Turkey cooking.....

Messages
793
Location
Saint Nazianz, WI
The most important thing I have learned comes from my friend who is an executive chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America( Hyde Park, NY) is that the turkey should never be cooked at any higher than 170 degrees in the oven. He throws away that popping thermometer that comes with many turkeys because it is set to 190 degrees and following it will cause the meat to dry out which I think far too many people allow to happen.
 
Messages
1,633
Location
South Carolina
The most important thing I have learned comes from my friend who is an executive chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America( Hyde Park, NY) is that the turkey should never be cooked at any higher than 170 degrees in the oven. He throws away that popping thermometer that comes with many turkeys because it is set to 190 degrees and following it will cause the meat to dry out which I think far too many people allow to happen.

I pull my turkey from the smoker when it reaches an internal temp of 160*F in the breast. The residual heat will bring it up to 165*F.

A mistake a lot of people make is not cooking to temperature at all, but to time. They look up a recipe online that may give a generic cook time per pound or something not realizing that is a ballpark and the time will vary based on the actual cooking temperature. For example, I know my oven cooks a little hotter than what actually shows. Set at 400*F is actually ~425*F. I will cook to a certain time for when I know the meat will be close to the internal temp (usually ~145*F) and then check periodically from there.

I don't spatchcock my turkey either.

Another mistake people make is to put a pan full of water in the smoker with the turkey. The problem with that is it makes the humidity in the smoker way too high which makes the skin rubbery. Instead, I soak my apple and cherry wood (chunks and chips) in a mix of apple cider vinegar, apple juice, and red wine. I then use that juice cocktail in the pan during the smoke. Serves the same purpose with controlling the temperature without steaming the meat.
 
Messages
1,515
Location
UT
Smoked and cooked on the pellet grill.

My turkey has been in the brine for a few hours now. the brine is a combination of apple juice, oranges, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger, garlic cloves, and of course salt.

I'm going to smoke it at about 165° f for a couple hours to get some good flavor, then I'll raise the temperature to finish cooking it.

One thing I'd doing different this year is I'm putting the bird on a turkey cannon. I've heard good comments from others, so I picked one up and will be giving it a go.
 
Messages
836
Location
Pacific Northwest
The most important thing I have learned comes from my friend who is an executive chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America( Hyde Park, NY) is that the turkey should never be cooked at any higher than 170 degrees in the oven. He throws away that popping thermometer that comes with many turkeys because it is set to 190 degrees and following it will cause the meat to dry out which I think far too many people allow to happen.
I way overcooked several turkeys waiting for that stupid red button.
 
Messages
836
Location
Pacific Northwest
I've been spatchcocking turkeys the past several years. The main benefit besides the time savings is that the breast meat doesn't get over cooked waiting for the thighs to cook through. I break the hips and flatten it out pretty good and then lay it out over the top of a bunch of vegetables and stuffing which get basted by all the juices.
 
Messages
1,392
Location
Las Vegas
Mine is in the brine right now. In the morning it's going on the grill/smoker. I've got mesquite, oak, hickory and applewood. According to my wife, I can smoke it over any wood I want, as long as it's mesquite.
 

gathermewool

Site Donor
Messages
8,552
Location
New England
My wife was wondering why our turkey was so small. As it turns out it came WITHOUT limbs! :LOL:

A812F73D-CBA7-4729-831E-3C43627E9B90.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Messages
12,471
Location
North Carolina
The most important thing I have learned comes from my friend who is an executive chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America( Hyde Park, NY) is that the turkey should never be cooked at any higher than 170 degrees in the oven. He throws away that popping thermometer that comes with many turkeys because it is set to 190 degrees and following it will cause the meat to dry out which I think far too many people allow to happen.
I cook my whole turkeys to 155 for the large (21 and over) and 160 for the smaller ones and chickens. I already have a foil cap made and I take the turkey off the smoker @155 right into the aluminum roaster pan and cover it with the foil lid as fast as possible. I let it sit and hour like that, as it will continue to cook to the 165 mark in the pan. That keeps the turkey tender and juicy. Cut it up after an hour in the pan.
 

BeerCan

$50 Site Donor
Messages
1,589
Location
FL
Brined for 24 hours and deep fried in peanut oil. Either that or smoked is the only way I will do it
 
Messages
1,043
Location
SE PA
I'm branching out this year and trying a smoked turkey. Brine for 24 hours, season, smoke, and baste. I'd never done it before, however, so I had to try it out on a "practice" turkey last weekend. Turned out really, really good!
That looks like a awesome bird! I always smoke mine and that is the way to go!
 
Top