Pellet Smoking a Turkey

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rms827
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Pellet Smoking a Turkey

Postby rms827 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:32 am

I'm hoping somebody has some experience here.

I'm planing on cooking Turkey for Easter, and I want to slow cook it to give it a nice smoke flavor. A few online sites I've found say the average time is about a half hour per pound. One or two also recommended searing it at 475 for 20 minutes first. Seems like that would block out some of the smoke flavor though.

So has anybody done this before and are there any tips, tricks or pitfalls I should be aware of?

Extra info; it's a 13 lb bird, I'm going to be brining it the day before, and it will NOT be stuffed (I know it wouldn't cook right at 250 if stuffed)


Thanks in advance. :)
Last edited by rms827 on Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pellet Smking a Turkey

Postby woodenvisions » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:46 am

Can't offer any pellet advice but as for crisping the skin first, I would NOT go that route imho.
I've done quite a few Turkey smokes over lump and found that cranking up the temp in the end works best for crisp skin.

I'm sure you will get good advice from the pellet users on here as they have them figured out very well.

Good luck and happy easter
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Re: Pellet Smking a Turkey

Postby rms827 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:22 am

Thanks Wooden... I was thinking the same thing with the skin. I've become a huge fan of the reverse sear cooking technique (same rough idea) since I learned about it. :)

Happy Easter to you too. :cheers:
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Re: Pellet Smking a Turkey

Postby bondobill » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:56 pm

I've done a few Turkeys in my pellet.some turned out good, some not.
Best luck I've had was the ones I've brined and spatchcocked.
You'll probably never achieve real crispy skin unless you cook it at high heat like 350 plus. But as you know the higher the heat the less smoke out of a pellet smoker. Might just as well do it in the oven.
I read somewhere to blaster mayo on the skin for crisby skin. I tried that once and ended up with rubbery black skin. :roll:
Try drying off the bird after it comes out of the brine and letting it sit in the fridge uncovered overnight before putting it in the smoker. This seems to help make for somewhat crisber skin.
I'll set my grille on xtreme smoke at 225. I let the bird roll at that temp for a couple hours or more until I think it's got enough smoke. To finish it off I crank up the grille to 275 or 300. Any higher then 300 I've noticed the skin will start to pull back and the meat will start to crack open, not exactly eye candy. :whiteflag:
I always wrap my birds tight in foil whether it be Clucker or Turkey immediately after they come out of the smoker. Wrap in foil then some towels and set the in a small cooler. I'll let them rest for up to a hour or two before serving. The rest in a cooler really seems to help for moist pull off the bone meat.

Bill
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Re: Pellet Smking a Turkey

Postby Okie Sawbones » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:20 pm

I have done several, plus turkey breasts. Here is a pic of a breast I smoked:

Image

I inject my turkeys instead of brining them. I feel it gives me better results. There are a lot of good injections on the market. I rub down with olive oil very lightly, then add rub. Again, there are many good ones out there. I smoke my turkey at 275F, and it takes 20-25 minutes per pound, but I go by the breast meat temperature (165F). I use apple and cherry pellets, and use an A-MAZE-N Smoker for a good smoke, without overdoing it. If you like, you can cook to 160F, then crank up the heat to 375F to crisp up the skin to your liking.
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Re: Pellet Smking a Turkey

Postby rms827 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:27 am

Thanks Bill and Okie. Definitely some good advice there. I've done whole turkey breast before (skinless) and had good luck. A full turkey will be a first for me though. The thing with the mayo... I recall hearing that before, and with the same results, LOL. I think I'll learn from Bill's experience and pass on the mayo. :mrgreen:

Between the two of you, I think I have a battle plan. Still quite a bit of logistics to work out for the whole dinner though. I'll post exactly what I did and the results after the carnage is over, LOL
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Re: Pellet Smking a Turkey

Postby OldUsedParts » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:00 am

I've never Pelletized a Gobbler. I only Inject and Beer Can my Birds, with pleasing results.

However, my late great friend from Minnesota swore by putting a grapefruit inside for moisture :dont:
Never tried it but I may some day, just out of respect for his memory. :salut: :flag:
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Re: Pellet Smking a Turkey

Postby Okie Sawbones » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:05 am

Have fun RMS!
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Re: Pellet Smking a Turkey

Postby spacetrucker » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:01 pm

the choice is totally up to you, you can cook it whole, or cut it into pieces, wrap it in bacon or not, leave the skin on or not? smoke skinless for a couple hours then wrap in foil and apply a cup of melted butter and finish? so many choices so little time. The last one I did was a skinless breast seasoned with salt pepper and garlic smoked for about 3 hours then wrap in foil and finish to an internal temperature of 165, and it was a good hit. on other occasions I cut the wings off the breast and separated the legs from the thighs threw the back in the trash, laid bacon on the breast and cooked all at 250 until 160 internal then put on the gasser at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes to crisp the skin and bacon. I hope these ideas stimulate your thinking and help you pick a direction to go with your turkey :cheers:
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Re: Pellet Smking a Turkey

Postby Okie Sawbones » Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:51 am

I knew I had a picture of a whole turkey I smoked. 275F until breast read 160, then cranked the heat to 350F until the breast was 165F. Injected with Kosmos Original Chicken Injection. Rubbed with Kosmos Dirty Bird. Smoked using apple and cherry. Super moist and delicious:

Image
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Re: Pellet Smking a Turkey

Postby rms827 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:40 pm

Looks dang good, Okie. :cheers:

Well, at this point it's all over but the clean up. Everything turned out amazing, and I credit much of my success to the advice I got here. :salut:


Image

That's the turkey right before carving. :chef:

Let's take a step back though... Here's what I did: After thawing the turkey in the fridge, I brined it for 18 hours, then dried it off, oiled it and put some rub on it. Into the fridge overnight, and then onto the Rec Tec at 240 (yes 240, not 250) to slow cook it an get it some smoke. About 5 hours later, the IT hit 140, and I cranked the grill up to 275 to finish it off. 265 and off it goes. Wrap tight in foil, stuff in cooler for what worked out to be almost an hour and a half while the rest of dinner was finished. Pull out, carve and enjoy.

The only flaw was that it was just a little on the salty side. Too long in the brine. I've brined birds that long before, but they were not completely defrosted like this one was. Lesson learned. :D
Everything still turned out great though.

Here's a coupe pics of the dark meat after carvin'

Image

Image

white meat turned out just as good, but apparently I forgot to grab a pic. :banghead:


Here's the rest of the meal:

Image
Gravy and Cucumber Salad


Image
A better look at that Chinese Cucumber Salad


Image
Green Beans with garlic and prosciutto


Image
Smoked and then roasted garlic baby red potatoes


Image
Rosemary Parm Biscuits (Red Lobster brand packaged mix; the only thing not made from scratch)


Image
And lastly, dessert; Italian Easter Pie (think orange zest flavored rice pudding in a puff pastry)
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Re: Pellet Smking a Turkey

Postby Okie Sawbones » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:23 pm

Nice job!
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Re: Pellet Smking a Turkey

Postby bondobill » Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:09 pm

Good looking bird and meal rms :salut:
How much salt you using in your brine. :?:
I normally brine all our feathered friends. Whole cluckers get brined up to 12 hours. Turkeys 24 hours or more. Never turn out too salty.
I use a cup of Kosher salt and a cup of brown sugar and just enough water in the container to cover the bird. I do give them a good rinse tho after coming out of the brine, pat dry then a healthy rub of my fav seasonings.

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Re: Pellet Smking a Turkey

Postby G8trwood » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:39 pm

I typically butterfly them or just cooked breasts. I don’t brine them anymore as I don’t like the texture change. On breasts I cook till 150-155 and wrap it in a cooler for an hour or two.
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Re: Pellet Smking a Turkey

Postby rms827 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:49 pm

bondobill wrote:Good looking bird and meal rms :salut:
How much salt you using in your brine. :?:

Bill


I actually normally use Fire and Flavor brand brine mix. It has juniper, rosemary and a ton of other good seasonings in it. This time I used World Market brand brine mix. More salt in it, but it's what was available. Next time I can't get Fire & Flavor, I'll make my own.

https://www.fireandflavor.com/products/fire-flavor-turkey-perfect-herb-brine-kit-16-6oz?variant=38498787474

Nice thing is the kit comes with a giant ziplock bag to brine the bird in. Cuts way down on the mess.
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