May 14, 2016 – Saturday
Ambient temp is in the mid 70″s and humidity is 90%+. Line of thunderstorms rolled through about 4 PM.
Bought four small turkey legs and a tray of small chicken leg quarters at Fiesta. About noon, after cleaning up the chicken, put the turkey legs and several quarters in a large plastic container and the rest of the chicken quarters in a smaller container. Covered the meat with a half-recipe of this brine that a poster said many at SMF use.
Slaughterhouse Poultry Brine By Tip Piper of Hillbilly Vittles
1 ½ Gal Water
½ C Salt – Kosher
½ C Dark Brown Sugar
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Cajun Spice (Louisiana Cajun Seasoning)
2 tsp Celery Seed
5 AM, Sunday, May 15 – I had shuffled the meat in the brine containers three times yesterday afternoon and evening. Noted the chicken seemed mushy and did not bounce back when pressed. SMF posts said that could happen with a long brine like these that have been in the brine for 17 hours. Dumped the brine out of the chicken container and rinsed lightly. Left three leg-quarters in the turkey brine to compare with those brined longer when smoked.
Noon – Turned on MES to prewarm. Poured brine off turkey legs with three quarters. Pulled back skin from turkey legs and all quarters and sprinkled with Simon and Garfunkle. Pulled skin over that and sprinkled with coarse ground black pepper.
1:00 PM – Put the quarters and legs on the top two racks with MES (that was hot and smoking from pecan in the full chip tray. MES was set at 210°. small thigh near the window got the Chef Alarm internal probe and read 44° IT. Coasted up to 225 and I reset the MES to 225. Chips in tray are making medium white smoke from the pecan. Air probe on clip under 1st grate is reading 188°.
3:30 – Thought the chicken would be done as the IT with the ChefAlarm read 160°. Began pulling it and checking with the fast-read and they were 150-156. Put them back on the grate and inserted the ChefAlarm and it read 160-probably in a different thigh.
4:30 – Removed chicken quarters at about 160° and turkey legs were on 145°. Added Apple chips to tray.
4:45 – Raised MES setting to 250°.
5:30 – Biggest leg was 160° IT so pulled them all.
6:00 PM – I had a medium-size turkey leg. It was done but not falling apart tender. Could almost say it was tough but it was nicely moist. Could taste the salt from the brine but none of the spices were evident.
This smoke began with pecan chips in the tray and the last half was pecan in the tray and apple chips in the AMZNTS.