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Sometimes failure is inevitable.

SGHSGH Posts: 26,699
First I want to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there. I hope your holiday cooks were a home run. With that said, mine was a total disaster. 
We all like posting our triumphs and victories here on the forum. I’m going to go a different route today and share a total failure. By all means, feel free to offer your thoughts at the end. But I will tell you right up front that I chalk this one up to “$hit happens”.
As always I fried a turkey for Thanksgiving today. A total bomb this time. I have fried hundreds of turkeys before and never had one issue until today. Here is how it all went down. 
Thawed the turkey for 7 days in the fridge. 
Air dried the turkey for 2 days in the fridge. That’s 9 days in the fridge for a 10 pound bird. 
Let the turkey sit at room temp for 5 hours. I stress the above points strongly because everyone’s first reaction will be the turkey had frozen spots in it. It did not. I verified this with a Thermopen. The coldest reading was 50 degrees. The turkey was loose and pliable. I am absolutely 100% certain there were no frozen spots. 
Preheated oil to 400 degrees. 
Dropped the turkey in. 
Maintained oil at 365 for the entire cook. I monitored the oil temp with 2 thermometers and they were within 4 degrees of each other. 
Fried the bird until the internal temp in the deepest part of the breast was 158 degrees. I normally pull them at 155 but I overshot this one just a little. The thighs and drums were temping at 189. 
With all the above said, the turkey had several undercooked spots in it. What is even stranger is that there was done meat below some of the undercooked meat. This should be theoretically impossible. But I saw it with my own 2 eyes.  
Also what was really strange is it was very small spots that were undercooked and they were scattered at various depths and locations. They way that it cooked it is almost as if there were voids in the meat. But there were not. 
I stress again that I know beyond all doubt or reason that the bird was absolutely 100% thawed. Not only was it thawed, but the internal temp was 50-58 degrees. No question of it my friends. I also know for sure the oil temp during the entire cook never fell below 355 degrees. I monitored it from take off to touchdown. 
With all that said, feel free to offer your thoughts and opinions. But I think today’s failure proves one thing. No matter how many times you have done something, no matter how much time and effort you put in, no matter how closely you control all variables, sometimes $hit just happens for no reason. 

Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

Status- Standing by.

Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.

Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit

The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

Just a man with a Muhle. 
«13

Comments

  • wardowardo Posts: 247
    That's pretty bizarre.  Thank goodness you're checking on it though.  No one is gonna die at least.
    Charlotte NC - LBGE
  • SGHSGH Posts: 26,699
    wardo said:
    That's pretty bizarre.  
    Without exaggerating at all I have deep fried hundred of turkeys. Possibly over a thousand in my time. I have never seen anything even vaguely similar to it. 

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.

    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

    Just a man with a Muhle. 
  • wardowardo Posts: 247
    I would love to hear the science behind how this is caused.  I wouldn't think something like that could even happen.  I have however fried zero turkeys in my life.
    Charlotte NC - LBGE
  • SGHSGH Posts: 26,699
    edited November 28
    wardo said:
    I would love to hear the science behind how this is caused.  I wouldn't think something like that could even happen.  I have however fried zero turkeys in my life.
    I would like to hear the science behind it myself because in my mind it should not be able to happen. If I had not seen it myself I probably would not of believed it. However seeing is believing my friend. 

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.

    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

    Just a man with a Muhle. 
  • GulfcoastguyGulfcoastguy Posts: 2,633
    Sometimes the Bluebird of Happiness just poops on your head. It happens.
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 4,374
    How did you judge that it was undercooked? By look or by temperature? Sometimes perfectly cooked chicken is still pink. 
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. 
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • SGHSGH Posts: 26,699
    edited November 28
    @SciAggie
    Brother Aggie, I certainly appreciate you trying to be kind, but trust me, it was terrible. There were sections that for whatever strange reason did not cook. I have never seen anything like it and I have seen a lot my friend. 
    I am usually very good at diagnosing problems, but I am at a total loss on this one. I don’t even have a guess. 

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.

    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

    Just a man with a Muhle. 
  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 15,880
    Saline injections from the processing facility?? 
  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 5,349
    The problem Scottie is you didnt cook Beef Ribs lol. 
                                                                
    _________________________________________________
    Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story!
    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014, 36" Blackstone, Anova Sous Vide
    Green Man Group 
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • SGHSGH Posts: 26,699
    Saline injections from the processing facility?? 
    I have considered that along with many other things. However I have ruled them out. I do not see how it could affect it unless there was sand or something solid in the fluid. I have deep fried hundreds and hundreds of birds that was very heavily injected with no issues. I truly think that this was one of those very odd occurrences that just happens sometimes. 

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.

    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

    Just a man with a Muhle. 
  • DobieDobie Posts: 2,908
     I got nothing to explain that, just wanted to say sorry it didn’t come off good on Thanksgiving. We’re you able to salvage it?
    Jacksonville FL
  • Matt86mMatt86m Posts: 343
    Frostbite? I wonder, if a turkey is injected but it pools up and then its frozen could it freeze in a ball and affect the meat?

    Grabbing at straws! 

    Not quite what you ran into today but I previously cooked 2 spatchcock chickens on my traeger at 375* took almost 2 hours,,,,they just would not cook!

    Today I put a SC turkey (17lbs) on the BGE at 375-400* and it was done in 2.5 hours! Pulled it at 163* breast and 189* on the thigh.

    Go figure! At 12 minutes a lb it should have taken an hour longer, min!
    XL aka Senior, Mini Max aka Junior, Weber Q's, Blackstone 22, Santa Maria grill, Lion built in, Lodge Hibachi, wife says I have too many grills,,,,how many shoes do you have?
     
    IG -->  matt_86m
  • SGHSGH Posts: 26,699
    Dobie said:
     I got nothing to explain that, just wanted to say sorry it didn’t come off good on Thanksgiving. We’re you able to salvage it?
    I appreciate the kindness my friend. I did not risk chancing it. For it to cook the way that it did, in my mind something had to be bad off with it so I chunked it. I just wish I could figure out what the problem was. I am one of those people that something will eat at me if I can’t figure it out. 

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.

    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

    Just a man with a Muhle. 
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 20,367
    @SGH I appreciate your "failure thread" but Da-n if I can offer any insights beyond your conclusion that $hit happens.  There is nothing I have learned that would physically explain what you experienced.  Same bird supplier you have used previously??
    Regardless, hope you are able to salvage the remainder of the day and enjoy Thanksgiving for all the right reasons, turkey be da-ned! 
    Louisville;  "indeterminate Jim" here; L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • SGHSGH Posts: 26,699
    lousubcap said:
    Same bird supplier you have used previously??
    The same everything brother. I changed nothing. I have done this exact thing literally hundreds of times. I have honestly never seen anything like it. For one of the few times in my life I am truly baffled. 

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.

    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

    Just a man with a Muhle. 
  • EggscusesEggscuses Posts: 391
    Did you take any pictures of it?
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 5,746
    Just spitballing , muscular damage to the protein, ie highly bruised ?
    Visalia, Ca
  • SGHSGH Posts: 26,699
    Eggscuses said:
    Did you take any pictures of it?
    I did not. In a blind rage I slung it out the door. 

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.

    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

    Just a man with a Muhle. 
  • SGHSGH Posts: 26,699
    lkapigian said:
    Just spitballing , muscular damage to the protein, ie highly bruised ?
    I do not think so. It would of been visible externally if it was severe enough to affect the cooking. 

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.

    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

    Just a man with a Muhle. 
  • BotchBotch Posts: 8,796
    Sometimes, you just get a Bad Piece of Meat.  I don't have near your experience, Scottie, but I've cooked dozens of briskets over the years, and only had one bad one; as luck would have it, I had cooked TWO that time, purchased and treated exactly the same.  One was just.... bad.  
     
    However, given the # of birds you've cooked, and the fact that there were uncooked sections on top of cooked areas, wow.  Only thing I can think of (and I'm reaching, here) is a cancerous bird, or some other disease?  I think you were right in tossing it, as much as that may have hurt.  
     
    Hope your holiday went better, otherwise.  
    _____________________________________________
     
    "There are pre-grated cheeses, and there are great cheeses, but there are no great grated cheeses."    - Chef John 
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • IkeIke Posts: 99
    Did you have to go dig up that brisket to salvage a Thanksgiving meal? ;)
    Owensboro, KY.  First Eggin' 4/12/08.  Large, small, 17" Blackstone and lotsa goodies.
  • smokingalsmokingal Posts: 896
    Sorry your meal didn't go as planned @SGH.  What you've described is definitely bizarre.  I haven't cooked a whole turkey in about a decade, so I don't have any insight to offer.
    It's "Smokin Gal", not "Smoking Al".
    Egging in the Atlanta GA region
    Large BGE, CGS setup, Kick Ash Basket, Smokeware SS Cap,
    Arteflame grill grate

    http://barbecueaddict.com
  • RRPRRP Posts: 23,020
    Weird! Just plain WEIRD!
    L, M, S &  Mini
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time

    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 15,361
    That sucks Scottie.  I don’t have an explanation for you, and I have a doctorate in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.
    "A generation of the unteachable is hanging upon us like a necklace of corpses." - George Orwell 

    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike


  • SGHSGH Posts: 26,699
    RRP said:
    Weird! Just plain WEIRD!
    Ron, all jokes aside I have been sitting here for hours trying to figure it out. I placed a few calls and texts to a couple of folks that I consider to be Fry Gods and gurus and they are at a total loss also. 
    I have cooked a lot of stuff in my almost 56 years and I have never seen anything like it. For one time in my life I am truly stumped. More often than not I can usually figure out anything related to cooking meat. This time I’m dumbfounded. 

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.

    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

    Just a man with a Muhle. 
  • SGHSGH Posts: 26,699
    That sucks Scottie.  I don’t have an explanation for you, and I have a doctorate in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.
    Brother I am at a total loss. I do not even have a good guess. 

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.

    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

    Just a man with a Muhle. 
  • wardowardo Posts: 247
    SGH said:
    That sucks Scottie.  I don’t have an explanation for you, and I have a doctorate in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.
    Brother I am at a total loss. I do not even have a good guess. 
    Divine intervention?  That bird was not meant to be eaten.
    Charlotte NC - LBGE
  • johnmitchelljohnmitchell Posts: 5,244

    Greensboro North Carolina
    When in doubt Accelerate....
  • @SGH a failure for you is a win for the average man. Carry on my friend 
    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • JohnnyTarheelJohnnyTarheel Posts: 6,121
    Well sometimes the protein drives the cook... good or bad....
    Charlotte, NC - Large BGE 2014, Maverick ET 733, Thermopen, Nest, Platesetter, Woo2 and Extender w/Grid, Kick Ash Basket, Pizza Stone, SS Smokeware Cap, Blackstone 36"
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