Monday, November 12, 2007

Turkey Time

Yesterday I smoked a turkey breast. Now that might sound fairly basic and it is how I got my smoke-cooking start about 25 years ago, but I haven’t smoke-cooked a turkey in probably 15 or more years. Actually until I got my Grilldome cooker this past July, I hadn’t smoke-cooked anything in at least 15 years.

That all changed, obviously, when I bought my cooker this past summer and started making up for lost time. Even though I went at it like a man possessed, I never got around to doing turkey, especially since they are not always readily available in the summer months. I have cooked lots of pork,(shoulders and loins), chickens, (whole, spatchcocked, drumsticks and breasts), a couple briskets, burgers and even smoked some BBQed baked beans. But no turkey.

This past week my FIL brought over a turkey breast he got free from racking up points/dollars at his supermarket. My wife probably won’t let me cook the Thanksgiving bird on the Grilldome so I jumped on this opportunity to finally get back in the turkey game.

Back in the old days, I knew nothing of rubs, injections or brining. I just threw the bird on the grill heaped on the wood chips and let it go. I always enjoyed the results but these days I am trying to take things to a new level. So, for the first time ever I have soaked this bird overnight in a brine solution; Kosher salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, garlic, and a few other dry seasonings. I put it on the grill after stabilizing the temperature at 300 degrees. That’s a bit high for normal smoking but a good temperature for a turkey breast. Three hours and 15 minutes later, the breast was done at a temperature of 170 degrees. Very moist, no dry spots, a hint of sweetness and a good smoke flavor. I think I will be doing some more experiments with brine solutions in the coming weeks.

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