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Old 11-27-2009, 09:49 PM   #1
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Thanksgiving Turkey 2009

I am off to the movie........I'll be back in a few. I am going to leave you with a pic of my turkey cook from yesterday.

It started out just like anyone elses bird.

This pic looks just like Larry and Scotty's.



After four hours............This pic does not look like Larry or Scotty's



I am sure it didn't taste like Larry or Scotty's either.

I shall return.
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Old 11-28-2009, 01:33 AM   #2
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Don't feel bad Cliff. That's kind of how mine come out. I swear, I can cook any thing on the big pig pit and the WSM's. Give me a turkey? Yea, I'll tank it. I think as long as you can eat it, it's not a total failure.

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Old 11-28-2009, 06:56 AM   #3
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Okay Cliff, you're killing me with the suspense....you should be a Mystery Book writer.........give us the details dammit!

From what I see the turkey looks great! But I'm assuming from your suspense it was not. Give us the low down!!!!
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:46 AM   #4
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Working a lot right now Larry. The short of the details is that the bird was smoked on the wsm for 4 hours at 250 over lump and apple wood or pear wood. I have them mixed together but they are both mild.

All I did to the enhanced bird was oil the outside with olive oil. I stuffed the inside with onions and apples. Sand in the pan. I didn't probe it cuz I was of thermo issues.

You can see from the photo that I took temps from just below the bird.

I checked it at three hours and had temp differences from one side of the bird to the other like BW was having. 150 on one side and 160 on the other. I had to settle for 170 and 160 pull temp.

Got to go to work. Have a good day everyone.
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:15 AM   #5
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I bet that is one good tasting bird!!!
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:19 AM   #6
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I'm waiting for details with beer-baited breath.
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Old 11-28-2009, 05:35 PM   #7
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I had that problem with a few birds that I did on my wsms too. 170 in the breast 154 in the thigh.....Maybe cook at a lower temp to bring everything up to temp together? Anyone?

Cliff I think the bird color still looks good. Reminds me of that place thats popular online from TX. Greenburgs? Steinburgs or goldbergs or somthin like that.
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Old 11-28-2009, 05:53 PM   #8
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Well turkeys suffer from the same afflictions as posed by chickens and as was previously pointed out, under most circumstances when cooking Whole birds a person is faced with the choice of overdone breastes or bloody thighs. If a person was really cooking to eat em I think splitting would be a great idear..skin side down (commonly called the Swim Cap Method as patented by dear old Chum called Rock McNeilly (or similar). Now until you have a rotessed bird you just aint had a good one yet. That cures the problemo too. Even the lowly old beer butt chicken placement works fair. Cooked em like that for years..sitting up like little soldiers on turkey frying trees. Fire gave them a good spanking on the buttocks whilst the breastes area was purty well protected. Now my old pal Alton Brown makes a little aluminum foil shield for the breastes. Now thats cute and can done easily on a R2D2 gizmo if a person has good temp control. Able to crank it up a notch etc.

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Old 11-28-2009, 06:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dollarbill
I had that problem with a few birds that I did on my wsms too. 170 in the breast 154 in the thigh.....Maybe cook at a lower temp to bring everything up to temp together? Anyone?
I cook mine between 245ļ-260ļ and can't remember having temp differences like that.....ever. So you may be onto something!
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:37 PM   #10
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Here is some detail

I thawed the turkey for two days in the fridge and then it in a cooler of water. I changed the water every hour for about three hours. Then it went back in the fridge until the next morning.

When I started unwrapping it. it was soft to the touch and the legs were flexible but there were a few chunks of ice inside the cavity.

I rinsed it inside and out, stuffed with apples and onion, oiled the outside and it was ready for the smoker. It sat in a pan for about 15 min while the fire got hot and then was set on the wsm.
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:43 PM   #11
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Here is some smoker detail.

I used Stubbs hardwood bricks with a few small pieces of apple wood with the bark on. The wood was from a limb about 3" in diameter.

I use a torch and get a few spots going and then assemble the smoker. I put the bird on once the temp was up to 200, added the wood thru the door and broght the temps up to 250 at just below the grate.

I had white smoke until the wood chunks heated up a then the smoker ran clear for the rest of the cook. Temps held between 240 and 260 for the entire cook. Sand in the pan.
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:54 PM   #12
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I didn't peak for three hours. I didn't probe the bird. At this point in my cooking addiction I have started to feel comfortable with not knowing the internal temp until it becomes critical.

Once I checked the bird, I saw WAY to dark a skin. I checked temps with my trusty super fast Thermapen. I had temp differences all over the bird. Top of the breast was different from the bottom of the breast. Left breast was different from right breast.

The only thing that was consistent was the thighs.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:00 PM   #13
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The worst part was when I went to carve the dang thing. It was dry and ugly looking. The smoke penetrated the skin and discolored it pretty good. Way over cooked.

I had to take the internal temps past target because it wasn't all done enough.

I did rest it in a cooler for about an hour. It was still very hot when I was carving.

The flavor of what we salvaged was edible but my MIL's oven baked turkey breast was more tender.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:40 PM   #14
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I tanked mine too. I've done two turkeys in the past few months that turned out perfect, on thanksgiving however I failed miserably. My stuffing rocked though.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:41 PM   #15
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I think it was because the right wing tip was tucked under the side skin....That's for sure BAD JU-JU!

Eh...people will say THIS...and THAT... went wrong. WHATEVER! Move on. It's happened to all of us.

I admire your courage for posting the pics and sharing that with us. Thanks
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:24 PM   #16
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I told my wife to prepare to eat a lot of turkey over the next few months.
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff H.
The worst part was when I went to carve the dang thing. It was dry and ugly looking. The smoke penetrated the skin and discolored it pretty good. Way over cooked.

I had to take the internal temps past target because it wasn't all done enough.

I did rest it in a cooler for about an hour. It was still very hot when I was carving.

The flavor of what we salvaged was edible but my MIL's oven baked turkey breast was more tender.
Cliff, couple things..........the dark color can come from a couple things. How much sand did you have in the pan? If there's not a 'baffle' the drippings will burn and give you a very dark finish. I had this problem on the Primos unless I put water in the pan. I'm not saying put water in the WSM pan, cause you don't need to. But sand (half pan), firebricks or foil ballls will give you a baffle and prevent the dripping from burning.

Another thing that could cause the over dark color is the oil you applied. Try omitting that next time, as it really serves no benefit other than 'glue' for the smoke and ash to adhere to.

The smoke isn't what 'penetrated' the skin.....the steam from resting it in the cooler is what caused this. The steam created condensation and it leached into the meat. Next time let it rest on the counter loosely tented with foil, it will stay plenty hot for a couple hours.

Last, allow the turkey to cool tented with foil at least 20-30 minute before slicing. Slicing any meat ESPECIALLY poultry will dry it out almost immediately.
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:46 AM   #18
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Thanks Larry, I didnt realize that the burning fat in the sand/water pan would cause a dark/er bird. Im pretty sure that has happened to me a couple of times. I thought it was a factor of using Pecan chunks in the mix.
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