View Full Version : Turkey Smokin'

08-11-2008, 03:45 PM
I have a turkey that I would like to smoke.

I have no idea where to start.

Do you brine it first?

What temp do you smoke it to?

Do you cut it up or leave it whole?

Any thing I may be missing?

Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.


08-11-2008, 05:24 PM
Fred, there are several good threads in the poultry forum. Sorry, don't have time just now to go over it (gotta go pick up the girl friend), but someone else will chime in here very shortly.

08-11-2008, 09:18 PM
Let's start off with asking just what you want to do with it. all of the above are OK. it's just a matter of what your imagination dictates.

Clue us in on what you want and how you want to do it and we can help you get there.

Bbq Bubba
08-11-2008, 10:31 PM
I have a turkey that I would like to smoke.

I have no idea where to start.

Do you brine it first? Yes

What temp do you smoke it to? 165

Do you cut it up or leave it whole? Whole

Any thing I may be missing? Cooking temp of 275-325 produces a better, juicier and crispier bird.....IMO

Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.


:msn-wink: Enjoy!

08-12-2008, 12:09 AM
I'm not a big brine fan. Adds salt and most folks don't need extra salt in their diet. Certainly does not "add moisture" to the bird, it came with all the "moisture" in it it will ever have. The secret to poultry not turning out dry is to NOT OVERCOOK IT. A dry bird was definately overcooked. That is why cooking to temp is important. And keep your smoker temp up in the 300°-375° range. Low & slow is NOT for poultry of any type. You want to Git R Done!
You could try the injector thing, it adds flavor. I just do mine straight up with some Jack Stack All Purpose Seasoning.
It's YOUR turkey, do what YOU like! And show us the pics! :drooling:

08-12-2008, 08:55 AM
Well what I am looking for is that smoked flavor. I have bought smoked whole turkey breast and legs around thanksgiving are really enjoy them. I don't recall the skin looking like a roasted turkey, but the flavor was great.

I think my rig can get hot enough, but when I cooked pulled pork I was going for more the low and slow.

I think a test is in order to make sure my rig can get hot enough. Maybe a large pot of water and see what temps I can hit.

Thanks for the advise!


08-12-2008, 10:13 AM
If high temp is an issue, you will get higher temps if you leave the water out. The less cool stuff in the smoker, the easier it is to get higher temps. since water can get no hotter than 212° unless you put it under [pressure,you will severly limit you temp range if you put a water pan in.

I personally like to smoke a spatchcocked, or boneless bird. The boneless cooks the most evenly and affords the ability to season the bird uniformly.

If you're going for the all pinkish/red (you know, where it looks more like ham) meat kinda thing like you see in the grocery store, you have to inject with a smoke flavored meat cure.

08-12-2008, 10:29 AM
I was just think the water could simulate the bird. (not cook the bird with water in the smoker)

So that I can test my rig. My thought is that if I just leave my smoker empty and try to hit 275* it would not be a real world test.


08-12-2008, 10:38 AM
The best temp to cook a whole bird at is 325°. It can be difficult to hold that in a smoker, but at that temp you get the most uniformity. Go cooler and you don't get as good a skin. Go hotter and you end up with extremities getting overcooked and the middle not done.

Also, if you use that temp, once you get a fair amount of smoke on the bird, place a foil tent over the breast and the leg/thigh joint area and leave it on until the last hour and a half.

If you use that temp on a whole bird, you can bet on 20 minutes/lb. for a 12-15# bird.

08-12-2008, 11:22 AM
That is what I am thinking. I do not know if I can even hit that temp with my flowerpot setup.

I will give it a try today after work.


08-13-2008, 03:19 PM
Well I did not get around to checking the max temp of the flower Pot.

I will have to try it out this week end at the end of a cook.


Geek with Fire
08-13-2008, 03:53 PM
Keeping in mind that I don't eat the skin, I cook birds at a lower temperature; like 250. The common tune in most smoking forums, that you don't benefit from low and slow with poultry, is in my opinion only a half truth (not trying to insult anyone, so forgive me if I do). You don't benefit from low and slow by breaking down connective tissue into gelatin as you would with meats like brisket and pork shoulder, but you sure benefit by the fact that it has more exposure to smoke. This allows you to use less smoke more evenly; allowing the smoke to penetrate the meat without over smoking the outside. But more importantly, I also feel that the lower temperature creates less thermal inertia (you know, that thing that causes the temperature to keep rising after you remove it from the heat) which can cause you to over cook the bird if you aren’t really careful.

I also am a fan of cutting the bird up into pieces; especially the breast meat. This allows you to monitor each section of meat independently and pull each section when it reaches the desired temperature (165, in most cases).

Hope this helps (I also hope it doesn't stir up a poo-storm)

08-14-2008, 09:20 AM
Hmmm. . . . .

That has given me hope for the flower Pot Smoker with turkey.


08-14-2008, 10:16 AM
Man! I HATE a poo storm!!!
Good points. And a good thing for Fred to consider doing in his flower pot smoker. I'd still do the temp check asap, good to know what it will do for future reference.
See, I eat the skin, and I like it cooked sorta crispy, so I'm a higher temp. guy.

08-14-2008, 10:32 AM
Keeping in mind that I don't eat the skin,

If you don't eat the skin, why bother cooking a turkey? If you don't eat it, cook it right and send it to me. It's a shame to waste good turkey skin.

10-09-2008, 10:38 PM
I did a Turkey this past weekend. I put it on the Burnhardt about 9:30, went off and helped the new neighbors paint all day. I checked the temp and added a bit more mesquite charcoal every few hours. I took it off about 5:30 and the temp was still not quite to 165, so i covered with foil and put it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 450 to get the temp up. I have to tell you, this was the best turkey I have ever eaten. I took some to work with me and let people taste and they loved it also. needless to say I have about 10 turkeys lined up for the thanksgiving holiday. I have never smoked a turkey, and this thing came out so moist and flavorful, I'll be doing them all year long now..

10-10-2008, 09:46 AM
I did a Turkey this past weekend. I put it on the Burnhardt about 9:30, went off and helped the new neighbors paint all day. I checked the temp and added a bit more mesquite charcoal every few hours. I took it off about 5:30 and the temp was still not quite to 165, ..

That kind of time (8 hrs) for a turkey or any bird scares me. Too much time in the 40* - 140* danger zone.

What temp was your smoker running?

10-10-2008, 11:02 AM
I did this bird last July. I did it with some pork butts. Cook Temp was 225 to 250 and the bird got done in roughly 5 hrs. Took it off at 170. it was perfect. I dont have any cut up pix cause the guests ate it very fast same with the butts. Btw I got the skin crispy by coating it in Promise and seasoning. put some in the cavity too and pour'd a beer up its butt. I didnt put it on until the smoker was a bit above temp.


End ( right before it came off.) the missing butt got done 1st so we ate it.


10-10-2008, 11:40 AM
Kept it at 250 most of the time. a few times it would get down to the 200 range, but mostly around 250...

10-10-2008, 01:15 PM
What is Promise Mike?

Fatback Joe
10-10-2008, 01:27 PM
What is Promise Mike?

I think it is one of those butter substitute kind of things


10-10-2008, 03:24 PM
Margerine. Heart Healthy Like JOe said

10-10-2008, 09:29 PM
Haven't you heard that they've found out that butter is healthier than soy extracted margarine?

It's a win win. Tastes better and is healthier!

Read these (http://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&q=butter+is+healthier+than+margarine&btnG=Google+Search)