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How do they do commercially smoked turkeys?

 
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M Phil
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04 13 12:40 am    Post subject: How do they do commercially smoked turkeys? Reply with quote

How do they smoke the turkeys and turkey breasts that they sell frozen at the grocery stores? From what it seams to me, they are not fully cooked. You have to finish them when you get them home add thawed out. Or am I mistaken and they are only being heated? If they are not fully cooked what temp do you think they are smoked/cooked to initially before freezing?
I travel to OH to celebrate thanksgiving every year. I would like to take a smoked turkey breast with me next year. It will have to be smoked Saturday or Sunday. I will then travel on Wednesday for thanksgiving Thursday.
I have a couple of domestic turkeys in the freezer so I will do a couple of test runs to try to duplicate the commercially smoked turkey. I am putting this out in advance so to give plenty of time for people to give their inputs. My plan is to brine the bird first using Dan Gill’s buttermilk brine receipt.
Per gallon of liquid (water, buttermilk or a combination) stir to dissolve: I will use 50/50 mix

1 cup of salt (preferably non-iodized dairy, kosher, or pickling)
½ cup of sugar (I like molasses)
2 tablespoons of ground pepper (I use freshly ground)
1 tablespoon each of granulated garlic and granulated onion

Then I will smoke it between 250 and 275 deg until its internal temp reaches 165-170 deg. I will pull it and rap it in foil and towels. I will rest it for a few hours in a cooler watching the temp probe to see how high the temp rises while resting. After it cools enough to handle in comfort, I will wrap it up tight with cling wrap then a bag and freeze. In 4 days I will pull it out, allow it to thaw and heat it in the oven per the directions that come with the commercial birds.
If anyone has any advice or anything they would change that could give me a better outcome don’t keep it bottle up inside. Let it flow! Thanks in advance.
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SlicTrix
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01 13 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buttermilk Brine recipe
for a 12lb turkey or 4- 3lb turkey breasts
But you can cut the recipe in half for 6lbs
or 1/4 it for 3lbs

3 qts buttermilk
1 qt 2% milk or skim milk
1 qt of water
1 cup of kosher salt or sea salt
½ cup of molasses or brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons of ground pepper
10 grams of instacure #1

For 6lbs of turkey; its cut all the above spices in half and use 5 grams of instacure #1
For 3lbs of turkey; its cut all the above spices to 1/4 and use 2.5 grams of instacure #1

Warm the buttermilk, 2% milk and water entil just warm to your finger and remove from heat and whisk in all the spices and instacure #1 and let cool to room temp, while whisking every now and then.

Once brine is at room temp take an ice pick to the bird and stab the hell out of it on all sides for 2 minutes or more at least(this opens the meat so the brine can seep in there while giving it a better flavor thru out) and then throw the bird or breasts in the brine marinate. But be warned an 10lb to 12lb full turkey takes a very large kettle to hold and marinate anyways once it is in the brine make sure it covers the entire bird or breasts. If not add lukewarm water till covered and then flip or roll the bird 10 or 12 times to mix in the water to the brine solution.

Now refridgerate for 12hrs breast side up and roll it over to it's backside up when you next open the fridge and then from there on roll it over everytime you open the fridge. Rolling it every 2 to 3 hrs helps to keep the brine mixed while allowing it to work into the meat of the bird or breasts.

Ok time to fire up the smoker, if electric set it to 225F temp and if charcoal your looking at 10lbs of coals or half a 20lb bag. A 10 to 12lb unstuffed takes 4 1/2 hrs at 225F to smoke and cook.

Ok get the bird out now and if the legs are tied together remove the tie and get some aluminum foil and wrap the full wings all 3 sections tightly and then wrap the drumsticks from the leg joint down cover all as I said or they will burn up.

Once your smoker is at 225F put the bird on a rack breast side up and place into the smoker on the highest place you can get it without it touching the top of the smoker and add your chips, I use a combo of mesquite and cherry wood. Set your timer for 5hrs with the vent 1/4 open and if you have a digital meat temp probe feed it in thru the vent sticking it into the bird at the thickest meatest part of the breast which is probelly close to where the first wing joint meets the breast.

Tip after 2 1/2 hrs lay a small piece of foil on that just covers the entire breast section and pat on molding it to the breast section, this will stop the breast from burning up and drying out while keeping it moister. Also remove the foil from the legs and wings now if you like or remove the foil from the legs and wings when theres one hour left to go. Your bird your call.


If your using an oldschool charcoal smoker watch it closely because you must maintain 225F as constant as possible for 4 1/2hrs and will have to feed in new hot coals now and then and or wood chips which means the temp will drop in your smoker when opened.

Anyways your shooting for an internal bird temp of 165F at it's meatest part, some say 170F but it will hit that just resting in cooldown at 165F and as far as cooldown I let my bird sit out for 1 hr that way it's juices naturely congeal with the meat as it rests cooling down. And then I refridgerate it for 6hrs before packaging and or slicing that way it all comes together with the smoke an marinate and cold meat is easier to slice.

What you do is up to you, but feel free to use whatever you like that I told you here

SlicTrix/Greg
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SlicTrix
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01 13 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh by the way in case you don't know what instacure #1 is. Which I figure you don't since you didn't mention it in your post.

It's Extremely needed for smoking meats that aren't all eaten just after they are smoked and that have to be stored and or refridgerated or frozen.

And when it comes to poulty meats that are smoked it is a necessity of upmost priority

Because Botulism can and will kill you or anyone that eats miss prepared/under prepped smoked meats !.!.!.!

Instacure #1 is a combo of 6.25% Sodium Nitrite and 3.75% salt. Which for all effective purposes kills bacteria and germs that become inherent in stored meat products and most especially in smoked poultry !

Welcome to the real world of smoking and try not to kill your friends or loved ones.

SlicTrix/Greg
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01 13 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SlicTrix wrote:
Oh by the way in case you don't know what instacure #1 is. Which I figure you don't since you didn't mention it in your post.

It's Extremely needed for smoking meats that aren't all eaten just after they are smoked and that have to be stored and or refridgerated or frozen.

And when it comes to poulty meats that are smoked it is a necessity of upmost priority

Because Botulism can and will kill you or anyone that eats miss prepared/under prepped smoked meats !.!.!.!

Instacure #1 is a combo of 6.25% Sodium Nitrite and 3.75% salt. Which for all effective purposes kills bacteria and germs that become inherent in stored meat products and most especially in smoked poultry !

Welcome to the real world of smoking and try not to kill your friends or loved ones.

SlicTrix/Greg

Adding curing agents such as your Instacure #1 or Tender Quick are not necessary to poultry that is cooked at higher temps. The curing agent is used for meats that are cooked at lower temps keeping the meat in the danger zone of 40° to 140° to long. If the need for curing agents in poultry for holding after cooking were in place it would be used in rottisserie, oven baked, and fried birds as well they are not.
Here is a quote from a very qualified person on brining birds that may help.
Note: About the “optional” Tenderquick. If you smoke a turkey at temperatures of 180º to 225º F., you might want to consider using the Tenderquick. The turkey will be spending a lot of time in the DANGER ZONE of 40ºF to 140ºF, so just be aware of this. If in doubt, use the Tenderquick.
Here is the link.
http://www.cookshack.com/store/Smokin-Okies-101-Series/Brining-101
M Phil's temp. range of 250° to 275° is a good range for birds up to 15 lbs and not stuffed, 275° to 300° would be better.
The bottom line is there is no reason to smoke poultry at or below 225° (unless you choose to) cooking at higher temps results in a crispy skin and much juicier meat.
M Phil, for what it is worth I have smoked a turkey for the past 5 years for one of my secretary's for their Thanksgiving meal. I fully smoke the turkey on Sunday before Thanksgiving let the bird rest then carve, bag and ice bath it the bird is then frozen. They warm the carved bird up on Thursday for their meal and are very pleased with the results. I have instructed them that re-warming the bird days after this is not advised.

Welcome to the real world of smoking.
Not killing my Family or Friends for well over thirty years. Wink Very Happy
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DrunkPlumber
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06 13 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:


Welcome to the real world of smoking.
Not killing my Family or Friends for well over thirty years. Wink Very Happy


How fortunate for them, eh?
Well played, K.A.M. Wink
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SlicTrix
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07 13 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
SlicTrix wrote:
Oh by the way in case you don't know what instacure #1 is. Which I figure you don't since you didn't mention it in your post.

It's Extremely needed for smoking meats that aren't all eaten just after they are smoked and that have to be stored and or refridgerated or frozen.

And when it comes to poulty meats that are smoked it is a necessity of upmost priority

Because Botulism can and will kill you or anyone that eats miss prepared/under prepped smoked meats !.!.!.!

Instacure #1 is a combo of 6.25% Sodium Nitrite and 3.75% salt. Which for all effective purposes kills bacteria and germs that become inherent in stored meat products and most especially in smoked poultry !

Welcome to the real world of smoking and try not to kill your friends or loved ones.

SlicTrix/Greg

Adding curing agents such as your Instacure #1 or Tender Quick are not necessary to poultry that is cooked at higher temps. The curing agent is used for meats that are cooked at lower temps keeping the meat in the danger zone of 40° to 140° to long. If the need for curing agents in poultry for holding after cooking were in place it would be used in rottisserie, oven baked, and fried birds as well they are not.
Here is a quote from a very qualified person on brining birds that may help.
Note: About the “optional” Tenderquick. If you smoke a turkey at temperatures of 180º to 225º F., you might want to consider using the Tenderquick. The turkey will be spending a lot of time in the DANGER ZONE of 40ºF to 140ºF, so just be aware of this. If in doubt, use the Tenderquick.
Here is the link.
http://www.cookshack.com/store/Smokin-Okies-101-Series/Brining-101
M Phil's temp. range of 250° to 275° is a good range for birds up to 15 lbs and not stuffed, 275° to 300° would be better.
The bottom line is there is no reason to smoke poultry at or below 225° (unless you choose to) cooking at higher temps results in a crispy skin and much juicier meat.
M Phil, for what it is worth I have smoked a turkey for the past 5 years for one of my secretary's for their Thanksgiving meal. I fully smoke the turkey on Sunday before Thanksgiving let the bird rest then carve, bag and ice bath it the bird is then frozen. They warm the carved bird up on Thursday for their meal and are very pleased with the results. I have instructed them that re-warming the bird days after this is not advised.

Welcome to the real world of smoking.
Not killing my Family or Friends for well over thirty years. Wink Very Happy


I STILL HAVE TO SAY BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY and better yet instacure#1 helps to prolong the shelf life also Very Happy as in your bird without instacure #1 might last 3 to 4 months frozen Rolling Eyes , as where one with instacure#1 will last at least 12 months without any ill effects upon defrosting and eating Laughing Very Happy

BTW You Do Know What an FDA Standard is Right Shocked
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07 13 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WTF!

The OP wants to cook it on a Sunday and travel on the following Wednesday!

Why does he need to know how to hold it safely for a year? He's looking to travel 361 days short of a year!

Once cooked, and cooled I would bag it and refrigerate, rather than freezing for if you freeze it you'll need to thaw it safely once you arrive, and the FDA sure has plenty of advise about say about that.

Slictrix for someone who professes the use of a simple electric cooker, you sure do make life more complicated for everything else!

Perhaps that's your talent!
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07 13 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SlicTrix wrote:
I STILL HAVE TO SAY BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY and better yet instacure#1 helps to prolong the shelf life also Very Happy as in your bird without instacure #1 might last 3 to 4 months frozen Rolling Eyes , as where one with instacure#1 will last at least 12 months without any ill effects upon defrosting and eating

Simply put you missed the mark read the original post. Rolling Eyes Laughing
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Petunia
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10 13 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another way to smoke your turkey at 225 and not have to worry about the bird being in the "danger zone" for too long is to split it open/remove the backbone/spatchcock it. Cooks much faster that way. Makes it a bit harder to stuff, though. Wink
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Cat797
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12 13 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoEzzy wrote:
WTF!

Slictrix for someone who professes the use of a simple electric cooker, you sure do make life more complicated for everything else!



+1....For all the pontificating, I'd like to see some pics!
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Petunia
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12 13 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't remember. Was "Instacure #1" on the Beatles' White Album? Laughing
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Hell Fire Grill
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20 13 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dident read the entire thread, just parts of it. From what I gather from the small part I did read I can only say one thing.

Teleking must have moved to Oak Brook, IL.
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DrunkPlumber
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20 13 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell Fire Grill wrote:
I dident read the entire thread, just parts of it. From what I gather from the small part I did read I can only say one thing.

Teleking must have moved to Oak Brook, IL.




ROFLMAO @ HFG. Wink Laughing Shocked Rolling Eyes
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Hell Fire Grill
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21 13 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had time to read it today.

SlicTrix wrote:
Oh by the way in case you don't know what instacure #1 is.

Instacure #1 is a combo of 6.25% Sodium Nitrite and 3.75% salt.


6.25% + 3.75% = 10% Whats the other 90%?
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21 13 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WTF is right!

Cure has nothing to do with frozen storage, it has everything to do with meats held at very low cooking temps (under 200) in a low oxygen environment (such as a smoker) for hours on end.

What helps retain moisture is phosphates, and they have nothing to do with food safety.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21 13 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:
WTF is right!

Cure has nothing to do with frozen storage, it has everything to do with meats held at very low cooking temps (under 200) in a low oxygen environment (such as a smoker) for hours on end.

What helps retain moisture is phosphates, and they have nothing to do with food safety.

Harry, Thank You for chiming in I almost sent you a P.M. on this one because of your sausage making experience as well as food safety knowledge.
I did not want the original poster to think he was messing up for not using curing agents if cooked properly.
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M Phil
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20 13 10:19 pm    Post subject: The cook went off with out a hitch! Reply with quote

Once again I have failed! I didn't take pics during the turkey cook. I beg everyone's forgiveness!

The bird was great! I picked through everyone's advice and here is how she went.

I am a hunter. I butcher my own cute and fuzzies. I also grind my own meet, so I have 3 gallon buckets that are part of my kitchen tools. It is one of these that I used to soak the bird.

I based my brine on one I found online. I used half a gallon of butter milk, half a gallon of cold water, salt, brown sugar, ground pepper, fresh onion and garlic. I soaked it for around 18 hours. I also dropped in a few deer loin roasts while I was at it. I didn't poke any holes into the bird for the brine to enter. I didn't want those holes to be there for moisture to get out will cooking or resting. It seemed to work out for me.

I cooked them on Sunday before thanksgiving. Cook temp was kept at between 275-300 deg using Stub's charcoal and apple wood. I started with the temp probe in one of the deer roasts because I knew they would be finished first. When they were I pulled them out, wrapped them in foil and towels in a cooler. I added the probe to the bird and while the chamber was open wrapped the wing tips and drum stick tips in foil. When the bird was fully cooked I wrapped it in foil and placed it in a foil tray breasts down in the cooler. When it cooled enough to handle I cling wrapped it tight. It was stuffed into one of those giant zip lock bags with as much air sucked out of it as I could manage. I did the same with one of the deer roasts. They were placed into another cooler with the drain open. I then covered them with ice.

I drove to Ohio with them just like that. Before serving I carved half the turkey and sealed it in foil packs and heated it in the oven. I didn't shoot for a specific temp, just enough for it to be warm. The other half of the bird was carved and eaten cold the rest of the week. Everyone was pleased!

The deer roast in Ohio was warmed whole in a foil pack as well. I sliced it thin against the grain to serve. It was just as good as the one that was eaten Sunday after the cook.

As always, thank you all for your inputs leading up to this cook!
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