Welcome, Guest

Shop Amazon.com and support the WKC | WKC T-Shirts

Author Topic: WKC Turkey Noob thread  (Read 14379 times)

HankB

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2326
Re: WKC Turkey Noob thread
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2013, 05:14:51 AM »
1.  I've squeezed a 19lb bird on the kettle, but I think the 12-14ers fit better and taste better. 

2.  Thawing a frozen bird takes at least twice as long as everyone says it will.  Buying fresh is a lot less hassle.

3.  If you're flexible with your timing, a great day to buy a fresh turkey is the day after Thanksgiving.  My wife is a nurse and often has to work on Thanksgiving, and the years where we've delayed dinner until later in the weekend have been times when we got our bird for next to nothing. 

4.  Brining works really well, though that ATK video has me thinking about trying a dry brine this year.  Having a more moist bird is great, but I think the real benefit of brining is the way in which the salt penetrates all the way to the center of the meat. 

5.  Totally my opinion, but I think turkeys work way better on the kettle than the WSM.  It's too hard to get the WSM up to a temp that will crisp up the skin, and you can put some smoke on your bird in the kettle as well.

1. I did a 27 pounder on my 18 WSM one year - by standing it on end and guying it in place with cotton cooking string. It was good but it was a bird my son raised so there is no comparison to a commercially raised bird.

2. A fresh bird is likely the only way to get one that has not been injected during processing. I have heard that virtually all frozen birds are injected during processing. I've been getting Hoka turkeys the last couple years. We're close enough to the farm to pick up directly but we can order from a local grocery which is a lot more convenient.

3. Have to keep that in mind as the DIL is also a nurse and frequently works Thanksgiving so she can get Christmas off. And it's an excuse not to shop in Black Friday. ;)

4. Probably not a good idea to brine a bird that has already been injected. Check the label!

5. This is one spot where a 26 really shines. :D I've used Alton Brown's strategy of starting at 500F for 20 minutes then tenting the breast with a foil shield and finishing at 350F. OTOH while the skin on a smoked bird is rubbery, the flavor of the meat is pretty good.
kettles, smokers...

landgraftj

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2516
Re: WKC Turkey Noob thread
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2013, 08:02:43 AM »
Hank how are the Hoka birds? Expensive? Good taste? I've got a few places local to me that will carry them in Nov and Dec and was thinking of trying one out prior to Thanksgiving as a trial run.
Not everyone deserves to know the real you. Let them criticize who they think you are.

Bbqmiller

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 915
WKC Turkey Noob thread
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2013, 05:28:29 PM »
I have a local butcher that gets free range birds from PA (I am in NJ). These look and taste nothing like the big store brands. Last year did an apple brine, and smoked on the WSM ( no water in pan). It was the one of the best I have done. I may try to do one on the 22.5 roti this year.

Kilted_Griller

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 545
Re: WKC Turkey Noob thread
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2013, 05:29:27 PM »
The KG Clan has done quite a few on the 22.5" roti. If anyone has any questions we will be happy to help. We're no experts, but we have some experience!


How big of a turkey, KG? How did you set up the charcoal?

Sorry for the delay pbe...

The largest we did was a 19lb'er. Used rails on the side, 5 slots in.  25 coals on each side for the first 45 mins. Then we added 10 coals every hour to each side. The Weber roti had no problem turning it once I got it balanced. It took about 6 hrs then we covered it and let it sit for 30 mins. Hope this helps!

Slainte!
"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook"
   ~Julia Child

HankB

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2326
Re: WKC Turkey Noob thread
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2013, 06:23:48 PM »
Hank how are the Hoka birds? Expensive? Good taste? I've got a few places local to me that will carry them in Nov and Dec and was thinking of trying one out prior to Thanksgiving as a trial run.
They're not cheap. I like to think they are a better bird but I have not done a side by side comparison. Here is the FAQ from the grower which will tell you pretty much what I know about them. http://www.hokaturkeys.com/faqs.htm I get them fresh and they are not injected. I've also done frozen/injected birds and the last time I did so, one of the folks eating it told me it was the best turkey she ever tasted. ("No, seriously, this is the best.")

The variety of fonts on their web page tells me they're not a slick commercial enterprise (or they're slick enough to fool me. ;) )
kettles, smokers...

mike.stavlund

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2564
    • MikeStavlund.com
Re: WKC Turkey Noob thread
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2013, 05:19:33 PM »
Hank makes a great point:  make *sure* that your bird has not already been brined or 'enhanced' before you dry or wet brine it. 

...brining a bird at the factory is a great way to add to the salable weight of the bird, which is why so many processors do it.  But they won't do it as well as any of us would, so we need to avoid the 'enhanced' birds. 
One of the charcoal people.

pbe gummi bear

  • WKC Mod
  • Posts: 8933
Re: WKC Turkey Noob thread
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2013, 08:28:17 PM »
Hank makes a great point:  make *sure* that your bird has not already been brined or 'enhanced' before you dry or wet brine it. 

...brining a bird at the factory is a great way to add to the salable weight of the bird, which is why so many processors do it.  But they won't do it as well as any of us would, so we need to avoid the 'enhanced' birds.

Great point, Mike. Do you recommend licking the turkey during prep to make sure it's not enhanced ?
"Have you hugged your Weber today?"
Check out WKC on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Weber-Kettle-Club/521728011229791

HankB

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2326
Re: WKC Turkey Noob thread
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2013, 05:18:13 AM »
Great point, Mike. Do you recommend licking the turkey during prep to make sure it's not enhanced ?
Not unless you like Sam 'n Ella!  :o
kettles, smokers...

colin.p

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 60
Re: WKC Turkey Noob thread
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2013, 07:56:44 AM »
Great thread to get going, gums, and that's a great episode of America's Test Kitchen (damned shame that they dropped that lid on the handle so bad, though!-- that lid is really cratered around the handle). 

I've done a few turkeys over the years, and here are some highlights of what I've learned:

1.  I've squeezed a 19lb bird on the kettle, but I think the 12-14ers fit better and taste better. 

2.  Thawing a frozen bird takes at least twice as long as everyone says it will.  Buying fresh is a lot less hassle.

3. If you're flexible with your timing, a great day to buy a fresh turkey is the day after Thanksgiving.  My wife is a nurse and often has to work on Thanksgiving, and the years where we've delayed dinner until later in the weekend have been times when we got our bird for next to nothing. 

4.  Brining works really well, though that ATK video has me thinking about trying a dry brine this year.  Having a more moist bird is great, but I think the real benefit of brining is the way in which the salt penetrates all the way to the center of the meat. 

5.  Totally my opinion, but I think turkeys work way better on the kettle than the WSM.  It's too hard to get the WSM up to a temp that will crisp up the skin, and you can put some smoke on your bird in the kettle as well.

That's how I got rid of a larger than normal left over fresh turkeys I had from this Thanksgiving. I had around 20, or so, to get rid of and I categorically refused to freeze them, so I blew them all out at .99 lb. Alot better than the $2.49 lb they were selling prior to the holiday Monday.
2009 Weber Spirit E310, 2013 22.5 OTG and a bunch of Weber stuff
I like my Weber's the same as my Ford's and Harley's, any colour, as long as it's black.

mrbill

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 951
Re: WKC Turkey Noob thread
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2013, 05:09:00 AM »
first bird done. pics can be found here http://weberkettleclub.com/forums/grilling-bbqing/thanksgiving-practice-run/ .

had a request for cook info to be posted here and as I think it's a good idea, gonna give a bit more detail in the hopes that it helps someone out.

so here goes-
I've never done a whole turkey prior to this ever, to include other methods of cooking. Decided since I have a smoker and my sister usually hosts Thanksgiving at her place that I would offer to cook the bird this year so she doesn't have to worry about as much. She agreed. So I start doing my internet research about methods/temperatures...etc. Now as I'd never done one before, I didn't want my first time to be the big day in case I flubbed up. Wanted to be able to learn from and correct any mistakes before it was too late. On Wednesday after work, I went to the store and bought a frozen turkey that weighed just under 11 pounds. While selecting him, there was a blurb on the package that said it may contain up to x% of whatever solution. while it didn't say "enhanced" I figured they were in essence telling me it was. This is important because the solutions they use to enhance meats contains sodium. One popular method of preparing a turkey is to brine them before cooking. There is a good chance that if you brine an already enhanced meat that the end result will be too salty(I've experienced this w/a pork roast because I didn't check the package well enough beforehand). So no brine for this gobbler. When I got home, I put it in the fridge to thaw. large pieces of meat are best thawed slowly in a refrigerator so that you don't run the risk of spoilage on the outer areas before the inside is fully thawed. And there it sat. Fast forward to Friday. Got home from work and checked on the progress. I could still feel it frozen in a few places. Taking a calculated risk, I pulled it out and sat it on the counter for an hour or so to give a boost, but not leave it out too long, then back in the fridge. On Saturday afternoon I decided to start prepping. Pulled it out and removed it from the packaging. it was still frozen in some places. I removed the included gravy packet and set it in the fridge. then I removed the neck and assorted bits from the body cavity and discarded. Once that was done, I surveyed my quarry. There was still ice in between the ribs inside and some frost and frozen places. Pulled out all the ice I could and let it sit for a few minutes. Then rubbed it inside and out w/Tony Chachere's Salt Free Seasoning. I put more inside than out. And back into the fridge it went. Sunday morning, I got up and fired up my 18.5 WSM. I didn't want to go hot and fast and risk burning it, but I didn't want to take all day going low and slow. Decided to cook at 275 which takes about 20-25min per pound giving me a cook time between 3hrs 40min and 4hrs 35min. While letting the initial white smoke to clear and let the bullet warm up, I pulled the bird out of the fridge. I took two sandwich sized ziplock bags filled with ice and placed them on the breasts while the bird sat on the counter. The breasts finish sooner than the thighs, but by keeping them cooler, they will finish near the same time and prevent you from having dry white meat. After the bullet was heated up, holding steady and puffing thin blue, I put the turkey on the top rack and a pan underneath to catch the drippings. Time on was about 1240pm. Went out from time to time to make sure the temps weren't dipping or spiked. Vent tap here, vent tap there and no problemo. At two hours, I could resist peaking, so I did and snapped a pic. Started checking meat temps at about 3.5hrs. Just shy of the 4hr mark, I pulled it for a planned 30min rest in the cooler after wrapping with parchment paper and foil. The rest turned into an hour because the wife decided she wanted rice instead of green beans and I figured let the sucker rest while I made the rice. At this time I cooked up the included gravy packet and added the drippings for flavor. The end result can be seen in the link. Hope this helps
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 08:55:36 AM by mrbill »
Seeking New York Giants MT For A Price That Won't Break My Bank

HankB

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2326
Re: WKC Turkey Noob thread
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2013, 07:20:56 AM »
I didn't want my first time to be the big day in case I flubbed up.

... I took two sandwich sized ziplock bags and placed them on the breasts while the bird sat on the counter.
Good point! I almost never try anything new on company. Family yes... ;)

WRT the ziploc bags, I think you meant to type "ziploc bags with some ice cubes."
kettles, smokers...

mrbill

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 951
Re: WKC Turkey Noob thread
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2013, 08:56:09 AM »
WRT the ziploc bags, I think you meant to type "ziploc bags with some ice cubes."

yes, thanks for the catch
Seeking New York Giants MT For A Price That Won't Break My Bank

wyd

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 920
Re: WKC Turkey Noob thread
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2013, 07:13:22 PM »
Sunday I decided to grill up my practice turkey I bought on Friday.  It was a fresh 14lb one from Giant.  I decided to inject the turkey since I didn't brine it.  I used butter creole from Cajun Injection.  Then before the turkey was ready to go I took 1lb of ground sausage and cooked it up and then added it to my stuffing.  The sausage is something I added as an extra so you can do whatever you like.  Took my stuffing and then filled the turkey with it.  I rubbed some fresh lemon on the turkey to open up the pores a little more.  Once the charcoal was ready I rubbed a little virgin olive oil on the turkey (breast side down for first 2 hours and then breast side up til done).  Cooked at just a tad under 290 degrees on the grill.  Took a total of 4 hours 12 minutes.  It was very juicy as I was cutting.  You could see the juice running out of the meat.

Have to give credit.  I used this cooking technique and recipe from BBQ Pit Boys.  Main difference is I added the sausage.  I used most of the video as a guide line for the cook.  Don't be afraid to try it as it worked perfectly on the first try.  I have nothing at all to do with their website.  Just use the recipes they show to guide me since I'm new to grilling.  Been very helpful and honestly without those videos I would totally suck at grilling so I have to give props to them as its only fair.  Don't want anyone to think I came up with this stuff 100% on my own.  I didn't make the Wild Turkey gravy.  I just used the drippings minus the Wild Turkey.  You can again do as you like.
http://bbqpitboys.com/recipes/turkey-with-stuffing-and-wild-turkey-gravy#.UmUoI1NNk9U








Modify message
Last Edit: Today at 07:18:03 AM by wyd
Report to moderator     66.202.1.184
2012 Weber Platinum Performer Kettle (Big Blue)
2012 Weber Smokey Joe (Little Green) 2ea in Lime
14" WSM on order,  Today's Home and Leisure
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 04:35:39 AM by wyd »
Platinum Performer Kettle (In Blue), OTG (In Blue)
Genesis Gasser (In Blue), Smokey Joe (Uline Lime)
Looking to buy (18.5 blue or brownie and blue lantern)

colin.p

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 60
Re: WKC Turkey Noob thread
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2013, 02:50:36 PM »
I agree on the sausage added to the stuffing. I use a pound of sausage meat and add a couple mashed potatoes to the stuffing, along with all the rest of the ingredients. It comes out so good, we eat the stuffing and throw the turkey away (well not really but the stuffing is pretty darn good).
2009 Weber Spirit E310, 2013 22.5 OTG and a bunch of Weber stuff
I like my Weber's the same as my Ford's and Harley's, any colour, as long as it's black.

wyd

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 920
Re: WKC Turkey Noob thread
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2013, 09:46:32 AM »
I agree on the sausage added to the stuffing. I use a pound of sausage meat and add a couple mashed potatoes to the stuffing, along with all the rest of the ingredients. It comes out so good, we eat the stuffing and throw the turkey away (well not really but the stuffing is pretty darn good).
Adding a little bit of mashed potatoes into the stuffing sounds good.  I will add some for my Thanksgiving turkey for sure.
Platinum Performer Kettle (In Blue), OTG (In Blue)
Genesis Gasser (In Blue), Smokey Joe (Uline Lime)
Looking to buy (18.5 blue or brownie and blue lantern)