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Fletchx7
05-22-2012, 04:55 PM
I am looking for some ideas and recipes from the smoking guru's. I am smoking a pork shoulder and turkey for Sunday's race day party. We decided to avoid the idiots at the track and lake so we can just be stupid at home. I've never smoked a turkey before and looking for ideas. I have my pork shoulder recipe down although I am always willing to try something new. The turkey is 12 lbs I think and the shoulder is 7. I do have access to a second smoker if needed.

So, what recipes has anyone used for a turkey? Or any other favorites???

Thanks!
Fletch

Barefooter92
05-23-2012, 08:40 AM
What time do we need to be there?

Enjoy!

onejdgreen
05-23-2012, 09:27 AM
You are going to want to brine that turkey before smoking it or it will dry out. I am not going to tell what to use, because everyone's tastes are different. Anytime you do a bird of any kind you need to brine it and that takes a couple of days.

wakeX2wake
05-23-2012, 01:50 PM
wish i could help... have no experience with turkeys or shoulders yet... could get you there with ribs or butts... i'll add to my list of things to practice on:D

Ron Grover
05-23-2012, 02:48 PM
I have never brined my turkey. I make an aluminum foil boat for the bird enough to fold the sides up over to enclose the top (breast) at the right time. I slather the bird in butter first and throw some more inside the cavity. Then I use my homemade rub and rub it all over the bird. I do not use any rub different than what I put on my beef or pork. Put the turkey on the smoker with the breast uncovered and smoke for probably 3 hours. When the breast begins to get dark fold the aluminum up over the breast and finish cooking. The first is a finished bird. Second is how it looks when put on. Third is just before I cover it in aluminum foil. Fourth is just to make you hungry, it is the brisket that cooked at the same time.

Ron Grover
05-23-2012, 02:49 PM
ps.: I am in Kansas City so this is KC style BBQ

Fletchx7
05-23-2012, 05:30 PM
ps.: I am in Kansas City so this is KC style BBQ

Now I'm drooling. I was leaning towards a brine, but now I'm thinking a rub with some foil would add flavor and keep the moisture in. I have several rubs that I have tried, but always open to a new one.

I was also informed by the warden, that a small brisket has been added to the menu so I may use different rubs on each...haven't decided. Either way, I'll take pictures.

Ron Grover
05-23-2012, 05:44 PM
Fletchx7

I know you can keep a secret. ;-) lol

Here is my rub recipe. I started with a more common rub and just kept modifying and have settled on this:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup black pepper
1/2 cup paprika
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup salt
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons garlic powder

In KC we want a rub with a little kick and sauce to open up your senses. IN KC sauces are all tomato based in some way. Some like them sweet and some like spicy. I prefer the spicy kind. None of that mustard and vinegar stuff from NC.

Fletchx7
05-23-2012, 05:58 PM
Your secret is safe....
That sounds awesome....very very similar to my brisket rub minus the brown sugar and garlic powder. i also tend to go more cayenne, but chili would probably appeal to more people since I will have a large group.

I'm not huge on sauces....I tend to just stick with the flavors of the meat. Have you ever used a mop sauce during cooking? I usually use one with my brisket or ribs. Just curious. IIRC, my mop sauce has been modified several times, but has paprika, veg oil, kosher salt, black pepper, diced jalopenos, and dark beer. I let it sit overnight and apply every 1-1.5 hours.

Ron Grover
05-23-2012, 06:03 PM
Remember slow and low. This is a ALL day job.

I don't know what type of smoker you have but you can see mine in the pictures. They don't have to be pretty. Another little secret one MC to another, in the bottom of the smoker I have also added some cheap cake pans that I fill with water. As the meat cooks the water is evaporating and cooking the meat in a moist humid smoke. As an added touch at times I spritz the meat with an apple juice/water.

As you can see, in KC we take our smoking serious. LOL

Ron Grover
05-23-2012, 06:07 PM
Never have done the mop sauce. I too like the meat and rub flavor. I cook them dry and slice and chop. The sauces are like condiment at my house and are there for people to add on their sandwich or ribs.

Fletchx7
05-24-2012, 10:16 AM
I agree low and slow. I smoked 4 racks of baby backs a couple of months ago and they were on for almost 7 hours. And they were amazing!! :D

I have a vertical smoker that has a built in water pan. I have played around with it and added beer to the water or apple juice, but never really noticed a difference. It does help keep the meat moist though. However, the second smoker I am using this weekend does not have a water pan so thanks for the tip about the pie pans...that will make a difference since I am putting the shoulder and brisket in that one.

Do you have a favorite wood that you use? I typically use mesquite or hickory. Usually hickory with pork, but I have gone beyond those two. I've read about cherry or apple but have yet to try it.

BrooksfamX2
05-24-2012, 11:03 AM
My smoker has a water pan also. Helps to keep the meat moist.
I also brine my turkeys. I put the turkey in a cooler of ice water and add spices and orange and lemon halves. I let it sit for 24 hours before smoking. I also inject spiced liquid into the major meaty areas. I will be doing a bit of smoking this weekend..........

Ron Grover
05-24-2012, 11:50 AM
I use hickory and oak. I have added apple, pear cherry and peach because I have a small orchard in my back yard. Usually I'll cut some green branches that I prune and put them in on the hot wood. That creates plenty of smoke.

mattsn
05-24-2012, 01:42 PM
My smoker has a water pan also. Helps to keep the meat moist.
I also brine my turkeys. I put the turkey in a cooler of ice water and add spices and orange and lemon halves. I let it sit for 24 hours before smoking. I also inject spiced liquid into the major meaty areas. I will be doing a bit of smoking this weekend..........

Use a Big Green Egg, no need for water pans as the design keeps everything moist. I do sometimes cheat and use apple juice in a pan under the meat.

Turkeys are great on BGE. Stuffed full of lemons, apples, etc, In the right pan, on plate setter, great.

pmkkdx
05-24-2012, 01:43 PM
All of these tips & tricks will come in very handy!!! slow & low for the smoking is my theory also. The water pans work great on helping retain moisture. I usually use a charcoal and aged hardwood (live oak) as my base then add in other woods for whatever smoky character I am looking for and usually a blend of woods. Mesquite (readily available in my area) along with some form of a fruit tree wood, like pecan, peach, pear, etc. will tend to add a bit of a sweetness in the smoke flavor. I have a small foot tub that I put the wood in and then fill up with water so the wood soaks it up and burns much slower along with much heavier smoke. Toss a couple pieces in every hour or so when the previous pieces start to dry out and burn to bump the smoke level back up.

For turkey, I have tried several methods from cotton twine between the legs while the bird was hanging in the vertical smoker, the aluminum foil pan, aluminum foil bent up to form a tent ... all work fairly well. Key is to keep liquid in the water pans with very low temperature and heavy smoke during the smoking portion. I will soak turkey in ice water overnight in an ice chest with some lime juice, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder & onion powder. Next morning, pat the bird dry, rub down with olive oil or melted butter, generously apply dry rub (black pepper, white pepper, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin (or Comino), paprika, cayenne (a little goes a long ways when serving a crowd as some may not like the heat)) for smoking a fairly large turkey, 15-18 lbs, I apply heavy smoke based on the weight, 1 hour per 2.5 - 3 lbs (15 lb = 5-6 hours) then cut the labeled cooking time based on weight in half to actually cook it.

Some of my techniques and recipes along with a picture of my current pit are in this thread from a few weeks back ~~> http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=47310

Ron Grover
05-24-2012, 02:08 PM
Don't forget what I call cooks treat. While you are smoking throw a couple links of sausage on the smoker. I smokes pretty quickly that way every time you check your meat you slice off the end of the sausage to snack on as you soak up the smoke and beer.

Fletchx7
05-24-2012, 02:40 PM
I like the brine recipe. Good to know you can combine the brine with a rub as well. I was torn on which way to go. Since I'm expecting 20 people or so, I want to make sure it turns out well. i'm not so worried about the shoulder or brisket.

Ron--great idea on the sausage! I'll be sure to do it. I have a feeling my beer bill will rival my fuel bill this weekend.....

pmkkdx
05-24-2012, 02:54 PM
yep, I always throw more stuff on the pit for later (or in case someone else shows up unexpectedly). Typically I will throw on several different types of sausage links and armadillo eggs (fresh jalepeno halves (de-seeded & de-veined) stuffed with breakfast or italian sausage & cream cheese mixed 50/50 (mix in dry rub), then wrap entirely in bacon, stabbed with wooden toothpick to hold bacon in place, cook until bacon is done)

gatorguy
05-24-2012, 03:07 PM
yep, I always throw more stuff on the pit for later (or in case someone else shows up unexpectedly). Typically I will throw on several different types of sausage links and armadillo eggs (fresh jalepeno halves (de-seeded & de-veined) stuffed with breakfast or italian sausage & cream cheese mixed 50/50 (mix in dry rub), then wrap entirely in bacon, stabbed with wooden toothpick to hold bacon in place, cook until bacon is done)

Never heard them called armadillo eggs but I love these!!

pmkkdx
05-24-2012, 05:17 PM
I made them up from a recipe off a hunting forum that I am on ... and that's what they called them :o (of course I tweeked the recipe a bit)

76S&S
05-25-2012, 10:24 AM
Smoking a brisket and a butt this weekend.

I just have one of the small vertical smokers from Bass Pro (for now!!!). You have to watch the temps with it, but it does an admirable job.

stuartmcnair
05-25-2012, 11:17 AM
doing a brisket and some sausage this Saturday and fajitas on Sunday. Will let them go about 14 hours and it will be rediculous. I always put a pan of water in the smoker to keep the meet moist. I will baste on a little apple juice before I wrap the brisket in foil for the last few hours. You risk a backhand if you reach for any sauce for the brisket.

I use oak...but only from several cuts I made to a tree that fell at my parents in the tornado. Gives us something good coming from that big mess of bad.

Fletchx7
05-29-2012, 10:29 AM
Well, the Turkey was amazing. I used a combination of recipes and couldn't of been happier. I used Pmkkdx's brine and Ron Grover's rub. I cooked everything for about 9 hours. The pork shoulder was perfect and the brisket turned out ok as well (Not the best brisket, but I blame the meat). Thank you for all of the tips and recipes. I will be doing a turkey again soon....there were no leftovers. The only downside...I forgot to take the flippin pics of the meat. I couldn't people away once I started carving everything!!

pmkkdx
05-29-2012, 12:46 PM
Glad it all turned out good!!!

To me, brisket is one of the trickiest cuts of meat to get my three key points ... nice smoke ring/flavor, moist and tender. I can always nail 2 of the three but difficult to get all three without a lot of practice ... mainly due to the inconsistency from the different packing houses and types of beef. The best trick I have found to determine a packer style brisket that will turn out the tenderest is by bending it in half length ways. If you can bend it to where the ends will meet, should end up being tender ... majority will only bend to a U shape but cannot get the ends to touch, with some barely bending to a \_/ ... the closer the ends come to meeting, the more tender it "should" be when properly cooked.

76S&S
05-29-2012, 05:50 PM
yep, I always throw more stuff on the pit for later (or in case someone else shows up unexpectedly). Typically I will throw on several different types of sausage links and armadillo eggs (fresh jalepeno halves (de-seeded & de-veined) stuffed with breakfast or italian sausage & cream cheese mixed 50/50 (mix in dry rub), then wrap entirely in bacon, stabbed with wooden toothpick to hold bacon in place, cook until bacon is done)

I tried your armadillo egg recipe and they were the hit of the weekend:D:D:D

My brisket turned out a little tough, I just can't seem to get the heat low and slow enough.:confused: however the butt that I cooked though turned out great.

Has anyone smoked any fish before? We had a great week of crappie fishing over spring break and I have a freezer full that needs to be cooked using one method or another. My favorite so far is grilling with a little butter and blackening rub, but I would love to try smoking some.

pmkkdx
05-29-2012, 06:40 PM
yep, we had a bunch of king fish (deep sea) that we couldn't find anyway to cook the fishy smell and taste out of no matter how hard we tried ... fried, baked, steamed, grilled, stewed ... ick, yuck, gag!!! could not stand to be inside while trying to cook it even.

We were catering for about 500 people with ~30x brisket, 3x goat, 3x barbadoe, 100# sausage ... my dad said what the heck, grab some of that king fish and we give it a try. Threw is on the pit right next to the rest of the meats, lightly seasoned with salt & black pepper, then mopped it with our cooking sop every time we hit the brisket, goat & barbadoe ... it came out wonderful!!! flakey and smoky without the strong fish taste nor smell.

I also do with catfish, tilapia and a few other types purchased at local grocery store. very VERY low heat with time based on thickness ... once it turns from translucent to opaque or internal temperature reaches 140-145* it's done ... it will then start to turn into fish jerky or leather and really dry out quickly.

pmkkdx
05-29-2012, 07:31 PM
I tried your armadillo egg recipe and they were the hit of the weekend:D:D:D

My brisket turned out a little tough, I just can't seem to get the heat low and slow enough.:confused: however the butt that I cooked though turned out great.


glad the armadillo eggs were a hit!!!

tough brisket can be a number of things!!! possibly the meat was just tough to start off with (see my bend method in earlier post) which takes some doing to make tender ... or not aged long enough prior to smoking is another ... but can also be due to not getting the center of the meat to a high enough temperature due to the "stall" (150-160*) where the meat seems to just sit for hours hovering at that temperature when in reality you need to bring the center on up to 190-200* to actually cook the meat and it becomes tender. It took me quite a while to get used to my current smoker to get past the "stall" and to a point of being tender without having the meat dry out internally. took me about 6 different attempts of trying before I got it right IMO.

great taste, moist inside but like chewing rubber (not high enough internal temp once smoked) ... great taste, dry inside but tender (left too long at the higher temp) ...

I have gotten to where I use what is called the "Texas crutch" after about 8-10 hours of heavy smoke holding in the stall temp range (145-160* internal), I then take the brisket and wrap in heavy alum foil (sealing across top and rolling the ends to completely seal) and the fire kicked on up to bring internal temp to 190-195* (~1.5-2 hours), once I hit that temp, I open up the foil for about 20-30 minutes to put the crunchy external bark back on (internal temp creeps on up, I don't like to exceed 200*), then take immediately off the pit to let it cool back down to under 175* (internal) to stop the meat from cooking any more (will also dry out if it continues to cook). I then will wrap in a towel (re-seal foil first) and set in an empty ice chest for an hour or two to rest.

2 to 4 hours of heavy smoke is probably plenty for most people and gets a nice ~1/4 inch smoke ring, which substantially cuts down on the entire process over mine ... I just opt for heavy smoke 8-10 hours personally which takes my time on out in the 12-15 hour range with only a small sliver of the middle not having the pink smoke ring. But as has been previously stated, there is a variety of ways, styles and preferences for barbequing and smoking... ;)