First Whole Turkey in the Smoker, have some questions....

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by bnb, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. bnb

    bnb Fire Starter

    Hi All,

    Looks like my wife told the family I would smoke a Turkey for this Sunday but I need some help. I figure I'll do Slaughterhouse's brine and injection for the 16lb bird. Because it's turkey figure I don't need to go the low and slow  so I figure I'll smoke it at 275 using apple and maple. here are my questions:

    1) How long do I brine the bird?

    2) How long do I smoke at 275 roughly? (I know I'll pull it when breast is at about 165)

    3) Should I rub the bird?

    Open for anything else I might be missing

    Thanks for your help

  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    First of all a 16lb. turkey is a little big for smoking. Even at 275 you are going to have a hard time trying to get the bird through the danger zone. The internal temp must not stay between 40 & 140 degrees for more than 4 hours. Most here suggest you keep the turkey size at 12lbs. or less. If you have already bought the turkey, then the safe way to smoke it is to spatchcock it. There are several threads on how to do this, just use the search box. There are also videos on u tube showing you how. Simply it's just removiong the backbone & breaking the ribcage so you can lay the turkey out flat. I think it makes a better tasting turkey because more meat is exposed to the smoke.

    Brining & rubbing are personal preferences. You should figure about 1 hour per lb. for brining, & just use your favorite rub. I like to pull the skin back & get some rub underneath. Also coating the outside with EVOO will help crisp up the skin.

    If you spatchcock it it will probably 6 hours or so.
  3. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    I smoke mine 10 to 12 hr . I don't brine mine, because unless you found a mainly processed bird its all ready been injected.They do it to make it juicy and to bring weight up with water base brine.It sell by the pound and water brine is cheap way for them to make more $ per LB.I use use a disposable pan to set it in to catch dripping's and keep it from drying .Melt a stick of butter and baste with it as it cooks.If you don't have a water pan you might want one to keep bird moist. Icook at 250f and bring up temp as needed at end of smoke.  Good luck[​IMG]
  4. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

    Good Luck with the bird.
  5. I would cut the bird in half so the two sides cook faster to get you through the "danger zone" in less than 4 hours. I have brined one over night and it worked well. I also used a good rub and ran mine at 275 . It was a 12 lb er so cut in half it only took a 3 hours and change in my old smoker that was shakey at best for temp.

    Another option is to smoke it hard and fast and finish in the oven.

    Let us know how you make out
  6. I did a 12 pounder injected it with cajun injector creole garlic for 5 hours on the smoker at 225 an then 45 minutes in the oven at 275 to finish it off. 

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