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low and slow smoked turkey

atlBBQatlBBQ Posts: 13
edited 6:43PM in EggHead Forum
How long does a 14 lb, low and slow, 225 deg turkey take on the egg? should it be brined? and if so, what is best brine?


  • Suggest you try this (i.e., the brine and smoke route) before cooking for a major thanksgiving meal.

    I made two runs at the brining and smoking thing last year, second was worst than first, and I was ultimately banned from cooking turkey for family until I have more practice :sick: :ermm: . Challenge is getting too much smoke into meat. I also was not a big fan of the flavor left by brining (I used a kosher salt, brown sugar mix I found on forum and packed turkey in ice in a water cooler overnight).

    Anyway, others can better tell you how, my only purpose for this post is to suggest you not experiment on family gathering. And if you hit a home run, be sure and post for us newbys!!!!!

    Good luck!!!
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,820
    I don't have much experience, but I have been following all the turkey posts with interest.

    As far as brining, I think the important thing is to make sure the turkey you select has not already pre-brined or "enhanced with solution", because then it can end up too salty.

    As far as smoke and temp/time, the consensus is that it is easy to get too much smoke in the bird because poultry soaks up the smoke quickly. I think that is why most people opt for a temp around 350 so the bird doesn't spend so much time in the smoker. If you add wood, go easy and use mild woods such as fruit wood (apple or cherry).

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • EGGRPhEGGRPh Posts: 180
    I did a 12lbs turkey without brining. It came out moist and flavorful. I used only 1 or 2 chunks (if that) of hickory. I followed same directions for cooking it on BGE as you would in a reg. oven. Also you can try Mad Max's version. I will do that for this Thanksgiving. Just practice before the big day.

    Stef in Brunswick, Ohio
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    I have learned that there are a couple of things vital to a good brined turkey. First, rinse the bird in fresh water thoroughly after the brine. I did one yesterday and did a full immersion in fresh water, which I changed twice, for about half an hour total. Next, the bird needs to rest for several hours, uncovered and patted dry, in the refrigerator after the rinse and before cooking. Ruhlman's book "Charcuterie" says no less than 2 hours and up to 24. Mine yesterday rested 6 hours and it was not salty.

    While I would have preferred to find a bird that hadn't been "enhanced", that's getting harder and harder except for the week before Thanksgiving and Christmas. This one was, but with a proper rinse and rest, it was not too salty.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    you don't need to go low and slow on a turkey. you stand a better chance of crispy skin at higher temps. you can certainly slow roast it (like you said, at 250), but i'm not sure you gain anything by it. i mean, it's not like you are doing a pork butt and taking the meat to 200 where it'll fall apart.

    higher temps means less time in the oven, and the less time in the oven, there's less worry about drying it out

    as others mentioned, turkey seems to show the smoke a bit more than other foods. it's a fairly mild meat, so the smoke stands out. it doesn't 'absorb' smoke, for what it's worth, let alone any more than other meat. the smoke sits on the surface (smoke flavor, i mean). but it does stand out more on mild foods. smoked cheese, for example, can really be smokey.

    best thing to do for your first time on the egg is to do it the way you always did it in the oven. same temps, too.

    or, you can follow max's well-made tutorial. it's an excellent cook, with incredibly complete directions.

    but remember, the egg is an oven (in this case), however it worked in your regular oven will be fine. you might find it'll cook faster though, even maybe 10 minutes a pound versus 15 to 20.

    part of that is just the nature of the egg (very little energy being lost to the environment). but part of it too is that we tend to not cook things to as high a finished temp. i do the turkey to 160 in the breast MAX (actually, i shoot for 155-157ish). the legs are usually 185 or more.

    don't wait for that stupid pop-up thing to go off (if the bird has one). they pop at "well overdone" temps, like 180 or more.

    your bird will be more moist than you are used to. you don't need to brine for moisture's sake. do it for flavor if you want though, many do.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • What Stike said ^
  • atlBBQ,

    If you are looking at a true smoked turkey I think it needs to be cured. This would be used for sliced meat, turkey legs etc. It is cured then hot smoked at around 200*. I would go with a hotter cook for a roast turkey as stike so eloquently described in his usual semi verbose manner



    Caledon, ON


  • I watched this the other day and it gave some good information on cooking Turkeys/myths in general.

    (and associated videos).

    For my next turkey, I'm going to follow this method with the exception of the 500F blast for 30 mins. I think that may be a bit high for an egg because of the radiant heat flash back from the dome. Maybe 425 - 450.

    With a turkey, you end of sacrificing a lot for presentation as you need to do something about how you are cooking a variety of different meats by cooking a whole bird. Really, cooking a whole turkey together is a bit silly from a cook quality perspective - it should really be cut up and the different meats cooked separately. Anyway, you can ice the breasts prior to cooking can help some or you can make a heat shield for the boobs with tin-foil.

    Brining is a good idea.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,718
    i put them in sometimes at around 210 to 220, takes all day into the night :laugh: if your looking for a traditional turkey with smome flavor roast it at 325 with just a little smoking wood, dont add too much. the low and slow is different than a traditional turkey, i cook them when i want to go fishing for 8 9 hours and just want something to eat when i get back from fishing, sometimes its still not done and i have to raise the temps. anyone that says it will dry out has never done one, they are so moist sometimes that they are literally dripping, the texture is off a bit, slight stick when chewing, doesnt have that roasted texture, and you toss the skin as it turns to rubber. low and slow turkey makes an incredible sandwhich next day though. if this is for tday you want to roast it, its whats expected from a turkey, if you want to just cook one saterday, go for it although i have read poultry does have some safety issues with low and slows
  • We normally do turkeys at 325*. But ifwe want smoked turkey, I do turkey breasts at 250*, raised well into the dome, with a small drip pan, no plate setter. Since this is almost a direct cook, it takes about 4-6 hours, depending on the size of the breasts. If it is taking too long, I'll kick the temp up after 4 hours to finish them. As mentioned in previous post they make great sandwiches the next day. We haven't had any dry meat issues with this approach. Due to the height in the done, I split the breasts and lay them rib side down on the extended grid. I normally use apple or hickory wood chunks. Works for us.

    Marthasville, MO
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