So, some of you know I purchased a used Masterbuilt gas smoker from a local world class smoker Jim Hayes of Uncle Jimmy’s BBQ, in Blue Grass, Iowa
It’s smoked turkey time! Let’s roll…
1. A 12 -14 lb thawed turkey.
How to Prepare the Turkey
Prep the turkey next. Remove the giblets and the neck from the body cavity and the neck cavity of the bird. Remove the excess fat from the edges of the skin. Leave as much of the skin on the bird as possible. It protects the meat from drying as it smokes. Rinse the turkey in cold, running water, making sure to clean the body cavity as well. Season the outer surface of the turkey by first lightly coating the bird with olive oil, this will help the spices stick to the bird. Get into all the nooks and crannies…under the wings and legs. Season lightly with you favorite spices or BBQ rub.
Next, flavor up the inside of the turkey with fruit and veggies. Chopped apples, oranges(cuties) celery, and herbs.
The injection mixture;
What’s in it?
- 1/4 stick of butter
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 t poultry seasoning
Let’s put it together!
Ok, bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cool before injecting into the bird.
Each thigh and each side of the breast should be injected with .5 ounces of marinade for every 5 lbs. of turkey.
Injecting your bird- start with limiting the puncture holes and when possible separating the skin from the meat and puncturing directly into the geometric center of the meat. Carefully and slowly inject along the grain of the meat aiming the injector into the middle of the meat and reduce plunger pressure on liquid as the needle comes nearer the surface of the meat (so meat can close up behind the needle.) Remember the object is to spread your injection pattern so as to get small amounts of flavor in as many places as possible. Occasionally, some of the liquid is likely to spurt out on the meat surface.
After seasoning, I loosely truss the legs together with a length of butchers’ string. Now it’s ready for the smoker.
Let’s get the smoker ready!
Fill water tray 1/2 full with a 50/50 mixture of apple juice or apple cider vinegar and water. Preheat smoker to 275°F.
Place turkey on middle rack in smoker and close the door. Smoke for about 4 hours or until internal temperature in breast reaches 165°F. (This total cooking time is for a 12-pound whole turkey. Based on the weight of your turkey, you will need to adjust the total cooking time. Estimated time at 275°F is about 18 minutes per pound. Make sure your internal temperature in the breast reaches 165°F.)
Burning Question: At What Temperature Is a Turkey Cooked?
For me…165-170ºF in the breast and the thigh to 180ºF.
The big key to success is to pull the bird out of the smoker at 165ºF and and the thigh to 180ºF. Since the residual heat from the meat will raise the temperature as it rests for about 30 minutes. If you don’t rest the bird and just start cutting all the juices will run out resulting in a very dry bird.
USE A THERMOMETER. That’s the KEY!
BABY BACK RIB TIME!
1. Baby Back ribs with the silver skin removed from the back.
2. Lightly season with your favorite rub and wrap with plastic wrap over night.
3. Cooker temp 225 degrees, smoked apple chips, and a water/cider vinegar mixture in an pan for moisture.
4. Add 1 large hand full apple wood that has been soaked in water for 30 min.
5. In 2 hours I removed the ribs and tightly wrapped with foil—They call that the Texas Cruch!
6. After another 2 hours unwrap and coat lightly with your favorite BBQ sauce.
7. In 10 min after the ribs have carmelized…There ready to go!