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rwc565
10-02-2008, 12:12 PM
My family has asked me to smoke a couple of turkeys for Thanksgiving. I have never done a turkey before, so if you'll bear with me I have a couple (or eleven) questions. After reading all the posts I could find about turkeys I have come to this conclusion. Evryone does it different. I also concluded that I dont need to brine the turkey.But it did seem universal that everyone injected. I may have to do a practice turkey soon.

question 1. What do I inject with?Anyone have a good recipe or storebought brand that you would recommend?

#2. How do you inject? do I need to inject in different areas?

#3. How long do I need to wait after injecting before I can start cooking?

SmokyOkie
10-02-2008, 01:51 PM
Run some honey, butter,garlic and olive oil in the blender and inject it.

Also, try whisking together some honey, soft nutter, fresh rosemary, thyme and sage into a paste. slowly work your hand up between the skin and the meat. If you're careful, you can actually loosen the skin all the way arounf the bird, legs, thighs and all. Then smear all the honey/butter/herb paste all over the meat under the skin.

How long you let the marinade sit before cooking is up to you. The longer it sits, theoretically, the better it distributes.

You can also cure a turkey using tenderquick and sugar and then injecting it. You can add a little liquid smoke in the inject as well, then smoke the bird.

You'll get something that resembles sweet ham if you do that.

Jake
10-02-2008, 02:16 PM
huh i got a question, i have never injected anything i have cooked, but have been looking at a injector at work last last couple days, when you do inject what ever have you do you do it in random spots or is there a science to it, i'd be scared to use liquid smoke all over the place as it is a bit strong, and fyi if you ever break a bottle on the tile it burns into it :msn-wink: well at least on the flooring at work but tht may be cheap:roflmaoha0::shrug:

Fatback Joe
10-02-2008, 02:50 PM
There is a science behind it, but it is a US secret.........sorry.

rwc565
10-02-2008, 02:56 PM
There is a science behind it, but it is a US secret.........sorry.
Well, I'm from the US and that also was one of my questions, so you can secretly tell me.:msn-wink:

Fatback Joe
10-02-2008, 03:06 PM
I'm Mexican.......so no. :msn-wink:


Actually if there is a science behind it, I don't know it. I am more of a briner than injector atleast for a turkey......with Brisket, go with the grain and draw the needle back as you press the plunger down to avoid getting the injection pooling........does Turkey have a grain? I would assume that you would still want to withdraw as you inject to avoid pooling. I can't imagine the pooling being a good thing in any meat.

SmokyOkie
10-02-2008, 04:15 PM
Try to hit as many ang;es through one hole as you can. You wouldn't want to inject straight liq. smmoke, but it doesn't hurt to add just a touch to you inject.

Bassman
10-02-2008, 04:29 PM
I have injected and deep fried dozens of turkeys. I like to use the marinades from http://www.cajuninjector.com/. I used to order directly from the factory in Clinton, Mo., but now I find it at Sportsman's Warehouse. Like Smoky Okie said, inject, push in the plunger slowly as you bull back to distribute the marinade. Then using the same hole, just inject in another direction. The Creole Butter recipe marinade from cajuninjector is my favorite. Good luck.

glued2it
10-02-2008, 05:07 PM
Here is my write up on poultry. It steers more toward turkey than chicken.
Hope you can find something helpful.


Chicken/Turkey
Brining



Brining is simple technique of soaking the bird in water with salt and maybe sugar and a few spices added. It could be simply water and salt but hey while that birds sucking in the water dont you want it to drag in all your favorite spices too? Brining requires that you soak the bird in the brining solution either over night up to 24 hours, or at least four to six hours before smoking.

Brining solution:



1-1/2 gallons ice cold water
1 cup salt (sea or kosher)(if solution added use cup)
2 teaspoons Garlic Power
2 teaspoons Onion Powder
2 teaspoons Cajun Spice
1/3 cup Dextrose or sugar - optional


* Sugar is optional. Some people say it helps balance the salt but most recipes will suggest you use as much as a full cup of salt that would be salty for my taste and you would really need sugar to offset the saltiness. I choose to reduce the salt instead. Although Pure Vermont Maple Syrup is a nice flavor to add to that bird!

Take a few cups of water and boil it. You can throw it in a microwave for a few minutes to speed up the process. Place it in a heat resistant bowl and stir in your salt and sugar to dissolve them. The salt is the hardest to dissolve, so keep your eyes on it. Once they have dissolved add the rest of your spices stir them in then add a few ice cubes to cool it down or just wait. Now add youre the mix to your ice water and stir it up well.

Throw the bird in the brine, tilting the cavity up so it fills with water and doesnt try to float. Place something heavy on top to keep the turkey submerged and wait. I like to inject the bird at about 3 inch intervals with the brine water on shorter brines or 4 to 6 hours to sort of jump start it.

NOTE: if you are brining in the summer you may want to add an ice cube tray full of ice once or twice during a 24 hour brine or if you have a container that will hold the bird and brine you can place in the refrigerator do it. You want to keep this bird below 40F to prevent bacterial growth!


Brining requires that you soak the bird in the brining solution either over night up to 24 hours, or four to six hours before smoking. After the brining is complete rinse the bird in clear fresh water to rinse off any extra salt that may be on the bird. Rinse for about 5 minutes changing the water a few times. Dont soak the bird just rinse

Flavor Injecting
Flavor Injecting, injecting for short, is taking a solution of some kind of fluid and spices in a large syringe made for food, filling it, then injecting the fluid into the meat. Its a way of spicing up the meat on the inside and making it tastier and juicier in the process.


The injector can be purchased at most department stores and cooking shops. One of my injectors looks like the one above. There are numerous injectors available at a full range of prices. I even bough one at Wal-Mart for like $4.

NOTE: When not using the injector, remove the needle, slide the piston in almost all the way with the cap off and slip the needle in the piston shaft, screw the cap down. The needle is a bit to long to snug the cap down but it will keep you from getting stuck by the needle or keep you from loosing it!

My favorite injection mixture and rub for poultry is below:


1 stick of margarine, butter or Butter Buds
3/4 teaspoon Garlic Power
3/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
3/4 teaspoon Cajun Spice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper


Place you bird in a shallow pan or a clean sink this can get messy and it also will allow you to collect and reuse the spilled injector fluids to rub the outer surface of the skin.

Inject the bird in several spots all over it. I use a spacing of about three inches. If you inject deeply into the meat at an angle you can flavor a lot of meat without poking a lot of holes. As to press the injector plunger in slowly pull the needle out at about the same rate of speed. Dont forget the wings and legs! One or two injections in a wing or leg parallel to the bone will do it!

If your using butter as your base it will start to solidify once injected and the stuff that spills can be rubbed on the surface of the skin. I also sprinkle some of the same blend of spices on the outside of the bird. It will stick to the butter you just rubbed all over the bird. You can do this or add a bit of your favorite rub.



Smoking the Bird

Once the bird is brined, and injected you can begin your smoke. Now the general rule for smoking dictates a low and slow with light wispy smoke. This is not the best method for smoking poultry however. Unlike briskets, Boston butts and ribs poultry does not have tough connective tissues that need be to broken down. Poultry is naturally tender and fatty. The skin on poultry is full of fat compressed between the layers of the skin. In orderto render this fat and get a nice crispy skin you need higher temperatures!




Smoke poultry at between 300 - 375 F for the best results.


NOTE: Some smokers will not consistently reach 350 o F let alone 375 o F - this is the reason I have given you a full range of temperatures to choose from. Whatever the highest temperature is in that range that your smokers is capable of use that temperature!

Whatever temperature you to use smoke the poultry - smoke it until it reaches 168F in the thickest part of the thigh or breast. Poultry cooking time ends up being between 15 and 20 minutes per pound of meat between 300 and 375F, but its still the temperature is what you need to watch not the time. The time is just a guideline for a guess of when to start cooking not when to finish cooking!

Woods like cherry, orange and tangerine will give your poultry a nice deep red/orange color with great flavor. Try mixing these in with your other favorite smoking woods! I like to mix theses woods with hickory or pecan.


Once the bird reaches 165 F, let it rest with foil tented but not touching over the bird for 20 minutes or so before carving to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. The internal temperature will continue to rise by about 5 F after removing it from the smoker.

SmokyOkie
10-02-2008, 05:51 PM
I have injected and deep fried dozens of turkeys. I like to use the marinades from http://www.cajuninjector.com/. I used to order directly from the factory in Clinton, Mo., but now I find it at Sportsman's Warehouse. Like Smoky Okie said, inject, push in the plunger slowly as you bull back to distribute the marinade. Then using the same hole, just inject in another direction. The Creole Butter recipe marinade from cajuninjector is my favorite. Good luck.

I have decided not to inject and deep fry any more turkeys because of the effect the the inject has on the oil. I pretty well ruins it, and at $45 a cube, I just don't think the inject is worth it. If I'm going to inject, I'm gonna roast. May smoke, may not, but I'm not gonna deep fry.



1 stick of margarine, butter or Butter Buds
3/4 teaspoon Garlic Power
3/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
3/4 teaspoon Cajun Spice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper


How do you keep the butter (or margarine) from setting up and plugging the needle when it hits the cold meat?

glued2it
10-02-2008, 06:28 PM
Honestly I have never had a problem with it.

JamesB
10-02-2008, 06:37 PM
As stated, everybody seems to do it a bit differently.

For me, I don't brine anymore. Around the holidays, between frying and smoke/roasting, I will cook up around 30 or so birds. For smoke/roasting (I refer to it that way do to the fact that I'm running the pit at around 300-325), just use the market brands that have already been "enhanced with up to a % of solution". Sure brining will allow you to get your own flavor mix into the bird, but I don't have to room to brine a bunch of turks... I just oil the skin, rub inside, outside and under the skin and cook.

For frying, I do inject with a cajun butter type injection. If you don't want to make up your own, and I usually do, I've had good luck in the past with the Cajun Injector brand mentioned above.

Use as few holes in the skin as possible, but keep moving the needle from point to point under the skin as you depress the plunger. Be sure to hit all of the main muscles... Injecting must be done long enough in advance to allow the injection fluid to migrate into the meat or you will end up with pools of it... I try to inject the night before.

As far as the injection mucking up the fryer oil. I've found that rubbing the outside of a bird that is to be fried is a waste of rub that will just wash off and muck up the oil.

Now, I gave up on peanut and other high priced oils years ago for frying turks. I've been using the liquid shortening you can find at Sam's/Costco. It works just fine, doesn't impart any flavor to the bird and only costs (last year) $23.00 per 35lb container. I can usually fry about 10-12 birds before I change it out. I just let it cool and place back into the same plasic container it came in. I don't reuse it.

I just checked Sam;s club and the creamy liquid shortening went up to $30! yikes!.

SmokyOkie
10-02-2008, 07:51 PM
The problem I have with the inject in the oil is the sugars scorching. I suppose if I was only going to fry turkeys in the oil it wouldn't be that bad, but the turkey also leaves a lot of it's fat in the oil and I don't like to fry fish, etc in it after i fry a turkey.

JamesB
10-02-2008, 09:45 PM
The problem I have with the inject in the oil is the sugars scorching. I suppose if I was only going to fry turkeys in the oil it wouldn't be that bad, but the turkey also leaves a lot of it's fat in the oil and I don't like to fry fish, etc in it after i fry a turkey.

Yep, that is why I quite using the expensive oils... I fry the turks and then pitch the oil. It can be quite expensive if your only cooking 1 or 2 birds for the family, but we get into turkey frying mode areound T-Day and Christmas. So the smaller per bird cost is easier to justify.

SmokyOkie
10-02-2008, 10:08 PM
We usually fry a couple extra birds for TG, but always oven roast one. That good dark brown cream turkey gravy is the main reason for TG to me, and you can only get it if you oven roast one. We fry the others so that everybody can have some leftover white sammie meat. That, and I usually roast the carcasses and make stock for turkey soup.

I am awful partial to the flavor peanut oil gives 'em.

rwc565
10-03-2008, 09:05 AM
Thanks to everyone who left comments, it is very helpful.

Jake
10-03-2008, 11:33 AM
nice post guys, glued2it, it would have took me a day to type all that, thanks for all the info gents:sign0092:

SmokyOkie
10-03-2008, 12:43 PM
spose maybe he copied and pasted?:msn-wink:

Jake
10-03-2008, 01:27 PM
spose maybe he copied and pasted?:msn-wink:
im assuming so that he had it saved in his files for a later date, non the less, a good read

Willkat98
10-03-2008, 02:09 PM
Few observations of my own:

My store brand preference is the Tony Chachere line of injections, and each bottle comes with an injector attached, so they get about 5 uses and then tossed out.

I also use a diabetic version of maple syrup, as the regular version gets stuck in the injector. Nothing like turkey with a hint of maple.

Others have answered injection points above.

Don't forget to inject bone in split chicken breasts, and not just turkey.

And I let the oil in the fryer completely cool, and most turkey fat seems to come primarily to the surface. Never had a problem with burnt injection killing the oil, but I use one of those oil filter gizmo's that pump the oil through a filter (which I augment with a double gauze sheet)

YMMV

chef schwantz
10-03-2008, 07:40 PM
I recommend brining in the brine Okie suggested, and using the creole butter marinade per the prior instructions. The brine gives it a good flavor and firm texture, and helps keep it from drying out. I also really like to use maple for smoke. Good Luck

SmokyOkie
10-03-2008, 09:18 PM
I'm a cherry fan for smoke. I don't brine and i don't have dry turkeys. If you don't overcook the bird it won't be dry. take it out @ 160 and rest it for 30 minutes and it'll be somewhere between 165 and 170 and it won't be dry. The processing plant has already injected enough into them to suit me.

cabinetmaker
10-03-2008, 09:31 PM
My store brand preference is the Tony Chachere line of injections, and each bottle comes with an injector attached, so they get about 5 uses and then tossed out.



:wow: what a coincidence. I picked up a bottle of that (garlic and herb) last week. I injected two split breast with it last night and grilled them. Momma said it was the juiciest yet

Willkat98
10-04-2008, 12:12 AM
I recommend brining in the brine Okie suggested, and using the creole butter marinade per the prior instructions. The brine gives it a good flavor and firm texture, and helps keep it from drying out. I also really like to use maple for smoke. Good Luck

Chit, this was the comment I forgot: brine.

With this, you need to be careful of the original packaging.

If it says "Packed in a solution of up to X%" where X is a number between 9 and 14ish, thats up to 14% sodium, and your bird is already brined.

It is possible to "over brine" a bird that was already packed in a brine.