WSM turkey breast - BBQ Central

Go Back   BBQ Central > General > General Barbecue
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-12-2006, 01:39 PM   #1
Cooker


 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 205
WSM turkey breast

Having been inspired by Wolfe's topic, I decided to try turkey breasts on my almost brand new WSM. I'd purchased it just a week or two prior.

I did a whole, bone-in, skin-on turkey breast last Sunday. Brined in 2 gal on H2O with a half-cup each of kosher salt & light brown sugar. Also had a dash of peppercorns in the brine.

For the brine I brought a quart of water to a boil, added all the dry stuff & mixed until dissolved. Let same cool for about an hour. Poured into 5 gal water cooler along with 3 quarts of tap water & 4 quarts of ice. 1 + 3 + 4 = 2 if you follow me. The breast sat in this brine for about 20 hours. There were still ice cubes when I pulled it out of the cooler.

I used the Minion method to get the WSM started, but, evidently, didn't quite use enough hot coals. Immediately after placing the hot coals on the unlit coals I put the breast on and closed the lid. The lid stayed on/closed until I removed the breast.

The temp never got much over 220, and hovered at or below 200 for almost 1.5 ours.

At hour 4.5 - 5.75 the breast temp plateaud at 154. The pit temp (taken with a 10" therm through the upper vent) was starting to roll back from 220 to 210 over that time. I then checked the briquettes and they were just about gone. I only used a layer-&-a-half or so to begin with. Of course, I had some chunk hickory in there too.

I added another half-chimney of hot coals 20 minutes later, i.e. at around 5.75 hour mark. Temp shot up to 280 but I didn't care. I just wanted what turned into a 6.5 hour cook to end as we were all hungry. Pulled the turkey off when finally got to 160. Wrapped in heavy foil & placed in newspaper lined cooler for 45 minutes.

The turkey was good, but not great. It was a little drier than I was expecting, and frankly, not as juicy as when I'd just roasted in the past on the One Touch Gold 22.5 using indirect heat & the same brine.

I think the breast was just out there too long. I believe that had I gotten the temp up earlier, like to 225-250, the time would have been right and the result much more juicy.

Next time, in addition to getting the temp up where it should have been, I think I may pull the breast at 155. Carryover will result in at least another 5 degrees to end at 160, won't it?
__________________

LowRent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2006, 01:48 PM   #2
Official BBQ Central Mark
 
Bill The Grill Guy's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Virginia
Posts: 5,449
Um, excuse me. But WHERE ARE THE PICS!
__________________

__________________
Bill The Grill Guy
www.billthegrillguy.com
"Life, it's what you do between meals."

http://img76.imageshack.us/img76/3674/platezi0.png
Bill The Grill Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2006, 02:30 PM   #3
Official BBQ Central Mark
 
Larry Wolfe's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bealeton, Virginia
Posts: 14,969
Okay first off your brine was too weak, it didn't have enough salt. You were basically soaking the bird in seasoned water, not a brine. Figure roughly 1/4 cup of salt per quart of water and roughly 1/4 cup of sugar per 1/2 gallon of water. Whatever else you add to your brine is up to your imagination and taste.

The low temperature concern me with poultry. If you're dome temp was at 220* you were really only cooking in the 205* range. I start off with approx. 10-15 lit coals using the MM. Leave all vents 100% open until the dome temp hits 200*, then shut them all down by 3/4. For poultry it the temp isn't in the 250* range (lil' higher or lower it's still good!), I make a vent adjustment within 30 minutes.

You temperature problems could have been caused by your thermometer for a number of reasons. If it was 10" there is a chance it was touching the turkey, that would have kept your temp down. Or the thermometer, like many being used could have probably been incorrect. Try calibrating your thermometers and see if they are within a couple degrees of 212* when placed in boiling water. If it's more than say 7-8 degrees I'd toss it.

Hope this helps, don't give up! Keep trying, smoked turkeys are awesome!
__________________
Larry Wolfe
Visit the Wolfe Pit
Wolfe Rub Recipes
Larry Wolfe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 09:34 AM   #4
Official BBQ Central Mark
 
john pen's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Western NY
Posts: 5,084
I just did me turkey last week without brine..averaged 250 degrees, took about 4 and a half hours...was awesome..very juicy. I will brine the next time just to see what the difference is...
__________________
"I love my country, I love my guns, I love my family, I love the way it is now. And anybody that tries to change it, has to come through me. That should be all of our attitudes.
Cause this is America and a country boy is good enough for me, son."
- Charlie Daniels
john pen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 09:36 AM   #5
Moderator
 
Nick Prochilo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Long Island, N.Y.
Posts: 16,367
I have always brined my turkey breasts and cook at 300* - 325* range. Comes out juicy every time.
__________________
I hope this isn't negative!
Nick Prochilo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 12:48 PM   #6
Cooker


 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill The Grill Guy
Um, excuse me. But WHERE ARE THE PICS!
I don't have a pbase or similar hosting service.
LowRent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 12:56 PM   #7
Official BBQ Central Mark
 
Larry Wolfe's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bealeton, Virginia
Posts: 14,969
Quote:
Originally Posted by LowRent
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill The Grill Guy
Um, excuse me. But WHERE ARE THE PICS!
I don't have a pbase or similar hosting service.
Go to www.imageshack.us ,it'll host your pic's and it's free.
__________________
Larry Wolfe
Visit the Wolfe Pit
Wolfe Rub Recipes
Larry Wolfe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 12:59 PM   #8
Cooker


 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Wolfe
Okay first off your brine was too weak, it didn't have enough salt. You were basically soaking the bird in seasoned water, not a brine. Figure roughly 1/4 cup of salt per quart of water and roughly 1/4 cup of sugar per 1/2 gallon of water. Whatever else you add to your brine is up to your imagination and taste.
Wow. That would be a truly strong brine. You recommend that salt level even for a 20 hour soak? I usually use an 1/8 C of kosher & sugar each for about a 1/2 gal for my 24 hour brines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Wolfe
The low temperature concern me with poultry. If you're dome temp was at 220* you were really only cooking in the 205* range. I start off with approx. 10-15 lit coals using the MM. Leave all vents 100% open until the dome temp hits 200*, then shut them all down by 3/4. For poultry it the temp isn't in the 250* range (lil' higher or lower it's still good!), I make a vent adjustment within 30 minutes.

You temperature problems could have been caused by your thermometer for a number of reasons. If it was 10" there is a chance it was touching the turkey, that would have kept your temp down. Or the thermometer, like many being used could have probably been incorrect. Try calibrating your thermometers and see if they are within a couple degrees of 212* when placed in boiling water. If it's more than say 7-8 degrees I'd toss it.
The vents were all at 100% open the entire time. There was never cause to close them.

The thermometer was neither touching the bird or the grill. I could move it to verify same. Also, I used a Poulder digital for the bird and pit temp. It tracked fairly closely, i.e. within 5 degrees, of the cheapo through the vent. I'm fairly confident that most of the time the temp at grill was around 210-215... but, it was lower for the first hour-&-a-half.

I just didn't use enough hot coals, and may not have let the ones I used burn long enough before adding them. Just a newbie error. Nothing more. I'm doing a brisket flat today. I used 20 hot and the temp in the dome was up to 250 within 30 minutes. Right now the flat is at 166 and the dome temp is 230. I just opened the vents a little before tending to this thread. Vents are all a little over 25% open as I write this.

I know I could benefit from more accurate thermometers... but I'm pretty sure santa is bringing a Stoker setup for Christmas. Not that I wouldn't like a good bimetal analog in addition to the Stoker, but I have to pace my purchases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Wolfe
Hope this helps, don't give up! Keep trying, smoked turkeys are awesome!
Everyone's input does help, and I'm not even contemplating giving up. This was the first try with a new toy. I've got a lot to learn.
LowRent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 01:00 PM   #9
Cooker


 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Wolfe
Go to www.imageshack.us ,it'll host your pic's and it's free.
OK. I'll go check that out.
LowRent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 02:32 PM   #10
Cooker


 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 205
Test link:

__________________

LowRent is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.