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Don't make the same mistake I did; Turkey Fail!

500500 Posts: 2,721
edited 3:06AM in EggHead Forum
Well not a complete failure but not up to my expectations. I had the setup all there, a Bell and Evans natural 14# bird, brined 12 hours with Alton Brown brine recipe, dried uncovered overnight in the fridge, indirect plate setter over a V rack and drip pan on a 325 Egg, stabilized for 45 minutes before on the Egg. Problem was my Thermapen was reading low temps. I pressed it in the breast and took readings. I pulled at 160 but it took 4 1/2 hours to reach 160 by my readings. I did not calibrate the dome Therm but it's a newer Tel Tru so I thought it was good. I believe my problem was that I pushed the Thermapen in too far to take readings. I pushed in until I got to the inner cartilege. For some reason, the temps there were lower than what I figure now as the middle of the meat mass, where the temps were higher. I should have taken readings not so deep in, and pulled around 3 hours but I was relying on the Thermapen readings. Why were temps lower in the middle of the bird? No stuffing except for aromatics; apple, onion, sage, rosemary. It's like the inner cavity of it was a lower temp than the meat. I would have thought opposite. Everything else was great. Help me to not do that again with suggestions. Happy Thanksgiving, all!
Large BGE; Midlothian, Virginia
I like Pig Butts and I can not lie.
"Barbecue is a journey, one meal at a time."


  • KBKB Posts: 144
    could air have leaked into the inner cavity? If so, when you open the dome to check the temp, the inner cavity would quickly drop in temp. The meat will hold its temp in the open air and provide you with a more accurate assessment than the cavity.

    Save the drippings for gravy, a great cure for a dry bird.
  • Pa_BBQPa_BBQ Posts: 130
    Sorry for the mistake, and thanks for posting mine is at 111 degrees now and I will make sure that I check a few places when it rounds the 3 hour mark so I do not make the same mistake.
    Large BGE
    Meadow Creek TS120 Stick Burner
    Stoker, BBQ Guru. 

    Erie, Pa. 
  • PhilsGrillPhilsGrill Posts: 2,256
    You only need to push it in about 1 inch for a reading.
  • ForniaFornia Posts: 451
    I don't have a Therma (insert Santa Claus), but did the same thing with putting my digital therm in too far a few weeks back.
  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    But that will only give you a temp reading of 1" in not necesarily the coldest part part of the breast..or better yet the "center"...when using my thermapen I insert it until I get the lowest reading, then go further until it rises..then back off to the lowest reading and thats what I consider the meat temp to cant be any hotter that its coolest reading.....1" in on a 3" thick breast will not be a done temp..merely a 1" deep temp..
  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    WTF....air leak into the inner're gonna need to defend that statement a lot better..I aint buyin it..
  • I gotta go with WessB. That air leak crap is just that crap. Its really not that hard to use a thermapen. Keep on trying I have had my failures over the years and sometimes made up some really good stuff to explain them. Just keep plugging away and you will be fine. You can get great hints on Naked Whiz website about turkey preps and cook. Mad Max is great start to help you.
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