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My Turkey Experiment

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Post Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:30 am
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3030
Location: Atlanta-GA
I decided to do something different with my Turkey this year by cutting into pieces prior to cooking.
I started with 3 turkeys
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Separated the legs, thighs and wings, but kept the breast whole. I removed the back bone portion from the breasts, but kept the breast bone.
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This also made it easy to brine in the refrigerator, since I was able to use smaller containers to soak the pieces
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24 hours later…
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I placed the pieces on racks after brining and placed them back in the refrigerator for another 24 hours so the skin can dry out.
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Onto the smoker on T-Day, I added the wings an hour later so they wouldn’t over cook
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The cooking was done just few min shy of 2 hours
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Dinner is served :)
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Results:
It was the juiciest Turkey I’ve ever had :)
The breast meat was perfectly cooked, since I was able to take it out when it reached 160 internal temp. And the wings were not overcooked, since I added them later and the dark meat was smoky and perfectly done under two hours. The cooking temp ranged between 300 to 350 and I was using the SFB.
I would say this was a very successful experiment. I mean cooking three turkeys in one smoker under two hours and have them come out perfect is a testament of its own :D
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Post Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:40 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7131
Location: Stoughton, WI
Nice job, Z! How big were the turkeys? Did you have a big group or do you just like lots of leftovers? :wink:

I've seen this method on a couple of cooking shows and if it's not important that the bird be cooked whole it really seems like a good way to go. Jacques Pepin even has a method where he debones and stuffs the leg.

Post Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:25 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3030
Location: Atlanta-GA
Thanks Brad,
Two of the turkeys were 15lbs each and one was around 12. Yes, I did feed a crowd, but I also wanted some leftovers for myself and some for a couple of guests.
I agree, it is not important to keep the bird whole, since I rarely bring it to the table whole. And the carving was so easy ;)
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Post Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:12 pm
phillyjazz well done
well done

Posts: 2928
Location: Philly

Beautiful !! I did a heritage turkey this year (Bronze) and cooked for 1 hr and 45 at 475F until the breast hit 155F. Let it rest 20 minutes. The skin was like duck (crispy and juicy with fat.) Heritage turkeys apparently have an extra layer like ducks. it was COSTLY (Whole Foods) but, hey .. Thanksgiving is once per year.
- Phillyjazz -

Grill Dome ceramic / Ducane Affinity 4200 gasser/ Concrete pit
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Post Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:45 pm
scorched_porch User avatar
medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 254
Location: Redwood City, California

Those are some Good looking birds! I did the same thing, only I did the pieces Sous Vide first. Fantastic results. Hard to break the tradition of the bird looking like one pretty individual piece - but I reassembled it after it was cooked. I think I'll go this way from here on out - also makes it easier to carve.
Wood Fired Argentine Parrilla
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http://thequinchoproject.wordpress.com/

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Post Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:55 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5697
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Nice work, Z! That's an excellent idea - every piece gets cooked the way it should and I'd even bet it shortened the cooking time.

And I love the idea about reassembling the bird. My folks usually cut it apart and carve it before presenting it, so precutting the bird would save a lot of time and work.

I know what you mean abouo t leftovers too. Nothing like some fresh bread and some smoked turkey and bean soup on a cold day. :D
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:55 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7131
Location: Stoughton, WI
For bean soup my first instinct is ham but smoked turkey would be really good. But because I didn't cook this year I'm finding it impossible to get into Leftover Mode. :wink:

Post Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:54 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5697
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
ScreamingChicken wrote:
For bean soup my first instinct is ham but smoked turkey would be really good. But because I didn't cook this year I'm finding it impossible to get into Leftover Mode. :wink:


Ham is my first choice as well - especially ham hocks I cure and smoke on my own (mostly because they are cheaper). But smoked turkey works nicely in a pinch especially if it's brined with something that goes well with the other soup ingredients.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:08 am
Griffin well done
well done

Posts: 3305
Location: Dallas, Texas

Nicely done. Love the idea of cutting up the turkey first. What did you use for smoke?

Post Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:55 pm
beercuer User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 2268
Location: Southern Californy
There ya go, working your magic again, Z! Talk about eye candy! I find it to be quite torturous looking at those beautiful pics, actually. :D
Got beer???


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