How To Properly Cook Turkey from Smoke On Wheels BBQ Pitmaster Andy Groneman
Here’s the problem with turkey: above 150°F, white meat begins to dry out. Dark meat, with its connective tissue/collagen, has to be cooked to at least 165°F.
Separating the dark meat from the white is the best way to get to the 15-20º temperature differential between properly cooked thigh/legs and breasts.
- Meat Cut: Spatchcocked whole bird, or Boned Turkey breast (can cook as a roulade or whole breast), Leg Quarters
- Options: Spatchcock prep, or full separation.
- Seasoning methods:
- Cooking Temp: 350 degrees / Cooking time: ~60-90min.
- Marinade up to 8hrs.
- Brining can be done overnight (up to 16hrs).
- Don’t overcook your white meat! Juice is clear, it is cooked! (155ºF, typically)
- Dark meat needs to be cooked to 165-170ºF, to ensure connective tissue/collagen is broken down
- Spatchcocking is the easiest way to cook the bird so that all of the pieces roast evenly in a 350º smoker.
Pull out the breast when it reaches 150° (tent it with foil to keep it warm) and the legs/wings when they hit 165°F.
Cooking should take ~90 minutes for a 12 to 15 pound bird, plus 30 minutes of rest time.
Carve the bird, and serve!!