[USA] Smoked Turkey Anyone?

ssorllih
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Post by ssorllih » Thu Sep 20, 2012 03:47

How about lemon flavor koolaid water and sugar? 3 turkeys now? :eek:
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Post by Baconologist » Thu Sep 20, 2012 04:52

Beautiful looking birds!!!

:cool:
Godspeed!

Bob
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Post by Baconologist » Thu Sep 20, 2012 05:08

Oh, and very nice smoker!

:cool:
Godspeed!

Bob
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Post by sawhorseray » Thu Sep 20, 2012 18:14

"anybody up for doing two turkeys, one with 7Up and one with flat 7Up?"

Like most folks, I've been brining turkey and chicken for a couple of decades now, with the exception being the Thankgiving bird that gets deep-fried. Before this effort the brine was just water, salt, and lemons from the backyard tree. I cannot express the difference CW's brining solution makes, the chickens are moist and juicy beyond any reasonable expectation. My father-in-law sat down to a boned-out breast for dinner last night and after the first bite was exclaming it's the best chicken he's ever eaten in his life, and he's had some chickens in his 87 years. He, like me, expected that smoking the birds would lead to the breasts being even more dry than normal, and that's just not the case. I made a artichoke fritatta and some garlic-buttered pasta to accompany the meal, we were all pretty darned happy.

I've always thrown a can of 7-up into the boiling water right before we toss in the live dungeness crabs, I can recall my papa doing that as far back as I can remember. Some guys say you have to boil them in sea water, there's loads of different opinions. We always just filled a 10-gallon pot from the garden hose, boiled it up on the outside burner, one can of 7-up, dump a dozen crabs into the pot, 18 minutes later pull them out and into a cooler full of ice, perfect every time. 7-up must be some kind of magic elixer! RAY
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Post by sawhorseray » Thu Sep 20, 2012 18:28

Baconologist wrote:Oh, and very nice smoker!

:cool:
Thanks, it works great and I absolutely love it. One of the best features is that by flipping the switch from 625 watts to 1250 watts it goes from a smoker to a roaster. I did a six hour rack of pork ribs at 220° that came out perfect. Between CW's recipes and the directives on the PS Seasonings site there's just a world of mouth-watering food to be processed.
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Post by ssorllih » Thu Sep 20, 2012 18:31

When the medical community was searching for ways to keep cholera patients hydrated They discovered that adding sugar to the electrolyte mix that people were being given that their bodies absorbed the salts and the water. That wasn't happening without the sugar. Probably the sugar in the seven-up is a factor. This all gets down to cellular biology and is quite beyond my educational level.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Fri Sep 21, 2012 03:36

Sawhorse Ray wrote:
I cannot express the difference CW's brining solution makes, the chickens are moist and juicy beyond any reasonable expectation. My father-in-law sat down to a boned-out breast for dinner last night and after the first bite was exclaming it's the best chicken he's ever eaten in his life, and he's had some chickens in his 87 years.
Also:
Between CW's recipes and the directives on the PS Seasonings site there's just a world of mouth-watering food to be processed.
Ray, you are too kind sir! Thank you very much for your gracious words. Much appreciated.
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Shucks Ray, I can tell you the microbiological reasoning behind this issue but I don't want to draw criticism and ridicule from a skeptic who questions everything I seem to post. It just takes too much time to qualify my response. If you'd like to PM me, I'll explain the function at the cellular level. I'm moving to a new house, so it might take a couple of days.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by ssorllih » Fri Sep 21, 2012 05:44

What was wrong with the old place?
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Brining/Curing Calculations

Post by el Ducko » Sat Nov 03, 2012 03:35

Guys, please help me learn something about brining (and brining + curing).

I tried the 7-Up brining/curing concoction, and it was great. I`d like to understand it better, so I can
(1) Scale the brine to other sizes of poultry, and
(2) Understand what`s important and what`s not.

And So It Begins: Let`s start by assuming that the only reason you are adding cure is to keep things safe while you smoke the poultry. Great! We should aim for the usual 150 ppm of nitrite in the bird, right? Um... okay. But if turkey and chicken run 65% to 70% water already, how do we get the nitrite in there, and how do we know it`s in the right concentration?

A good starting point was CW`s recommendation to inject 10% of the weight of the bird with the mixture. I checked the calculations, using the 7-Up & nitrite cocktail, and the calculations work out great: For a twenty pound turkey, 2 lbs uptake, you can "hack through the calcs" to get:

1 cup Prague powder = 0.625 lbs, total mixture
= 26.81 lbs "cocktail"

(2 lbs uptake) * (0.0233 fraction cure in mixture) * (0.0625 nitrite in cure)/ 20 lb turkey
= 145 ppm nitrite

Bingo! ...good nitrite rate. So... what about when soaking, instead of injecting?

Distribution: ...but is the nitrite well-distributed, throughout the beast (that 65%-70% plus the added 10%), or just in the added 10%? If it`s fully distributed, we`re nowhere near (WAY above) the recommended 150 ppm level. ...so I dug around on the internet and found this item in a University of Minnesota "Science of Cooking" publication called BCBT-100 "Curing and Brining" at http://web.mnstate.edu/provost/BCBT100% ... rining.pdf. Here`s a one-sentence excerpt: "Brining makes cooked meat moister by hydrating the cells of its muscle tissue before cooking and by allowing the cells to hold on to the water while they are cooked."

Here`s a bit of elaboration: "The brine surrounding the muscle fiber cell has a higher concentration of salt than the fluid within the cells. This leads salt ions to enter the cell via diffusion. The high salt concentration immediately begins to do its work on the protein complexes within the muscle fiber (see below for detailed explanation). The end result is the muscle fibers draws in and retain a substantial amount of water by both osmosis and capillary action. The meat`s weight can increases by 10% or more, allowing for greater moisture in the food after cooking. In addition, the dissolved protein does not coagulate into the normally dense aggregates, so the cooked meat seems more tender."

Hmmm... no mention of the 65% water. What`s worrying me is that, when that 10% extra water goes in, does it STAY in? ...or is it freely exchanged with the bulk fluid but NOT the fluid in the bird? ...or is ALL the fluid free to move in or out? In other words, if you put a 26.81 / 0.65 = 41 lb turkey in our 26.81 lb "cocktail" (so there are equal amounts of solution in the cocktail and the turkey) does the cocktail nitrite concentration drop to 0.625# / (26.81 cocktail + 26.81 turkey water) = 11,656 ppm nitrite in both the cocktail and the turkey?

If this were the case, we`d probably all be dead by now. This is not the correct answer. I suspect that extreme salt curing acts on the 65% water, but that brining and the little bit of curing that we do to get us through a couple of hours of smoking only deals with the 10% uptake water + the bulk "cocktail." (Please comment. This is a big assumption.)

Generalizations :
(1) Chickens are 66% water. Turkeys are about the same. This water is assumed NOT to be exchanged with the "cocktail." (Salt packing and ham curing are probably exceptions to this).
(2) There is assumed to be no significant preferential uptake of nitrite by the meat . This would be true after sufficient time to equilibrate, unless there is some chemical reason (such as reaction with the meat, or adsorption onto meat fibers, or...). Evidently there is not, or it would have been noted in the literature. (It hasn`t been noticed, has it?)
(3) Chickens, turkeys etc. are assumed to take up to 10% - 12% water, and in fact the law limits uptake to that amount. Whole birds are packed with 10% to 12% "broth."

...so how do we handle the uptake?

From here, there are three pretty good possibilities for a model:
a. exchange "broth" amount with "cocktail," which dilutes "cocktail" with "broth"?
b. ...or ignore it, assuming that the bird will take on another 10%, leaving the cocktail amount reduced but the composition the same as before? (Unlikely, probably wrong.)
c. Take on the difference between 12% (or maybe higher?) and whatever uptake (10%? is assumed? (This leads to pretty low nitrite levels, and is probably wrong.)
This will, of course, lead to the question, "what if you want to brine, say, a 10 pound turkey breast?"

I am inclined to accept (a) and assume that any added broth gets treated just like "cocktail." That suggests that "cocktail" gets diluted while brining, and must be thrown away afterward. Thus, we should calculate based on the amount of "cocktail" plus any added water or broth. For a broth-added beast, that changes the calculations a small amount, as the composition of the "cocktail" now changes. Results are slightly reduced because of dilution of the "cocktail" with "broth."

Ppm nitrite =

(lbs. nitrite) /((lbs "cocktail")+(lbs turkey+"broth")*(fraction "broth" added )) -fraction of all liquid which is cure

*(fraction of turkey weight added as "broth") * (turkey weight) -converts it to amt of cure added

* (0.0625 nitrite in cure) -converts it to amt of nitrite added

*1000000 / (turkey weight) -converts to ppm nitrite per turkey weight

This makes it easy (in a spreadsheet) to see how things interact and what matters. For one thing, turkey weight (by itself) cancels out, and enters the equation only as the fractional amount of "broth" added. This means that turkey weight is a much smaller influence (at 10% or so)on how the "cocktail" is mixed than how much cure is added (directly proportional). That`s good- - varying turkey size a small amount won`t throw you off too far.

Conclusions:
(1) Throw out the "cocktail" after each treatment. It contains "broth," which will contaminate later treatments.
(2) Within reasonable limits, it is possible to reduce "cocktail" amount for smaller chickens or turkeys without problem, due to the fact that only a small amount of "cocktail" (equivalent to 10% of the turkey/chicken weight) is involved.
(3) Using the "cocktail" + "broth" method, it is easy to calculate how to change the amount of "cocktail" mixed for smaller amounts of chickens/turkeys or for brining in a bag. To change bird size, you should adjust "cocktail" size, using original proportions. Amount of cure needed is relatively forgiving, but should be checked, as it changes slightly with ratio of "cocktail" to bird weight.

So we finally get to the practical part. To brine a chicken or turkey in a bag, place it into the bag, add water to completely cover, then measure the amount of water added to determine the volume of "cocktail" needed. Build yourself a spreadsheet to check that the ppm level is right. Then mix the cocktail to the required volume, using the original "cocktail" proportions.

I`m sorry, but there`s no way we can post a spreadsheet on the forum. The equations are pretty simple, and fully described above, but if you want, send me a PM or email and I`ll send you a simplified spreadsheet. Remember- - the above is speculation and guesswork at this point. When in doubt, go with something that you know works, and safe-side it by using exactly the same amount of meat (or slightly less meat) per volume of "cocktail" than called for.

Stay "within the envelope." All that the above does is allows you to push the envelope a bit closer.

P.S. If you haven`t already, get onto the University of Minnesota website via the link above and check out some really good info. One of the links in Professor Provost`s course`s webpage is http://www.edinformatics.com/math_scien ... f_cooking/ which has some really good information about the science of cooking in general.
:mrgreen:
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Post by Baconologist » Sat Nov 03, 2012 04:32

:shock:
No need to over-complicate it. :mrgreen:
Just following safe guidelines and you'll be fine.

:wink:
Godspeed!

Bob
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Post by ssorllih » Sat Nov 03, 2012 04:51

Once a scientist always a scientist. I too have to know the why that causes the results.
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Post by el Ducko » Sat Nov 03, 2012 04:56

ssorllih wrote:Once a scientist always a scientist. I too have to know the why that causes the results.
Yeah. Maybe we're cursed, huh?
Any thoughts, Ross? (...short of hiring an analytical chemist.)
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Post by ssorllih » Sat Nov 03, 2012 15:39

Hey Russ, Thanks for the edinformatics link. Now I have another source of food science.
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Post by bkamp » Sun Nov 04, 2012 22:17

Thanks for the recepie ill try this one for turkey day, and report back.


bkamp
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Post by ssorllih » Sun Nov 04, 2012 22:29

bkamp, Try it on a chicken between now and then. Practice makes perfect. :shock: :lol:
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