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Old 07-09-2011, 03:42 PM   #1
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Need Help with Smoking a Turkey Breast

SO and I were sitting on the deck earlier this afternoon, enjoying the perfect weather and each others company when the subject of food came up. (No surprise there).

I was speculating about grilling the chicken I'd just defrosted for tomorrow's dinner. I also mentioned I could smoke it if she liked.

We immediately leaped from there to "I want you to smoke a turkey breast next! They're delicious. I'll pick one up for you Monday."

So now I'm on the hook for a smoked turkey breast. I need some direction.

What kind of wood for smoke? Apple, Maple, Cherry, Hickory?
About how long will it take?
Do I need smoke the whole time?
What temperature? (assuming I can actually manage to control temperature)
What didn't I ask that I should know?

Save my bacon, guys. I'm counting on your help.

Hmmm, bacon! Could I wrap it in bacon?!?!
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:00 PM   #2
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It sounds good wrapped in bacon. I love turkey and bacon sandwiches.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:10 PM   #3
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I never smoked a turkey breast, Andy. No idea if it would be done at normal smoking temps or something a little less, like 160 or so. If I was doing one by the seat of my pants I would definitely brine it. And I don't brine anything, but in this case I think it could only make it better and help prevent it from drying out. I'd probably go with something mellow, like maple, too.
Of course, you could always go to a dedicated Q forum... But post your results here
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:46 PM   #4
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I haven't smoked anything--but the wood that I'd chose would be apple if you have it, next would be cherry. Hickory would be my last choice---don't know why, other than we have a saw mill and hickory smells "heavy" whereas the other woods when they are sawn smell "sweet." Weird, I know (I have a super-sensitive nose). I don't know how else to explain that, but I'd use hickory with red meats or game, not with poultry. But I guess it depends on the flavor profile you are after. Maple is a lovely wood, but it doesn't have a lot of odor--(I'd describe that as "clean" when sawn) so I don't know how much of a flavor it would infuse. Cherry is less dense than ash and hickory--I only know that because I picked ash for the butcher block counter my DH made--I had a choice of cherry, hickory, and ash. I went with ash. I can't remember why I ruled out the maple--that was another option, and birch was definitely not an option for the counter top. Oh--I ruled out the hickory because of the way the grain is--but that wouldn't matter for smoking <g>.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:02 PM   #5
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Were you planning on rolling it up in zig zags, or using a pipe?
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
Were you planning on rolling it up in zig zags, or using a pipe?
It seems every time there is a thread title with the word "Smoke" in it,...
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M
What kind of wood for smoke? Apple, Maple, Cherry, Hickory?
About how long will it take?
Do I need smoke the whole time?
What temperature? (assuming I can actually manage to control temperature)
My go to wood for poultry is Cherry......
For a medium/Avg sized bone-in breast (6-7 lbs)...figure 3 hours and check closely after that until it's done....
If you're nervous....check it at 2 hours. That is if you don't have a remote Therm-O meter in the deepest portion to monitor progress... Strongly recommended!
No...A couple of hours should be plenty......
225*-250* breast side up......
Pull it at 160....Tent, rest....You know the drill....30-45 minutes....
Brining is strongly recommended!!!

Fun!
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:17 PM   #8
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It seems every time there is a thread title with the word "Smoke" in it,...
Funny how that always happens, huh?
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:24 PM   #9
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Someone else had to do it. It's bad form to do it on your own thread.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:28 PM   #10
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Duh--I don't get it.

Uncle Bob--why cherry over apple?
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:28 PM   #11
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Poultry doesn't benefit as much from the traditional smoking mantra of low and slow. 325 until internal temp is 165. Oak or pecan woods are my favorites for this. Work some butter and herbs under the skin.

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Old 07-09-2011, 07:32 PM   #12
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Poultry doesn't benefit as much from the traditional smoking mantra of low and slow. 325 until internal temp is 165. Oak or pecan woods are my favorites for this. Work some butter and herbs under the skin.

.40
Thanks, .40.

Smoke the whole time?
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:34 PM   #13
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Do you have a preference for white or red oak? What about butternut? (Blasphamy! that's furniture wood except for the cut offs).

Can you tell I have a lot of choices when it comes to wood? At the end of September, there is a log auction here. We buy logs...we have a surplus of lumber--probably enough to build a 2,000 sq. ft house and all the cabinets, flooring, etc., required (my DH can't go to Home Depot and buy lumber, he has to make his own...).
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.

Thanks, .40.

Smoke the whole time?
Yes. Sine I use a Traeger, the wood (pellet) is the fuel.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWS4322
Do you have a preference for white or red oak? What about butternut? (Blasphamy! that's furniture wood except for the cut offs).

Can you tell I have a lot of choices when it comes to wood? At the end of September, there is a log auction here. We buy logs...we have a surplus of lumber--probably enough to build a 2,000 sq. ft house and all the cabinets, flooring, etc., required (my DH can't go to Home Depot and buy lumber, he has to make his own...).
I'm not really sure what kind of Oak is used in Trager wood pellets. Given the common use of red oak in furniture, I suspect this type is more commonly available as sawdust.

.40
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:47 PM   #16
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Can you describe the smell? Red and white oak don't smell the same...does it have a reddish tinge?
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:53 PM   #17
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If i remember correctly from my wood stove days, red oak doesn't have as food friendly a smell as white oak. But that was the raw wood, not the smoke.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:55 PM   #18
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Can you describe the smell? Red and white oak don't smell the same...does it have a reddish tinge?
Not sure how to describe it. Smells like sawn wood. The pellets look like rabbit food. Uniform size, and shape allow automated and metered delivery of fuel.

.40
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:59 PM   #19
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Not sure how to describe it. Smells like sawn wood. The pellets look like rabbit food. Uniform size, and shape allow automated and metered delivery of fuel.

.40

I have to read this site with my glasses on. I read your post as, "Smells like swan wood.". I'm sitting here thinking what the heck is swan wood?!
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:07 PM   #20
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Duh--I don't get it.

Uncle Bob--why cherry over apple?
Color ~~ Less than 4% of the palates of the world's population can tell what kind of wood was used to cook with anyway...Except maybe for Hickory and mesquite ~~~ Next I suppose someone will suggest they can discern the difference between Granny Smith and Golden Delicious.....
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