open it.

    You are looking at 9 hours of smoking/heating for that bird, so plan accordingly. If you are running behind because of "Lookey Lou's" or cold weather, you can finish the bird in your oven.

    The brine I used for this current bird for tomorrow:

    1 gal water
    1 gal Apple Juice
    1.5 cups Kosher or canning & pickling salt
    20 cloves garlic (minced)
    2 tablespoons BLACK Pepper
    1 lb Brown Sugar
    1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce

    Added more sugar for a sweeter finish.

    Rinse birds after brining 16-20 hours, pat dry, put in smoker.

    Play with it from there, and use each project as a way to refine your product. After 20 years of smoking salmon, I think I finally have that figured out, but I'll play with the procees until I get turkey's where I want them.
     
  5. montyhp

    montyhp Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 4, 2008
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    Turkeys are easy to smoke. Brining makes it almost foolproof. Make sure you have an instant read thermometer. You can smoke low and slow. To know when it is done you can shake hands with the drumstick and if it feels loose, then it is done. However, always use thermometer to be sure.

    I recommend googling BBQ FAQ for lots of information including cooking temperatures.

    (Oh BTW, I know this is too late for thanksgiving, but once you smoke a good turkey, you will want to do it over and over again).
     
  6. montyhp

    montyhp Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 4, 2008
    South Texas
    As far as brining goes, I have never found that adding anything to the brine but salt and sugar makes any difference. The flavor will be smoky enough that it will mask any other flavors.
     

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