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Turkey on a kamado

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Thanksgiving is coming up this weekend (In Canada) and im going to smoke a turkey. Ive been reading and it seems like alot of people make it very confusing. Im looking to inject a creole butter before cooking but not sure if i need to brine the bird or not. Im also looking to cook at a lower temp like 275 other than some videos at 350. If injecting do i need to brine and what kind of time am i looking at per pound at 275? Ive done spatchcock chickens before injected and were really good. Ive read before that no wood for smoke should be used, Will a mild wood like maple hurt?

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Turkey can get oversmoked in a hurry. I wouldn't add any smoking wood but I think you'll be fine at 275. I would say it'd be 20-25 minutes per pound at 275,  Don't forget your rest period.

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You may not get crispy skin at 275 and that's why birds are cooked at 350 deg. Check to see if the bird you have

has been injected with some sort of solution. Most commercially processed birds are and I'm not sure how

effective a brine would be. We usually cook Butterball turkeys which have been injected. My wife makes up a

compound butter and spreads it under the skin. The bird is cooked at 350 and basted with butter as it cooks.

Drippings are used for gravy. A 22 - 24# bird takes about 4.5 hours or about 12 - 13 min. per pound. I iuse

mesquite lump charcoal without any wood chunks. The bird turns out juicy with crispy skin and tastes great.

It's not over smoked either.

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I was looking at 275 to keep it more juicy and then turning up the temp at the end to crisp the skin. Maybe its not nessasary to cook at that low of a temp. Just really dont want it dried out on the surface. I decided not to bribe but to inject instead before cooking. I will add a drip pan for gravy and hope it doesnt burn to the pan and char, another reason I was looking at 275.

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Use a heat deflector for indirect cooking and make sure that the roasting pan does not sit directly

on the deflector to prevent burning.

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6 minutes ago, K_sqrd said:

Use a heat deflector for indirect cooking and make sure that the roasting pan does not sit directly

on the deflector to prevent burning.

I will be cooking indirect with a heat deflector. I do have some ceramic pieces to set the drip pan on. I will place them on the deflector and then the pan and the bird directly on the grates. 

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I think you get more consistent internal moisture from brining than with injection.  In my experience injected butter or liquid just forms pockets of moisture, while the liquid from brine is fully absorbed by the turkey flesh. However, I  always use a neutral bird with out prior injection or salt solution brining. (if your bird has already been treated and you brine it again you will most likely over salt it)  I use a brine of enough apple cider to cover the bird with 3/4's cup of kosher salt, 3/4's cup honey, and a cup of orange juice In a large square food safe container that fits in my fridge. I also throw orange slices and a bundle of Simon and Garfunkel herbs into my brine as well. I cook at 350, indirect using both a deflector and a drip pan.  I always get a juicy bird. When brining it is very important to always keep the turkey and brine temp below 40 degrees, my fridge is set at 35. I Pull the bird at 165 IT, if the thighs are not done just cut them off and keep them on the grill a little longer. Here is a 13 lb spatchcocked turkey from last Thanksgiving, it got rave reviews from the family. One last tip, turkey and all poultry for that matter, are smoke sponges in that they pick up and hold smoke flavor very easily. Because of this, it is really easy to over smoke them and give them a harsh and unnatural taste. I use straight lump with no smoking wood but throw a bunch of fresh rosemary spring on my fire about 20 minutes prior to pulling my bird. The rosemary smoke is nice and light and gives the turkey a prefumed essence. Happy Cooking. 

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That turkey looks great. I may just up the temp of the cook to 325 or so. I do want that crispy skin but also want the drippings in the pan  to stay good for a nice gravy. I just picked up my turkey and its 17lbs.

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I fry turkeys after I wet brine them in Tony's, etc. I have roasted turkeys on the kamado with Meathead at amazingribs.com dry brine method as guidance. Both are fantastic. I intend to roast and fry Tony's wet brined ones this year to see which is better. You almost can't go wrong, if you are careful. 

I spatchcock and catch the drippings in a pan of onions, celery, the neck, etc. which is strained for a great broth-gravy. That may not work with the Tony's brine, we'll see. I typically cook closer to 350° for just a couple of hours. 

Good Luck! 

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As long as you have an air space beneath your drip pan,  at 350 / 375 you are pretty safe as far as not  frying and burning the pans contents. I use either 3/4" copper elbows or ceramic kiln blocks as spacers between the bottom of my drip pan and my deflector.  You can also start your drip pan off with a little liquid, I have used apple cider, which matches my brine, or chicken broth. I have also put halved onions,  and rough  cut carrots in my drip pan as well. I had a fancy flat drip pan but lost it in a move, now I just use one of those oblong 1" deep aluminum pans. I bend it to fit. You can hear the drippings sizzling away in the short clip I posted above.  PS. That's a 13 lb  spatchcocked turkey on a large BGE with an 18 1/2" grill grate. I  had about an inch to  two inches of grate space around the outer edges when the bird was on my grate. How big is the grill your cooking on?

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58 minutes ago, keeperovdeflame said:

As long as you have an air space beneath your drip pan,  at 350 / 375 you are pretty safe as far as not  frying and burning the pans contents. I use either 3/4" copper elbows or ceramic kiln blocks as spacers between the bottom of my drip pan and my deflector.  You can also start your drip pan off with a little liquid, I have used apple cider, which matches my brine, or chicken broth. I have also put halved onions,  and rough  cut carrots in my drip pan as well. I had a fancy flat drip pan but lost it in a move, now I just use one of those oblong 1" deep aluminum pans. I bend it to fit. You can hear the drippings sizzling away in the short clip I posted above.  PS. That's a 13 lb  spatchcocked turkey on a large BGE with an 18 1/2" grill grate. I  had about an inch to  two inches of grate space around the outer edges when the bird was on my grate. How big is the grill your cooking on?

I'll be using either my 21" Louisiana grill kamado or my pit boss k22. I have some ceramic pieces I can use as a spacer.

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Here's my thread on my Thanksgiving turkey from last year. The key takeaway was to separate the gravy making process. I don't recommend trying to save those drippings based on my experience. 

 

 

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Thanks for this post; I'm smoking a turkey for the first time this year as well.  I plan on doing 350 degrees; approx. how long per pound should I plan for?  I have a 25 lb turkey so I know it's going to take a while.  THANKS ALL!!!

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1 hour ago, BBQ_Princess said:

Thanks for this post; I'm smoking a turkey for the first time this year as well.  I plan on doing 350 degrees; approx. how long per pound should I plan for?  I have a 25 lb turkey so I know it's going to take a while.  THANKS ALL!!!

If it were me, I would not do such a large bird, but rather do two smaller ones. In my experience it's much harder to cook a larger bird than it is to cook two smaller ones. YMMV, and if you need that big chonker, or dont have the space for cooking two (i usually do one spinning on the Joe, and one spatchcocked on the (::ducks::) gas grill to sace oven space) go for it.

 

A lot of people have mentioned saving gravy drippings. I always JoeTisserie my birds, and make stock using a process i've described here a few times, look through my history and you'll find it. This also helps because it means you can make a huge batch of turkey stock, both for gravy and for things like soup/rice/etc later on.

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