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Tutrkey done...or not? and other first timer ???

edited 11:34PM in EggHead Forum
I just smoked my 1st turkey, a 22lber, folowed the directions in the BGE manual. I used a vertical stand, 300 degree heat, based on 12-15 mon perlb advice in the book I fugured 4.4 to 6.6 hrs. problems: I didn't know how often to check the temp..I had two digital thermamoeters and an old analog that seemed to give me different readings. Also the temp was constant at 300 but then about 7hrs into it it fell to 250 and I couldn't get it back up so I added charcoal and then was able to raise it.. then it was up to almost 400 for a half hr before ichecked it and colled it down to 320. I opened the hood maybe ten times over a 9hr period. Analog thermometer was telling me 190, digitals 163 to 167. the bird was in there way longer than the manual recipe called for and I couldn't get it to get higher on the digital and it was 1am so we pulled it stuck it in the fridge and went to bed. carved the turkey this morning. It carves like its done. The legs came off fairly easily. It tastes done. But the meat is pinker than I am used to. The thigh is pink rather than the gray and oven turkey is. The breast is mostly white, fairly moist, but some slices have apinkish tint to it. Is this turkey cooked? Am I going to poison my guests? If its undercooked how can I rescue it? Can I use the drippings for something ( I used Prudhomme's poultry rub)? Does a smoked turkey carcass and scraps make a good soup? Help me obiwankenobes of the egg universe!


  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Sparty Greene,[p]Welcome to the family and forum. As long as the juices run clear, the bird is done. Smoking the bird can add the pink tinge to the meat, especailly the thigh and legs.[p]The carcass makes fine stock for soup.[p]Spin

  • Sparty Greene,
    I had a similar problem with maintaining the temp.When low and slow is required load the carcoal to the top of the fire ring.I haven't had a problem with maintaining temperature since.

  • MopMop Posts: 496
    Spin, good point on the "Pinkness" in the thighs and legs, I wondered about that when I smoked my first chicken......all the temps and times were proper, outside looked great, juices running clear, but when I got it inside and was carving I was a little concerned about the "pinkness".
    It just rang a bell when I read your post.....

  • Sparty Greene,[p] Howdy! The best advice one can give to a new BGEgger is to chuck the book that comes with the BGE. It contains a bit of valuable information, but not much. 12-15 minutes per pound is a low, even for a brined bird. As Spin said, if the juices run clear, the bird is done. Last year I was aiming for an internal thigh temp of 180F, but overshot to 185F and the bird was slightly overdone. This year I'm going to use one probe in the breast and one in the thigh to track temperatures to see what the thigh temp looks like when the breast is at 160-165F. If you were measuring the temperature in the thigh and both digital thermometers gave you readings in the mid-160s, the bird was done. I would recommend calibrating the analog thermometer in boiling water to make sure it is reading correctly. You can also check the digitals while you're at it. Smoking does give the outer layers of the meat a definite pink tint.[p]As far as maintaining the temperature goes, try not to open the lid so much. Get a remote reading thermometer to keep track of the internal meat temerature and if you have to look inside, first see if you can get the info you want by looking down the chimney (with a flashlight if necessary). Also, start with a full load of charcoal every time and try to ease the BGE into the desired temperature.[p]MikeO
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