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smoked 3lb butterball turkeybreast.

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Post Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:58 pm

Posts: 2
Hey all, I'm new here and I just have a few questions. I am getting ready to smoke my first turkey related anything.
I am planning on smoking 3 of the 3lb butterball turkey breasts. So, my questions:

1. Is it true that you don't brine the butterball products?
2. Anyone have any idea about how long it would take to smoke these?
3.can anyone recommend a good turkey dry rub?

Post Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:43 pm
Wolfpackbbq well done
well done

Posts: 2621
Location: Valley Springs, CA
Welcome!

I have heard 2 different things. 1- you cannot brine anything injected with a saline solution. 2-The other is the science that the brine will try to balance the salt content in the meat to the brine. If the saline injection solution is light on salt it will pull brine in if you have a higher solution salt brine. If the injection saline is high then it will pull the pre injected solution out of the breast or not do anything if the brine solution is equal.

Depends on many variable. Cook until 5* or so under desired finishing temp. Pull breast and let rest and it will finish cooking while resting

I can't answer the third. I will often times rub with a compound butter and add seasoning as i feel it needs.

Hope this helps
Image

Post Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:59 am
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
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Posts: 7423
Location: Stoughton, WI
Welcome, wrharvey!

Wolf is right about the brine wanting to reach equilibrium with the moisture already in the meat. The typical stumbling block is that the concentration of the injected brine is unknown, which makes it difficult to determine if an external brine is going to add salt or pull it out. Given that more Butterball customers are likely to simply cook the turkey without any additional brining I figure that the injected brine is probably fairly salty.

Those 3-pounders are a pretty good size so I think you can probably pull them at 155 and carryover will take you up to the recommended 165 degrees if you're cooking at a higher (325-350) temp. If you're going to smoke them low and slow I'd let them go to 160. You're definitely going to want to allow at least a couple of hours and if they do finish early you can always tent them with foil to help keep them warm. I'd wrap them only if nobody cares that the skin will get soft.

Post Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:43 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
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Location: Central Alberta, Canada
I like to do these over a rotisserie most of the time. I use a pretty simple poultry rub like the ones in Steven's cookbooks, or I just do up a basic rub of salt, pepper, onion powder, poultry seasoning, and a bit of granulated garlic and sage. Baste it wit drippings from the pan and maybe a bit of melted butter. I pull them off the rotisserie at about 155-160.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:14 pm

Posts: 2
Thanks for all of the tips. I am planning on smoking at about 225. I did end up getting 2 of the 6 pound breasts instead of 3 pounders. Does anyone have a rough estimate of how much time I should keep open to cook them. I know until 160/165 degrees but wanting to know about what time in the morning I should start smoking if we are eating at 2.

Thanks again.

Post Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:05 pm
beercuer User avatar
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Posts: 2287
Location: Southern Californy
Wharvey, hello brother. Just a guess, but I'm thinking about 6-8 hours at that temp. Just in case you did not know, if you're cooking that low and slow, you ought to expect to discard the skin as it will be decidedly inedible. Therefore, any rub will be machs nichts. Nevertheless, I'd luv to hear and see your results. I can imagine slowly smoked turkey meat to be delish! :D
Got beer???

Post Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:08 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
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Posts: 7423
Location: Stoughton, WI
I think that's a pretty good estimate, BC. Harvey, do you have a Nesco or similar roaster that you could put the finished breasts in? If they do finish early you could keep them at a low temperature so they stay warm without continuing to cook.

Post Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:05 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
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Location: Central Alberta, Canada
beercuer wrote:
Wharvey, hello brother. Just a guess, but I'm thinking about 6-8 hours at that temp. Just in case you did not know, if you're cooking that low and slow, you ought to expect to discard the skin as it will be decidedly inedible. :D


That's not always the case, actually. While a lot of the time smoked turkey and chicken skin is rubbery, you can sometimes crisp it up by raising the heat for the last 30-45 minutes. I do this by moving the bird closer to the SFB vent on an offset smoker, or by draining the water pan on a vertical smoker.

And just as proof (before anyone argues), here's one I did last year. It's a big 4 1/2 pound free-range chicken that took about 4 hours to cook at 275F, including the 45 minutes to crisp the skin. I popped it right over the SFB vent to finish it and took it off at 160F internal temp:

Image

The skin on this beauty was as crisp as if it had been oven-roasted, and the meat was very moist even without brining (which I personally find to be a bit overrated at times). I hope this helps. :D
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:36 am
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
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Posts: 7423
Location: Stoughton, WI
There's also the blowtorch method!

One thing I've wanted to try is grilling the skin after it's been removed from the meat. I've seen it done with salmon and it seems like the results would be similar with turkey or chicken.

Post Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:33 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
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Location: Central Alberta, Canada
ScreamingChicken wrote:
There's also the blowtorch method!

One thing I've wanted to try is grilling the skin after it's been removed from the meat. I've seen it done with salmon and it seems like the results would be similar with turkey or chicken.


The "blowtorch" I have at home is a 500,000 BTU weed burner (and that's not a typo). I tried it once and it was a little too powerful. :twisted:
However, I use the side sear burner on my gas grill with similar results and it does a good job.

As for grilling the skin separately, this takes a bit of practice but once you master it the technique works great. I've tried it on salmon skin, chicken and even on pork rind with decent results. The trick is to turn it very frequently and always keep an eye on it, as it cooks very, very quickly over a direct flame and it flares up a lot.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.


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