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Big Poppa
11-14-2011, 06:28 AM
Each year we talk about great ways of doing turkey.
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Spatchcock is really wonderful..the only drawback is some may not like the presentation.
It is really nice as you can get both sides seasoned...it cooks quicker (12-15 minutes a pound depending on temp.

I cook mine traditionally and at 275. Figure around 20 minutes a pound and give your self a resting time of at least 20 minutes in your calculations. The other main reason why I like the lower cooking is that Thanksgiving is usually a communal cook and when your bird is done Aunt Marges is still futzing with her cranberry jello surprise and uncle morty is trying to open the canned onions for his famous string beans with goopy soup and canned onion. If you cook your bird at 350 the residual cooking will continue and give you an over cooked bird cause the 'jello surprise" wasnt ready. At 250 to 275 you have time....

Couple of things to remember....Big Turkeys are harder to cook. By the time the inside of the breast is done the outside is usually over done. Buy 2 smaller ones and you will have much better results I never cook larger that 14 lbs

Avoid seasonings with Paprika...they tend to burn on the skin. There is nothing wrong with rubbing the bird with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Do not stuff smoked turkey. I really dont know why except for the concern of health. (It doesnt make sense to me if you are cooking to the same it as the oven, but why risk it.

I love to cook mine in the little aluminum half pans. I like a snug fit and I usually put thinly sliced apples onions and chunks of celery and carrots and some stock...not much. THis is a great way of keeping the juices and makes for a moister bird.
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Notice the probe placement...it is from the top horizontal to the deepest part of the bird...make sure you are clear of the bone.
The single biggest tip other than size is LET THE TURKEY REST for at least twenty minutes. I cannot tell you how many times that I have watched uncle morty pull the turkey out of the oven put it on the cutting board and immediately slice into it and everybody ooooohs and ahhhs over how juicy it is...l"Look at all of the juice...it's so juicy it's running off the cutting board. All of that juice stays in the bird if you let it rest and relax.

On stuffing. This is my favorite part. GO crazy. Make that old boxed stuff for the people who have to have it. understand that you can do anything you want....go crazy. Last year of the three stuffings I make the Chorizo and smoked jalapeno cornbread stuffing was gone is 30 seconds. Stuffing is sauteed onion, carrot, celery...any kind of dried bread and anything else you want. I did a soudough pistachio italian sausage one....A kings Hawaiian sweet bread with linguica and pineapple....this is where you get to show off your creative chops....leave the turkey alone...roast it right.
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Cranberry sauce. The recipe on the back of the ocean spray bag is a no brainer. Do one that way. Have a canned one for those who need it....and then be creative! Put some pineapple jalapeno relish in it....put some orange zest....put some pineapple...like stuffing this is where you get to elevate the plates flavor profile.
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Carving! Very very important. The way your Dad did it is wrong. You want to carve the breast against the grain. What you do is you cut each breast out. Make in incision along the breast bone and slice the whole breast down to the bottom then cut around the breast to release it the cut thin slices against the bone. You will get better texture and a greater
yield.
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Keeping food warm these little buffet warmers are great for sides
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kskomodo04
11-15-2011, 06:42 AM
Thank You for all the helpful tips and pics

ACW3
11-15-2011, 06:44 AM
Great advice, and as always, great looking food. Thanks, BP.

Art

Big Poppa
11-15-2011, 07:22 AM
Those heatied serving/chafing warmer dealies are the bomb.....look for them at target and wallys and they make a dinner work out much better no cold food whiclw you wait for the jello surprise

squirtthecat
11-15-2011, 08:12 AM
FYI, Macy's has that triple buffet warming doohicky for $19.99 after rebate - today and tomorrow only.. Just saw the ad in today's paper.

HoDeDo
11-15-2011, 08:21 AM
One other option... essentially cut the breasts out as you have.... but do it BEFORE cooking... Roll them together in a roast, wrap in the breast skin, and then wrap in prosciutto. Roast this double wrapped breast of love at 275-300 degrees, indirect, in your cooker... It allows you to get the breast cooked right (take to 155, to pasteurize, it only needs to be there 1 minute.) I pull at 150, and it usually carries to 157. Cook your dark meat in a foil 1/2 pan - you can cook it at 250-275, and let all that connective tissue gelatinize, and produce killer dark meat that will rival that perfectly cooked white meat.

You have the same issue as spatchcocking... you dont get that golden bird presentation; BUT, sliced on a tray with the dark parts along side is pretty darn impressive looking.

Here is an example of the breast rolled.
958

We teach a holiday bird and ham class that included brined, injected, and marinated birds. Traditional; spatchcocked, and completely broken down birds as well. It was alot of fun, and a packed house at the All Things BBQ Kitchen in Wichita where I was teaching this last weekend!
959

Big Poppa
11-15-2011, 08:25 AM
nice andy!

Buffalotom
11-15-2011, 09:01 AM
Thanks BP. I have heard people say that that is the best way to carve. However, seeing pictures of it being carved makes it a whole lot better. Thanks for posting the pics.

tbone
11-15-2011, 10:11 AM
Thanks BP. I love learning new ways to cook. The smaller bird and smaller pan make a whole lot of sense to me. I especially like the way you carved that bird.

I see Patron is an essential part of the Thanksgiving day festivities. I think I'll add that too. :)

tbone

booboo
11-20-2011, 08:19 AM
Any chance we can get a recipe for the Chorizo and smoked jalapeno cornbread stuffing?

sparky
11-20-2011, 09:19 AM
i just read your thread to my wife. she would like the hawaiian bread / linguica / pineapple stuffing info plz. she said we have having that one for our thanksgiving stuffing. :) good for you.

Big Poppa
11-20-2011, 03:38 PM
If your wife would make an appearance I wwould give her all my recipes...I want to see her torn between the Cute Sparky and the Chick Magnet Big Poppa

I made up the recipe on the spot for the chorizo but here is is from memory

Do the normal dicing of carrots celery and red bell pepper....if you want heat in the jalapenos just chop them up....my crown needs the jalaps mild so I seed and core and smoke till soft...(a little evoo helps) Then I dice it real fine.....The make some corn bread Preferable a coupla days in advance cause stale is ok.....saute the chorizo in a separate pan and when it is done set aside and reserve...saute the onion diced peppers and jalapenos until the onions are translucent and then mix the chorizo in.........take the cornbread and mix it in a bowl with the chorizo veggie mix and season with salt and pepper....pour enough chicken stock to make it seem like stuffing and put in a baking dish and smoke at 300 for about 45 minutes....I hope I didnt forget anything....

you can also make the cornbread with the chorizo in it with some fo the jalapenos and some shredded mexican cheese and honey dont forget the honey if you are making it as a cornbread side dish.

TentHunter
11-29-2011, 05:56 AM
Carving the breast that way sure makes a lot of sense. Thanks BP!

RickB
11-07-2012, 05:01 AM
BP does cooking at 275 give you a crisp skin?

Big Poppa
11-07-2012, 06:43 AM
pretty crisp...its the best way Ive found

RickB
11-07-2012, 03:32 PM
pretty crisp...its the best way Ive found


Ok one more question and i'll quit bugging you. At what IT do you pull and where do you measure this? Thigh or breast. Im thinking 160 and let coast to 165?

Big Poppa
11-13-2012, 06:42 AM
I only care about the breast...put the probe in the breat horizontially from the shoulder down I pull at 162

scooter
11-13-2012, 07:45 PM
Turkey carving
Here are a couple videos that should demystify carving a turkey. I carve my turkeys like BP indicated above by removing the breast meat from the carcass so they can be sliced cross grain. The benefits are more tender pieces of meat having been cut cross grain and I think you get more usable meat than if you just sliced it off the carcass. Some would argue that you can cut the breast slices thicker when off the carcass which helps preserve more of the juices than if you sliced it thin while on the carcass. I'm not positive about that but it seems plausible.
Both videos will demo the process. The first video will demo how to remove the wishbone before cooking which makes carving the breast meat off so much easier and you end up with more meat slices because if you leave the wishbone on then it acts as a knife guard for that large chunk of meat under the wishbone. Place the removed wishbone in the cooker and cook it with the rest of the bird so your family will be able to make a wish with it later. It also covers slicing but doesn't go into details of slicing the leg and thigh meat off the bone.
The second video shows great closeups of carving the whole turkey but doesn't explain how to remove the wishbone before cooking.

Removing the wishbone and some carving

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WujRvvnJDc

More indepth on carving

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI9pJiUzmEg

Pappymn
11-13-2012, 08:08 PM
Thanks Scooter. I will be trying the wish bone technique. I had not seen that done before.

scooter
11-14-2012, 01:13 AM
Gravy!
We can also talk about another important aspect to the turkey which is a really good turkey gravy. Gravy can be a little daunting to some, it was for me until I researched it on youtube a few years ago. Buy some turkey wings and get your gravy done way ahead and then reheat on the big day!

All you need to make gravy is a tasty turkey stock (Hopefully including pan drippings) and equal portions of flour and fat (butter or turkey fat or any variable combination of both)! You can make the gravy hours or even days in advance of Thanksgiving day.

You can start with the boxed turkey stock in the store (Instead of water) to make your own stock but I wouldn't use it right out of the box to make gravy as it's no where near intensely flavored to make gravy from right out of the box or can. It's pretty simple to make your own. Remember, you want the most flavorful roasted turkey stock you can get your hands on to make your gravy. Deb posted here (http://www.pelletsmoking.com/pellet-smoking-com-lounge-9/never-fear-contest-here-5579/#post61188) in the weekly contest making her turkey stock ahead of time for her gravy on Thanksgiving day and it's a safe bet it will make a tasty gravy! You can use the backbone from your spatchcocked turkey along with the neck and some wings. With a big knife or cleaver chop through all the bones so they'll be exposed to the simmering. Also cut through the skin on all sided to allow juices and fat to flow more freely. Add some pepper and very light on the salt and roast them in your cooker until deep golden brown. Don't forget to deglaze your roasting pan with boxed turkey stock to get all the flavorful roasted brown bits on the bottom then add it all to the stock pot with your turkey parts. You can add anything to your stock pot of roasted turkey parts and boxed stock. I like to saute separately some celery, onion, carrots, garlic and some whole pepper corns and add it to the pot. Pour in enough boxed turkey stock to cover the veg and turkey parts and simmer for an hour. Use a potato masher to pulverize the veg and turkey parts completely to release the maximum amount of flavor then simmer another hour and you have a rich tasting turkey stock! Pour through a strainer and then into a separator and save the fat for later. Measure how much of your rich defatted stock you have then determine below how much flour and fat you'll need to make the gravy.
Try to keep the salt to a minimum until you are at the end doing your final seasoning. Once salt is in, it's difficult to remove.
I get roughly 3-4 cups of finished stock from 2 roasted wings. Four wings is better.

Armed with some good roasted turkey stock you can make a fantastic gravy to go with your turkey!

To make 1 cup of gravy you need: 1 cup of stock, 1/8 cup flour, 1/8 cup fat
To make 2 cups of gravy you need: 2 cups of stock, 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup fat
To make 4 cups of gravy you need: 4 cups of stock, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup fat
Remember, the fat can be butter, turkey fat or any variable of combination of the two.

How to make gravy: Wisk together the fat and flour in a pan making a roux (pronounced "roo" as in rooster) and cook until you achieve the color you want (I like it fairly brown but not burned), gradually pour in the stock whisking as you go then bring to a simmer and presto! You have homemade gravy you can be truly proud of!!!

The videos below will teach you everything you need to know to make a great turkey gravy along with your smoked turkeys!

Jamie Oliver Stress Free Turkey Gravy (I use turkey wings, not chicken)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmxJeptDDlY&t=11s


Tyler Florence Ultimate Turkey Gravy
Tyler's Ultimate Turkey Gravy Recipe | Food Network - YouTub (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYClpXCfHM8)

Gordon Ramsay The Most Amazing Gravy
The Most Amazing Gravy - Gordon Ramsay - YouTub (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBPsATAziOw)

scooter
11-16-2012, 10:02 PM
I made up the recipe on the spot for the chorizo but here is is from memory

Do the normal dicing of carrots celery and red bell pepper....if you want heat in the jalapenos just chop them up....my crown needs the jalaps mild so I seed and core and smoke till soft...(a little evoo helps) Then I dice it real fine.....The make some corn bread Preferable a coupla days in advance cause stale is ok.....saute the chorizo in a separate pan and when it is done set aside and reserve...saute the onion diced peppers and jalapenos until the onions are translucent and then mix the chorizo in.........take the cornbread and mix it in a bowl with the chorizo veggie mix and season with salt and pepper....pour enough chicken stock to make it seem like stuffing and put in a baking dish and smoke at 300 for about 45 minutes....I hope I didnt forget anything....

you can also make the cornbread with the chorizo in it with some fo the jalapenos and some shredded mexican cheese and honey dont forget the honey if you are making it as a cornbread side dish.

BP, I'm going to make this. Can you give me an idea of how much chorizo and how many jalapenos you used?

Big Poppa
11-17-2012, 07:30 AM
Lets talk stuffing
Here is low cost way to separate yourself and make a little variety on a traditional dinner. It is impossible to make a really horrible stuffing consider that the traditional boxed stuffings use the cheapest bread on earth.
First off understand that you are basically making a semi wet mush prior to baking or smoking.

All stuffings consist of Dried bread, sauteed veggies and stock and salt and pepper

The veggies are always diced Carrots, chopped onions and celery. What else can you add? Fennel (go easy) Leek, Shallot, garlic, any form of pepper.(understand the strength of flavor and consider when blending dont let one ingredient dominate

The bread traditional is cornbread or white bread or mystery bread that is in the boxes....the bread is dried either by leaving out for a day or putting in the smoker or oven, But you can use any bread! One of my favorite was a Kings Hawaiian Bread stuffing with Hawaiian linguica and carmelized pineapple and macadamia) So think about your favorite breads...that is a starting point...Squaw, Turbo cornbread (thats one that your doctor) sourdough, pretzel bread....you name it

Meat...some have it some dont It is usually sausage....but that opens up ALL sausages...Chorizo Hot italian sweet italian kielbasa you name it

Fruits...either pan softened with butter and spices or dried...Think Pineapple, Apple...Think dried blueberries...cranberries... cherries sounds crazy but it really isnt.

nuts...I have used pistachios cashews peanuts macadamia you name it

Spices....salt and pepper.....cumin cayenne rosemary sage the whole rack....

Now you want to create one from this free for all....think of what sounds good when you connect it and that will be your guide..."Rye Dill cherry bologna" nope sounds terrible. Now how about "Squaw bread with cranberry, walnuts, and sausage" This is one way that I create...its sort of like a palate of paints...you know your basic ingredients you know that you can stretch or expand each category Mix it together and add chicken stock to make mush and go for it!

with spices understand that your ingredients pack flavor so the more ingredients you have the less spices you will require both in quantity and number of spices.

scooter
11-17-2012, 01:17 PM
Fantastic dressing primer BP
I'll using turkey stock instead of chicken stock. My family has always used the Pepperidge Farms Seasoned Bread Crumbs for stuffing. Your chorizo and smoked jalapeņo cornbread is going a be a big departure from tradition but I can't wait. :)

Big Poppa
11-17-2012, 02:19 PM
do them both then the adventurous can be happy and you dont hear any bitching.

RickB
11-17-2012, 04:26 PM
Got a free turkey for getting a flu shot. Then another free turkey for a new prescription. Cut the breasts off and used the rest for stock. I'm asshole deep in turkey stock! It's so damn good.

scooter
11-17-2012, 09:29 PM
It freezes well in quart mason jars.
No where around here gives turkeys away like that!! http://www.smokersforums.co.uk/images/smilies/000.gif

JimmyDings
11-18-2012, 11:45 AM
Big Poppa, this is my 1st time back on here after a very long absence. I've been sick for a long time and I'm excited to get back using my Mak 2 star. I have a couple questions I'm hoping you can answer.

Momma is letting me smoke an approx. 12 lb Turkey. First question is what flavor pellets might you suggest?

Do you brine before you smoke...if so, any ideas?

Any moisture pans or do you put water or stock in with the turkey when placed in the smoker?

Can you elaborate on herbs and such for seasoning the bird?

And I think lastly, I am still unsure of exactly where horizontal in the shoulder means.....for checking temp.

For pellet flavors, I have Hickory, apple, cherry, sugar maple, black walnut, pecan, mesquite and oak. Just not sure what to use.

Do you know of anyone ever using cheesecloth to bast during smoking? Or might that block smoke from penetrating the bird.

I'm sure I'll have another question, but for now, any help would be appreciated.
Thank you,
Jim Batruch

PS: ordered a resupply of black walnut. The shipping time was excellent. Appreciate the fast service.

Big Poppa
11-18-2012, 11:50 AM
Hey check the start of tgis thread. Pretty much covers it. Glad things are better for you and welcome back!

JimmyDings
11-18-2012, 11:55 AM
BP, Ty
I reread your original post and saw no reference to pellet flavor. I was thinking cherry. Also, I will assume herbs and such are suited to taste? I've never used any herbs, but have to learn sometime.
Ty, Jim

Big Poppa
11-18-2012, 05:46 PM
I dont use herbs but sage is safe with salt and pepper....Any flavor but mesquite...and probably hickory are ones to avoid with turkey