Saturday, October 29, 2011

Recipe: Cranberry-Smoked Turkey Breast - Day #3 (Or: "Is there a Conspiracy???")

As I type this... We are in the Final Stages of Smoking! But it wasn't easy "getting here!"

So... Where we left off yesterday - I was soaking Apple-Wood Chips in an aluminum pan:

They kinda ended up soaking for over 24 hours :::sigh:::
Not sure if that's gonna be Good or Bad!

I wrapped up the wood-chunks in aluminum foil and poked holes in the foil. Put one big Foil-Chunk in the Smoker box, on top of the heating element, then stuck the others "between" the elements (I'm pretty sure aluminum foil *on* an electric heating element is probably a Bad Idea).

Foil-wrapped wood-chunks, in the base of the smoker...

I went to plug it in so it could pre-heat. Stuck a nekkid Meat Thermometer on the top-rack to see how it was doing.

Well, ummm, it didn't do *squat!*


Well, upon further investigation, I determined that the electric heating element was - for lack of a better word - "Toast!" Every time I plugged it in to the GFCI outlet, it tripped the breaker. Boo! I tried a more heavy-duty extension cord, and got the same result. Double-Boo!

Yes, I could order a replacement element, online, for appx $40 (with shipping). But I've got a ready-to-smoke Turkey Breast in the fridge RIGHT NOW!

So, off to Home Depot I went...

And I immediately encountered THIS:

Eeeeeek!!!! NNNNNOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thoroughly traumatized, I pressed ahead... Made my way to the Grill Aisle - hoping to find "just" replacement parts.

No such luck :-(

I ended up buying a completely new Smoker Unit for $69.95 - just so I could use the heating element in my OLD smoker. Sh*t!

So now I have a Brandy-New Smoker (although I stuck with the OLD smoker for this endeavor - just popped-in the new element). "Hello Freecycle!!!"

Finally managed to get the thing pre-heated!
(and actually, I'm surprised it heats this high!)

And *finally* managed to get Da Boyd into the Smoker (Yayyy!!!)

I put minimal liquid in the "water-pan" (appx 4-5 oz of cranberry/pomegranate juice + 4-5 oz of water). I did leave the water-pan in it's "normal" position (about 2/3 of the way "down" in the Smoker).

All told: It took just-over 3 hours to cook the breast to an internal temperature of 165*. We are hovering right around 163* now and I probably *could* remove it- but I'm gonna leave it in 'til the electronic thermometer beeps. I did "sneak a peek" at it and it looks positively luscious!

Once I hear the beeps, I'll pull the breast out, wrap it in foil, toss it in a pot with a lid and let it "set" for appx 1 hour (to continue heating up and juicify all of the Goodness!).

Mmmm, boy! I hope it tastes good enough to warrant all of this freaking WORK!!!

Stay tuned for updates........................

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