It's turkey time… or The Bird is the Word

panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Samurai
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1,140 6
#24
Haha. Well, it’s kind of true that besides having a life with my wife and 2 kids, I don’t have much of a life beyond my home theater room. :D
Nothing wrong with that :)

You're just who popped into my head with what looks like a custom status. I've seen others...I think.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
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4,508 11 2
#26
That's what Swerd's gonna sound like standing out in freezing weather dealing with the bird....
Tomorrow the high temperature is going to be 32° :eek:.

I hope I can get that smoker to maintain 300° when it's that cold outside. I kinda think I can, but I've never tried it when its that cold. Always have a Plan B in mind. Plan B is roast the bird indoors, in the kitchen oven.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
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4,514 18 37
#27
Tomorrow the high temperature is going to be 32° :eek:.

I hope I can get that smoker to maintain 300° when it's that cold outside. I kinda think I can, but I've never tried it when its that cold. Always have a Plan B in mind. Plan B is roast the bird indoors, in the kitchen oven.
I've smoked in pretty cold weather (40s) and was able to maintain temperature well enough once I got it to the right temp, might have to compensate if the temperature swings, tho. That was just using a weber kettle with a smoke-n-ator.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
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4,508 11 2
#28
Day 2 Progress Report

I took the bird out of the brine, after 28 hours, rinsed it well, dried it with lots of paper towels, and set it up to dry in the refrigerator :). All good news. I didn't have to rig up some critter-proof way to store the bird overnight in the garage.

I used the conical wire poultry stand (I mentioned it earlier) to hold the bird upright. With a drip tray underneath, it was a little less that 11½" tall. All that easily fit on the top shelf of my refrigerator. Kudos to my wife who had moved all the contents from that shelf to other areas in the refrigerator without much trouble. The refrigerator shelves are adjustable, but the bird fit without resorting to that.

Other good news – the large brining bag never leaked – and the brine and the bird stayed cold inside that small 28 quart cooler. Lesson, use the smallest cooler that fits – I used a 28 quart cooler for a 19 lb turkey. Once the brine bag full of bird and brine juice is in the cooler, fill all the empty spaces with frozen ice packs.

Sorry, no photos of this step. My hands were a mess while I did this and it didn't seem worth it to stop, clean up just for a photo.

Tomorrow, I'll aim to fire up the smoker around 10 or 11 am.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
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4,508 11 2
#29
I've smoked in pretty cold weather (40s) and was able to maintain temperature well enough once I got it to the right temp, might have to compensate if the temperature swings, tho. That was just using a weber kettle with a smoke-n-ator.
I may be wrong, but I'm not very worried about the cold weather. Wind can be a bigger problem for a Weber smoker. They leak a lot and have no insulation.

The smoking recipe calls for temperatures of 325-350° F. That's no different from roasting in a kitchen oven. I can get a Weber kettle to that temperature, but I'm not sure I can get a Weber smoker that hot, even under summer conditions. I'll be happy if I get the smoker to 300°. It may take a bit longer, but it will get done – even if I have to bring the bird indoors to finish roasting.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,514 18 37
#30
I may be wrong, but I'm not very worried about the cold weather. Wind can be a bigger problem for a Weber smoker. They leak a lot and have no insulation.

The smoking recipe calls for temperatures of 325-350° F. That's no different from roasting in a kitchen oven. I can get a Weber kettle to that temperature, but I'm not sure I can get a Weber smoker that hot, even under summer conditions. I'll be happy if I get the smoker to 300°. It may take a bit longer, but it will get done – even if I have to bring the bird indoors to finish roasting.
Sounds like a high temp for smoking, I usually am in the 230-250 range. Not necessarily a turkey, altho have done one on the weber with indirect heat (covered with bacon, yum). You have to use the vents vewy vewy carefully to control temp/air, and a properly fitting lid helps (don't drop it off the back of a truck or off the deck :) ) but can be done. What smoker do you have?
 
KaatheSnake

KaatheSnake

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
407 14 30
#31
I may be wrong, but I'm not very worried about the cold weather. Wind can be a bigger problem for a Weber smoker. They leak a lot and have no insulation.

The smoking recipe calls for temperatures of 325-350° F. That's no different from roasting in a kitchen oven. I can get a Weber kettle to that temperature, but I'm not sure I can get a Weber smoker that hot, even under summer conditions. I'll be happy if I get the smoker to 300°. It may take a bit longer, but it will get done – even if I have to bring the bird indoors to finish roasting.
Happy early Thanksgiving to ya'll! @speakerman39 @Swerd @Drunkpenguin @lovinthehd @panteragstk @AcuDefTechGuy ! Have a great day!
 
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Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
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4,508 11 2
#32
Sounds like a high temp for smoking, I usually am in the 230-250 range. Not necessarily a turkey, altho have done one on the weber with indirect heat (covered with bacon, yum). You have to use the vents vewy vewy carefully to control temp/air, and a properly fitting lid helps (don't drop it off the back of a truck or off the deck :) ) but can be done. What smoker do you have?
I have an 18" Weber smoker, and a 22" Weber charcoal grill. The smokers work best in the 230-275° range, and seem to 'want' to stay in that low & slow barbecue range. The grills are happier at about 350 with the indirect method, and much hotter by the direct method. I suppose I could roast a turkey in in the grill, but a 19 lb bird might not fit, and I would have to keep adding charcoal to roast for 3 hours. The smoker can hold a lot more fuel, enough for 6 to 8 hours at lower temperatures.

I'm used to smoking pork or brisket in the low & slow temperature range, but this recipe specifically calls for hotter temps for turkey. I've found brined turkeys produce a flood of liquid as you roast them, so maybe they won't dry out with the higher temps.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
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4,514 18 37
#34
I have an 18" Weber smoker, and a 22" Weber charcoal grill. The smokers work best in the 230-275° range, and seem to 'want' to stay in that low & slow barbecue range. The grills are happier at about 350 with the indirect method, and much hotter by the direct method. I suppose I could roast a turkey in in the grill, but a 19 lb bird might not fit, and I would have to keep adding charcoal to roast for 3 hours. The smoker can hold a lot more fuel, enough for 6 to 8 hours at lower temperatures.

I'm used to smoking pork or brisket in the low & slow temperature range, but this recipe specifically calls for hotter temps for turkey. I've found brined turkeys produce a flood of liquid as you roast them, so maybe they won't dry out with the higher temps.
Yeah when I did the bird think I used a 300 temp or so now that I think about it. Water pan below grill helps a lot. I have a thermometer and it is amazing the control of temp you can get with the bottom and top vents on a 22" weber grill.....may you find that perfect result of your grill/smoke effort!

I won't go the direction of how I feel about the holiday itself :)
 
Swerd

Swerd

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#35
I got the bird on the smoker at 10:50. I used the lower rack as the lid wouldn’t fit over the bird on the top rack. It’s now 11:30, the bird temp is 58°, and the rack temp is 320°. The Weber thermometer mounted in the lid seems to read about 20° cooler than the lower rack probe reads.

I’ll watch the temperature, but I think the smoker has no problem maintaining heat in this weather. It's now 34° outside.

I use a wireless ThermoPro TP-08S smoker thermometer. It helps in a big way.
 
Dan

Dan

Senior Audioholic
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178 2
#36
As a guest at Swerd's feast the turkey came out great in no small part to the sage advice and experience I imparted as I've done a bird several times this way:D! Well done bro, and yes the smoker handles that temp just fine. I gave a leg my best Henry the eighth impression. Also kudos to Bonnie for many fine things but especially the stuffing and the pecan pie!
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
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4,508 11 2
#37
As a guest at Swerd's feast the turkey came out great in no small part to the sage advice and experience I imparted as I've done a bird several times this way:D! Well done bro, and yes the smoker handles that temp just fine. I gave a leg my best Henry the eighth impression. Also kudos to Bonnie for many fine things but especially the stuffing and the pecan pie!
Yes, my brother Dan found this recipe and has done it enough to have learned the fine points. I learned from him.

I don't have to comment further about the bird. It was a big success. Although I've smoked other meats, ribs, pork shoulder and brisket (I'm really good at brisket) it was the first time I've smoked a turkey. So I was relieved that it came out well.

Notes to self & other interested smokers:
  • I used this recipe almost exactly as written , with one major change in the brine recipe: Cut the amount of ginger from 4 ounces to 2 ounces. Dan says 4 ounces made it taste like too much ginger.
  • I used apple juice not apple cider. It was a last minute decision made because I could store the unopened juice bottle at room temperature. At that point the refrigerator was crowded. Dan has used apple cider instead of juice, and likes the result. Probably, either one works.
  • I bought a 19 lb. free-range-fed turkey, never frozen.
  • I brined in a large 24"×24" zip lock plastic brine bag sold in the grocery store. A 19 lb. bird easily fit inside. During brining, I kept things inside a rectangular 28 quart cooler. It just fit – a bigger bird would need a bigger cooler. I filled the sides and top spaces with frozen ice packs. Plain ice would also do. The bird & brine easily stayed cold for 28 hours. I've brined turkeys in the past, but I put the bag in an empty vegetable bin of my refrigerator. I would have to remove the drawer, put the bird & brine in it, and then put the drawer back in the fridge – an awkward maneuver, painfull for my back. Using the cooler is much easier.
  • After brining, the next step is to dry the bird overnight. Dan had emphasized to me how important this step is to get crispy skin during roasting. So my wife & I made an effort to clear out one shelf (the top shelf) of our refrigerator. The bird easily fit while propped upright on the poultry stand and a drip pan. A bigger bird might have fit, but I would have to adjust the shelving.
  • For smoking, the bird was still propped upright on the poultry stand. Under that I used an open mesh wire 'grilling pan' with handles. The handles were the important part. It's the kind 'pan' you can buy to grill vegetables or shrimp on a gas or charcoal grille.
  • Propping the bird upright is also important. During brining a turkey gets saturated with water. During roasting it needs no basting at all, and actually sheds a lot of fluid during roasting. Propping the bird upright prevents this excess fluid from accumulating inside the birds cavity. A catch pan underneath keeps the smoker from becoming a mess, and provides the starting material for an excellent gravy that my wife makes.
  • The Weber smoker has a water pan between the fire and meat. Normally, the pan holds water that keeps smoked meat from drying out. For a brined turkey, leave out the water.
  • I kept roasting until the meat thermometer in the breast meat read 170°, instead of the usual minimum of 165°. That took somewhat longer than 3 hours in the smoker. I let the bird 'rest' under an aluminum foil tent for about ½ hour before carving it. Despite that longer roast, the bird was flavorful and juicy – nothing close to dry. The meat was tender and soft, not dry and firm. It was among the best I've ever eaten.
  • I used 4 chunks of apple wood for flavor plus a lot of charcoal for heat. I didn't want to over-smoke the bird. I think the bird would have been better if I used more wood chunks, perhaps 6 to 8.
 
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speakerman39

speakerman39

Audioholic Overlord
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2,850 6 4
#38
I cooked (2) packages of turkey wings today. Modified an old recipe a bit. It turned out better than expected. However, ever since eating some I am very nauseated and my stomach does NOT feel well. Hope I did not get food poisoning. If I am not better after my KY game, I might need to go to the ER. Just took a few Zofran so I hope that it calms the nausea. I have felt fine all day until after eating some wings. Glad yours turned out well Richard.


Cheers,

Phil
 
D

Drunkpenguin

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
668 4
#40
We cooked ours the old fashioned way. Put it in the oven and waited for the button to pop up. Funny thing is, the button never popped up! After 4.5 hours we decided to just go for it. Came out perfect! The stove top stuffing was also amazing!

We are not foodies, but still love some thanksgiving dinner!

@speakerman39 , sorry to hear you got sick buddy! Sure it wasnt the alcohol? :cool:

Oh and I made everybody listen to the bird is the word song. Got a couple laughs.
 

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