How many turkeys on one pit?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by jbbarker1947, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. I am using Jeff’s recipe for the buttermilk brine turkey on my New Braunfels smoker.

    “Cooking at 225-240 degrees for about 6 hours or until 165 degrees F”

    The neighbors get wind of this and want to put theirs on the pit.

    My question is should I change the cook time for 2 or up to 4 12lb birds?
  2. smokinal

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

    [​IMG]    Glad to have you with us!

    There is no difference in the time it takes to cook 1 bird or 4 birds. The cook time is just an estimate anyway. You need to cook to the internal meat temp of the turkeys. 165 in the breast & 175 in the thickest part of the thigh.
  3. Thanks for the quick reply. 

    Can you recommend a type or brand of thermometer/measuring device to use?  
  4. [​IMG]

    Get a Maverick or a Taylor with a probe. Check the thermo on the smoker too. They are usually way off. You might want to charge the neighbor rent on the smoker space too. Just kidding.
  5. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

  6. texas roy

    texas roy Newbie

    Hey fellas,

    What I've read from the emails is that brisket time is 96 minutes per pound. I'm not sure what the "time" is for turkey.
  7. Jeff recommends about 6 hours for a 12lb bird

    I use one hour per pound on my briskets.
  8. I go until my thermometer tells me it's done. These times are just approximations. Your mileage may vary.
  9. JB,

    I have the same New Braunfels Smoker and have smoked a few single turkeys with it.  I think that with two birds laying down in the smoker, the one might be too close to the heat source and may end up getting scorched or dried out on whatever parts are near the firebox.  If you have too small birds, maybe this isnt a problem.  Now if you stand the birds, you probably wont have this problem either.

    Also, have you done any modifications to the smoker?  There are a few that will help with the efficiency of the NB smoker type you have.
  10. I plan on rotating them to keep them even.

    I have only added a thermometer.  I would be interested in your modifications.

    Mine does hold temperature well.
  11. smokinal

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

    OK guys forget about time, it's not important. The internal temp of the meat is the only thing you need to cook by. Time is only for estimating except with ribs.
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    What AL said....too many fluctuations in a Smoke to use time beyond Guidline...JJ
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  13. JB -

    Check out this guide from

    Additionally, I would recommend the following:

    - Build a 5 sided charcoal box out of expanded metal to fit into your firebox.  Raw metal, not painted or treated. This keeps coal and wood together in a tighter area and also allows you to stack up your wood/charcoal.

    - Get a digital thermo that has two probes, one for meat, and one for the cooking chamber.

    - Invstigate "tuning plates" for the bottom of the cooking chamber - search this forum and you'll find out what these puppies are - they help to distribute heat.  This will also involve some new bolts to support a higher grate position for the lower grate.

    - Seal up the cooking chamber door for when it's closed, there are several methods.  I used a hi-temp food grade silicone and greased the lid with Crisco so only the bottom of the silicone adhered and the top cured without adhering to the lid.

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