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

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.


This is lamb weekend. Some folks call it Easter weekend. I’m doing two legs of lamb – right leg and left leg. Both are about 4.7 lbs, $5.99 per pound. Today, Saturday, I’m going to smoke one based on this recipe, and tomorrow I’m going to Sous Vide one based on the same recipe I’ve used in the past. Sarah likes meat more well-done than I do, and with lamb I don’t mind that much, so my target is medium-well.

1520 Saturday: late start on marinading the lamb for the smoker.

1600: putting the lamb on at 250℉, aiming for internal temperature of 160-165℉.

1700: internal temperature is 76℉.

1800: internal temperature is 126℉. I’d really like to eat around 1900, so I’m going to crank the temperature up to 275℉ to keep this party going.

1900: temperature is at 157℉, we’re gonna make it!

1930: took the lamb off the smoker, it was at 167℉.

The result was great, the lamb was nice and smoky. It was well done, and Sarah thought that was perfect. Not the best lamb I’ve had, I thought the crust was not quite the perfect complement to the lamb and the smoke, but I’d still definitely make this again, I liked it a lot.

With the sous vide one, I used the same recipe as previously, but forgot to not add extra salt with the olives. Oh well.

1330 Sunday: meat is prepped and immersed, sous vide set to 165℉ to get a doneness that Sarah likes, like the smoked meat. I’ve set it for 10 hours, but it won’t take that long. We plan to go for a motorcycle ride and then come back. It should be done any time between 3 and 6 hours from now.

1900: took out the lamb and dropped it in a hot cast iron skillet for a few minutes, rotating it regularly. Quite a bit of water got into the bag, so I had to reduce the sauce for a good 20 minutes. No problem.

I actually liked the sous vide version a little better, Sarah preferred the smoked. I think she got a cool rubbery piece of lamb by the time she tasted the sous vide version. I warned her to heat it up, but no dice. I thought the smoked version might be better if I chose a different coating for the outside. Next time I sous vide the lamb I should take it out earlier, and use a bag that won’t get water in it.