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The Manhattan Project, Smoked Turkey version.

  • Thread starter Av8tor1
  • Start date
Preparing the bird today for my first smoked turkey... :-O

1. Moist and flavorful meat, with subtle nodes of pecan smoke flavoring
2. Brown and crisp skin

After much research, I have decided against a wet brine. I will use a dry, salt rub to facilitate the osmotic process.
Wet brine will increase the likelihood of rubbery skin when smoking in the 250-275F range.

Sourced Pecan wood for smoke, suppose to give a wonderful flavor to the meat and color to the skin.



1. Separate skin from meat as much as possible with hand or wood spoon.
2. Make 4, 1" slits along backbone to facilitate rendered fat to escape
3. Rub 4 tbls of Kosher salt into cavity
4. Rub 1 tbls of kosher salt onto each breast (under skin)
5. Rub 1 tsp of Kosher salt onto each thigh (under skin)
6. Mix 1 tsp each of Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper and baking powder. Rub into the exterior skin surface.
(The baking powder will increase flavor, browning and crisping of the skin. If I understand this correctly it allows the Mailard Reaction to occur even though temps do not reach 310f)​
7. Cover in plastic wrap and let set in fridge for 24-48 hours so the osmotic process can do its magic


1. Smoke turkey using Pecan wood till an internal temperature of 175F is reached.
2. Deglaze the drip pan with white wine or vermouth, add a little butter for creaminess, plate with sauce on the side.
3. Go to hospital with heart attack but with big smile

Ok chefs, cooks and pitmasters, give me your feedback, before I reach a point of no return :)
This is my first turkey, woot woot!

Hurry over

Last edited:
Well, that is that... I'm officially committed to the process
Steps 1-7 done,
hmmmm need to get some Vermouth :p
To paraphrase the ancient Sanskrit, and your allusion to the Manhattan Project, Butch "has become Death, the shatterer of turkeys . . ."

Sammiches . . .
sammiches my butt, git ur arse over here.... bring cookies, I know you got some :p
she baked, I helped with the card selection :p
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I'll be a metric ton if you guys have your way . . .
meh, move here.... no one will notice :p
I love cooking with pecan wood. It gives the meat a very nice flavor.
  • #10
be my first use of it, but all I've heard is its the bomb for poultry especially
  • #11
Should get you some Hawaiian salt. It'll give you better flavor than Kosher Salt. Kosher Salt is too pure, like using something out of reagent bottle.
  • #12
hmmmmm ohhh Machhhhhh LOL
  • #13
be my first use of it, but all I've heard is its the bomb for poultry especially

its my favorite wood for pork chops as well. its delicate and i like that. im not into strong flavors
  • #14
<iframe width="512" height="288" src="http://www.hulu.com/embed.html?eid=f1lte3b2wvvovgimrm4hyq&partner=metacafe&url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.hulu.com%2fwatch%2f426806" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>

Where is my wormwood?... hmmm
carpe diem :)
  • #15
Depends on which salt. Got the one from Kauai. Evaporated in a field of clay. Has a red tinge because of the clay. Used for all kinds of things treating broken bones included. I guess high in other minerals. Magnesium. Iron and alluminium oxides from the clay. That mud is a stable red dye. Won't come off clothes. I have some of that. Can't buy it. Need a family member working an evaporation basin. See all the brine shrimp swimming around. I also use a coarse kiln dried salt. Just unfortunatally only available in 50 lbs bags. I normally bought in that quantity back in the days I was hatching brine shrimp to feed to fish. Would scoop out some and use for my cooking. Let me go check what I have.
  • #17
PM received and replied :)
  • #18
Wow, cooking with Pecan smoke smells amazing, unlike any other wood I've used or smelled.
Man, that is good stuff LOL...
  • #19

Probably best turkey I've ever had, unreal good for a first attempt :)
The meat had great texture and flavor. It was tender with just a hint of pecan smoke.

The skin, meh.... still need fine tuning LOL, brown yes.... rubbery not really, but not crispy either.
I think next time I will smoke at 275 instead of 250 and see if that helps.

Final pic just before pulling out of smoker:

Internal temp at thigh 165f
About 5 hr cook time

  • #20
If you've ever had Chinese roast chicken or duck (like Peking Duck) with the crispy crackly skin the secret is to sun/air dry the skin prior to roasting. After applying your rubs hang the bird up in a cool dry place with good air circulation for 4 hours to overnight until the skin is dry and taut. If you sun dry (2-3 hours) I recommend you build a cage with fly-wire (screen) to hang the bird in. You might be able to dry in the refrigerator. Experiment. The traditional method is sun drying.