Smokin a Turkey

Alright! It’s Christmas! I meant to do this a week ago, but the turkey was still frozen, so we’re doing it today. If it turns out terrible we’ll be eating Chinese for dinner.

I got a pre-brined 12 lbs turkey for less than $1 per pound, put olive oil on the skin, then sprinkled on the rub I use on pork butt because it’s similar to what this person recommends anyway. We’ll smoke it at 225℉, and it should take about 6 hours at that temperature. We’ve got temperature probes in the turkey, so we should know when it’s done.

1020: bird on the smoker, smoke holes half open.

1620: it’s chugging along nicely. The places where I originally put the temperature probes are over-temp now, by a little, but the base of the breast is still at 161℉. I moved a probe to that spot. We have sides cooking too, so I bumped the temp to 275℉ to get it done a little quicker.

1700: all done! It was juicy, delicious, and we have a bunch leftover. The rub was a fine choice, although it’s not adding all that much to the turkey. Adding more flavor through a brine or rub could be good next time.

Brisket! Sourdough!

15.5 pound brisket, $3.78 per pound, Sam’s in Idaho Falls, 4 Tbsp salt, 4 Tbsp pepper, 2 Tbsp garlic powder. Gonna put them on at 225℉ to start.

1810, 9 Nov: brisket on the smoker.

1830: sourdough is fermenting.

2200: flat is at 160℉, point at 142℉.

0210, 10 Nov: flat is 166℉, point 164℉. Crutched it!

0730: flat is 186℉, point 187℉. Turned temperature up to 250℉.

0845: put the rest of the ingredients in the bread. I’ve continued doing the 1 tsp regular yeast along with the sourdough starter, and doubling sourdough starter over the Josie Baker recommendation.

0930: flat is 201℉, point 200℉. Almost there!

1000: both are at 202℉. Just one degree more!

1045: sourdough starting bulk rise.

1110: brisket at 203℉. Taking it off.

Cleaned up, sliced up, gotta cool a bit…

1400: sourdough in the pan for final rise.

1712: sourdough in the oven.

Now brisket sandwiches will be almost from scratch… Everything except cheese and BBQ sauce

Sir Sour

Time to make sourdough again! The starter has been going for a couple weeks, but during that time it never adopted the stinkiness I associated with the early starter stages last time. It does seem to grow after feeding, it produces some alcohol on top… It’s probably doing it’s thing enough to make some bread, so it’s time to try that out.

I was trying to diagnose the difference between the starter this time and last, and the best I can come up with is that the whole wheat flour is pretty old this time. It’s only a couple months away from it’s best-by date, so it has been sitting on the shelf for almost a year. I think in that time the natural yeasts and bacteria in the flour maybe mostly died. This, the harder time starting out. If this loaf is sour and good, perhaps this is really the better situation. Maybe the yeast just went into suspension, and the bacteria died, for instance, letting me skip the “stinky gym socks” state of starter. I don’t know.

Anyway, I started the fermentation last night and things smelled great (a little stinky a little yeasty) this morning, so it seems like the dough is on track. I did my cheater, adding 1 tsp regular yeast in with the other dough ingredients this morning.

The bulk rise finished around 1300 today, and the loaf is quite large. Bread is very forgiving! This will almost certainly be delicious awesome bread regardless of the specifics. Now – will it be the perfect tasting sourdough loaves I was making before? Who knows. It helps that I am pretty easy to please I guess.

Starting final rise

Looking good @1600! The cheater yeast really increases volume.

Final rise complete, about to go in the oven

It’s pretty good! Sour enough… I guess the starter works.

Smoking Salmon in Idaho

Well, we’re still unpacking things, but we’ve been here for a bit. One of the things I was most excited to have arrive is the smoker – not gonna lie, that was a top priority. I’ve been looking forward to having some smoked Salmon again, and Sarah has mentioned it a couple times too.

There’s a Sam’s Club more convenient these days, so I picked up some salmon there. They had Sockeye for about $12 a pound, and “Atlantic” for about $9. I went with the Atlantic to see how it’d go. This looks like the same fish I was buying back at Costco in MD. I’ve heard the Sockeye is amazing – maybe next time. At that price though, I’ll probably smoke some other fish to see how it goes. Trout? This time I picked up two fillets totaling about 5.5 lbs.

0800: The fish swam in the typical brine all night at the bottom of the fridge. I put it in the fridge to dry at this time. We haven’t found our typical wide flat glass brownie baking dishes, or cooling racks, so to get things drying I had to use a couple cake pans with a smoker rack sitting on top of each.

1230: Starting up the smoker – 120℉. I’m a little distracted by a project I’m working on. I should’ve started it up around 1130… Should be fine though, the fish just gets a little more time drying.

1310: Fish is on the smoker. Two hours at 120℉, one at 140℉, then 175℉ until the internal temp is over 135℉. Baste it with maple syrup every hour.

1710: it’s done and it’s fantastic as usual. No problem. The fish has the same quality as what I was buying in MD.

Jerky and Sourdough

2120: pre-ferment done, by weight, except 2 Tbsp starter (40g).

For the jerky marinade, I followed the original foodie recipe but skipped the brown sugar (we were out), and subbed coconut aminos for soy sauce, left out liquid smoke, used regular paprika, and added slightly more cayenne then called for. I sliced the 2.5 lbs of top round with the grain mostly.

9:50: meat is in marinade.

0815, next day: I added the remainder of an old packet of regular yeast to the sourdough, about 5g. Then the rest of the ingredients.

Just Put the Ingredients In

1115: sourdough has already expanded so much, it’s time for the pan.

Ready for the Pan
All Done!

This is great! So nice and big. It is significantly less sourdough tasting, though. That’s a big down side. Next time I should try only a gram of the industrial yeast.

1040, next day: that was a long marinade period, but the jerky is on the smoker now at 175.

1450: all done! Best jerky yet, Sarah says.