first time turkey


 

Mark Foreman

TVWBB Pro
Heck with the turkey! Those are a couple of nice, nice looking Dungeoness crabs you got there. My granddaughter and I can sit and eat three of those with nothing more than a couple of napkins, a juice box for her and a cold IPA for me. Now that’s living!
We are lucky to catch them locally in Tomales bay and in the Pacific off of Bodega Bay. IMO … Dungeness Crab is the best!!!
 
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KE Quist

TVWBB Super Fan
I have spatchcocked, dry brined, and smoked a turkey on Thanksgiving for the last several years now. Family wont let me do it any other way. Secondary benefits: gets me out of the house periodically to "check on things", gives me time to have a beer/drink/whatever while I "check on things".
 

Bill Klinke

TVWBB Fan
I have spatchcocked, dry brined, and smoked a turkey on Thanksgiving for the last several years now. Family wont let me do it any other way. Secondary benefits: gets me out of the house periodically to "check on things", gives me time to have a beer/drink/whatever while I "check on things".
Agreed, doing a turkey on a kettle/WSM/etc gets the cook outside as they wish, and perhaps refreshing adult beverages, AND you can get good brownie points.
………because it opens up the oven indoors for all the other food items.
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
For turkey day we always have one big oven cooked bird and a couple that are injected and fried to snack on while waiting on dinner. Usually ive smoked a turkey or at least a turkey breast too.

Said it before, but you can keep the rest of the turkey .....just give me the smoked turkey breast. With some homemade mayonnaise, and Coleman's mustard, pumpernickel bread, Swiss cheese and lettuce....ill eat it all.
 

MichaelLC

TVWBB Fan
Another first-timer here so keep these tips coming!

What's the size recommendation for 4 adults? Would like to use 18" WSM, likey get bird from a good butcher if that matters.
 

D. Dix

New member
hello all, im gonna try smoking a turkey for the first time this thanksgiving and im thinking of using the apple brine recipe. I will be using the 18 in wsm and also the thermoworks billows to help me keep temps steady. Is 350 the ideal temp to shoot for? can i spatchcock the turkey with this brine recipe? gonna split turkey with neighbor, we both only have a couple people to feed. and thought it would be easier to split. Sorry for all the questions but I really want this turkey to turn out good. Any tips or suggestions appreciated.
I have a have a pretty simple and full proof apple brine that is easy and well received by anyone who is around to enjoy. I use my WSM, and smoke at 275 to 300 max, using briquettes & lump with some oak or apple wood for smoke. Takes about 3-1/2 hrs and it is fabulous! Skin is always an issue. I never could seem to get it “crispy” and doesn’t bug me either way. Rotisserie works well for better quality skin and Cook’s very even. I’ll do that on my Summit depending on the weather if I want to break out one of my smokers. I have a full smoke box when doing rotisserie and the is great too.

Basic apple brine

1/2-1gl apple cider

1 cup kosher salt

1 cup brown sugar

6 cloves garlic

4oz fresh ginger

2-3 oranges

Bay leaves

Pepper

2/ 5-6lb. chickens or 1-12lb turkey



On stovetop, Bring cider, salt salt & brown sugar to just warm enough to dissolve. Smash garlic, cut & squeeze-oranges, and slice the ginger. (Skin & all) combine with ice, to cool mixture down. Put chickens/turkey in a food grade bucket or extra lrg. ziplock bag, pour cooled mixture over bird(s) & refrigerate overnight to 24hrs.



Remove & discard the brine, rinse & pat dry. Oil & season bird to taste & cook as described.

ENJOY!!
 

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Richard in NS

TVWBB All-Star
I have a have a pretty simple and full proof apple brine that is easy and well received by anyone who is around to enjoy. I use my WSM, and smoke at 275 to 300 max, using briquettes & lump with some oak or apple wood for smoke. Takes about 3-1/2 hrs and it is fabulous! Skin is always an issue. I never could seem to get it “crispy” and doesn’t bug me either way. Rotisserie works well for better quality skin and Cook’s very even. I’ll do that on my Summit depending on the weather if I want to break out one of my smokers. I have a full smoke box when doing rotisserie and the is great too.

Basic apple brine

1/2-1gl apple cider

1 cup kosher salt

1 cup brown sugar

6 cloves garlic

4oz fresh ginger

2-3 oranges

Bay leaves

Pepper

2/ 5-6lb. chickens or 1-12lb turkey



On stovetop, Bring cider, salt salt & brown sugar to just warm enough to dissolve. Smash garlic, cut & squeeze-oranges, and slice the ginger. (Skin & all) combine with ice, to cool mixture down. Put chickens/turkey in a food grade bucket or extra lrg. ziplock bag, pour cooled mixture over bird(s) & refrigerate overnight to 24hrs.



Remove & discard the brine, rinse & pat dry. Oil & season bird to taste & cook as described.

ENJOY!!
That turkey is looking Good! 😋
 

Tim - tongatim

New member
hello all, im gonna try smoking a turkey for the first time this thanksgiving and im thinking of using the apple brine recipe. I will be using the 18 in wsm and also the thermoworks billows to help me keep temps steady. Is 350 the ideal temp to shoot for? can i spatchcock the turkey with this brine recipe? gonna split turkey with neighbor, we both only have a couple people to feed. and thought it would be easier to split. Sorry for all the questions but I really want this turkey to turn out good. Any tips or suggestions appreciated.
Yes, a turkey on a kettle grill can be scrumptious. And I agree that you can get fine crisp skin at 350-400º. Two tips:

1. "Deconstructing" the turkey before you cook is a bit more work than spatchcocking, but gives you a really nice way to keep the dark meat and white meat in synch, while cutting cooking time almost in half. It also makes for a nice presentation when you serve it. See Deconstructing a Turkey

2. I love the traditional stuffing cooked inside the bird where it absorbs the turkey drippings. However, it is near impossible to get it done properly and safely. A nice alternative is to use the turkey wings (or buy a couple of extra ones) to flavor the stuffing. Simply brown them in olive oil, then lay atop your stuffing and cook as usual in the oven.

I've done turkeys on a cheap offset smoker, a RecTec pellet smoker, and a Humphreys Battle Box. The best smoked turkey I've had was hung in a Pit Barrel Cooker, but you can't grill on the PBC and it doesn't do other meats as well as the kettle, IMHO, so I sold mine and used the proceeds for a kettle. I have actually been surprised by how easy it is to keep temps within 15-20º of my target temp without using the electronic controller/fan "guru" that I was using on my more "sophisticated" (and expensive) smokers. Lots of great You Tube videos on how to control your cook temps manually.
 

Bill Klinke

TVWBB Fan
For turkey day we always have one big oven cooked bird and a couple that are injected and fried to snack on while waiting on dinner. Usually ive smoked a turkey or at least a turkey breast too.

Said it before, but you can keep the rest of the turkey .....just give me the smoked turkey breast. With some homemade mayonnaise, and Coleman's mustard, pumpernickel bread, Swiss cheese and lettuce....ill eat it all.
We joke that we could just skip the full blown turkey dinner and go straight to turkey sandwiches.
 

Bill Klinke

TVWBB Fan
Another first-timer here so keep these tips coming!

What's the size recommendation for 4 adults? Would like to use 18" WSM, likey get bird from a good butcher if that matters.
Depends on if you (and the guests?) Want leftovers.
if no - maybe 15 lb.
if yes, llike us, the biggest you can fit on the 18inch WSM.
And depending on your risk tolerance, you might consider a test run.
Don’t trust to dumb luck like I did 40 yrs ago - borrowed a friends kettle and did a 20lb bird for the inlaws, not knowing what the @##@@ I was doing. Somehow it came out just fine, they loved it even the day after.
Like Kernahan’s law - no amount of careful planning ever beats dumb luck.
 

JimK

TVWBB Olympian
2. I love the traditional stuffing cooked inside the bird where it absorbs the turkey drippings. However, it is near impossible to get it done properly and safely. A nice alternative is to use the turkey wings (or buy a couple of extra ones) to flavor the stuffing. Simply brown them in olive oil, then lay atop your stuffing and cook as usual in the oven.

Great idea. I never do the stuffing in the bird, as it really complicates things and significantly increases the cook time. I'll usually just throw some orange and/or lemon, garlic and onion in the cavity.
 

Bob H.

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I guess I'm old school, or maybe just old.

Thanksgiving turkey is oven roasted. Sometimes stuffed, sometimes not.

I brine for 12 hours then let sit in the fridge for 12 hours. Let sit on the counter take the chill off for an hour or so. 30 mins before it goes in the oven it gets a crushed ice pack in a gallon zip lock on the breast.

Preheat to 450f. Bird goes in for 45 mins at 450, then set oven to 325.

I pull it when breast IT and thigh IT are above 155 and rest about an hour.
Gobble gobble........
 

 

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