How long to smoke a Turkey

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How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by McBroom » November 23rd, 2019, 10:08 am

I'm considering smoking a Turkey for Thanksgiving.
Question is how long to smoke say a 14/16 pound bird.
Probably not gonna spatchcock it, But won't discount doing it that way.
I'll be using my over n under smoker.
It's a 28 gallon tank with a 10 gallon firebox. Many of you helped/ followed the build of it. I must say its a great cooker. I'm just not super confident in my poultry cooking and times.
Please help me make this a great Turkeyday. Image

Claud




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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by JKalchik » November 23rd, 2019, 4:01 pm

Personally...... I'd highly recommend spatchcocking it. It'll smoke significantly faster, the bones protect the underside, and cook far more evenly. Really, you're only giving up a little presentation factor.

IIRC, 2-3 hours spatchcocked, probably half again to twice as long for whole bird.

Cook it to temp, don't rely on time. Worst thing you can do is overcook it, that'd be a dry bird.


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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by McBroom » November 23rd, 2019, 5:40 pm

Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate it. I'll post back how it turns out. My first time with a Turkey.
Pork,beef,venison, and others I'm an expert on this monstrosity of a smoker but it looks awesomely good.

Claud




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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by JKalchik » November 23rd, 2019, 7:25 pm

Shoot to finish it early. You can always keep it hot in an insulated picnic cooker, but it's kind of hard to pack an hour of smoking into 15 minutes.


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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by McBroom » November 23rd, 2019, 7:37 pm

I know that's right. I'm thinking about 5-5.5 hours on either peach or cherry wood. Which would you do?

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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by JKalchik » November 23rd, 2019, 10:15 pm

I've generally just done natural lump charcoal, with the occasional hickory knobs thrown in the firebox on my GF. Personal preference reigns.


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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by McBroom » November 23rd, 2019, 10:34 pm

Yeah I'm leaning towards the cherry wood because I have more of it. This stick/ charcoal burner is really efficient. I like your idea on spatchcocking this bird. Daughter said today it's 14.5 lbs. For as close to 6 hrs as possible.
I'll let ya know how it turns out with pics.

Claud




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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by Pete Mazz » November 24th, 2019, 5:02 am

I smoke them ~350 to get the skin crispy. Probably ~4 hours spatchcocked.


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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by McBroom » November 24th, 2019, 10:00 am

Pete Mazz wrote:I smoke them ~350 to get the skin crispy. Probably ~4 hours spatchcocked.
Thanks Pete

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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by Dirtytires » November 24th, 2019, 7:19 pm

Highly recommend you spatchcock the bird. Is not the Martha Stewart pretty on the table but it will cook faster and more evenly. You are able to get the white meat cooked without overcooking the dark meat. Whatever you do....do NOT stuff it! Stuffing is better in a pan and “smoked” right next to the bird anyway.

I spatchcock it, give it a quick spray of olive oil and a fairly light herb and pepper rub I make. Shoot for 225 cooker temp and I pull it off at precisely 160 in the breast meat.

My notes indicate a 16 pound turkey took me 4.5 hours, a 13lb took me 4 hours and a 20 lb bird cooked for 5 hours even. My birds are always completely thawed/fresh.



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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by mp4 » November 24th, 2019, 8:54 pm

Dirtytires wrote:
November 24th, 2019, 7:19 pm
Highly recommend you spatchcock the bird. Is not the Martha Stewart pretty on the table but it will cook faster and more evenly.
This made me laugh...the 1st time I looked up 'how to spatchcock a turkey' a Martha Stewart video came up! :-)



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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by McBroom » November 24th, 2019, 9:10 pm

Thank you @Dirtytires this info really helps me tremendously.
@mp4 that made me laugh too as I read it. Yall are really great people who've done a lot to help everyone become better cooks and builders.

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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by McBroom » November 27th, 2019, 4:51 pm

Small update:
I smoked the Turkey today and will heat it up in the oven in the morning.
Before. I spatcocked it too Image
After the 6 hour cook at 225*
Image
All 4 of my probes read in the hood of 168*+

Claud



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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by McBroom » November 27th, 2019, 4:55 pm

Edit:
I made my own rub and injected marinade to.
I'll post more pics tomorrow when it goes under the surgical knife. Lol

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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by JKalchik » November 27th, 2019, 7:29 pm

Uh.... you took out the keel bone (between the breast pieces,) not the backbone? Probably doesn't make much difference, I've always taken out the backbone.

Edit: Still looks darned tasty.


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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by McBroom » November 27th, 2019, 7:59 pm

I cut through the rib cage and the neck bone. I thought I did it right. Oops
Both breasts were up.

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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by JKalchik » November 27th, 2019, 10:46 pm

Breasts should end up on the top side, regardless of where you split the bird. And the more I think about it, I'm not seeing much difference.


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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by Pete Mazz » November 28th, 2019, 3:59 am

Yea, cut out the backbone and snip each side of the wishbone. Turn it right side up and push it down flat. Some then remove the keel, but I don't. Does look good!


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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by McBroom » November 28th, 2019, 10:32 am

JKalchik wrote:Breasts should end up on the top side, regardless of where you split the bird. And the more I think about it, I'm not seeing much difference.
I know what your looking at now. The pic of the raw bird its upside down just to show how I cut it and where. I did spatchcock it correctly. Yes breast thighs n legs are on the top side when cooking it.
Take another closer look at the pics I did it right.
I'm proud of me, I didn't screw it up.

Claud





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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by Dirtytires » November 28th, 2019, 9:23 pm

Agree that it would seem easier to just cut out the spine instead of splitting the breast bone. Does look good tho...



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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by McBroom » November 28th, 2019, 9:43 pm

I didn't get the opportunity to take some pics while I was carving it up but was melt in ya mouth good. The only pieces I wasn't 100% happy with were the thighs. They were chewy in my opinion but I don't have any teeth either. The flavors were outta sight awesome. The injection I made was 3oz apple juice 1.5oz orange juice and 3oz melted butter 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Shaken periodically.
It was damn good nothing but bones leftover.

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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by JKalchik » November 28th, 2019, 10:28 pm

McBroom wrote:
November 28th, 2019, 9:43 pm
It was damn good nothing but bones leftover.
I've said for quite a while that I'll be perfectly happy with empty plate & pots. :) Sounds like it turned out pretty well.

Now..... make a good turkey stock with those bones!


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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by McBroom » November 28th, 2019, 10:38 pm

JKalchik wrote:
McBroom wrote:
November 28th, 2019, 9:43 pm
It was damn good nothing but bones leftover.
I've said for quite a while that I'll be perfectly happy with empty plate & pots. :) Sounds like it turned out pretty well.

Now..... make a good turkey stock with those bones!
Thanks. That's what my daughter is gonna do with them or at least that's what she said while she was loading them into a ziploc bag.
It was really good. Thanks to all of ya'll for the help and advice.

Claud




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Re: How long to smoke a Turkey

Post by Big T » November 29th, 2019, 9:07 pm

:beer: I'm glad to hear that it worked out for you. :beer:


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