Long time Reader, First time Turkey Smoker

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by christophcbv, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. christophcbv

    christophcbv Fire Starter

    Hey all,

    I started smoking about a year ago, have done some chickens, ribs, roasts etc, so have a little bit of experience, but always learning.  This year I am having a 'turkey off' with my wife.  She is cooking her traditional in the oven and I am smoking a turkey for our friends.  I have read some of the threads on here and it all sounds great, I am learning lots.  I do have some questions though.  

    1.  Are there any major things I should think about or should worry about that one wouldn't normally think of?

    2.  I am going to put the turkey in a pan with veg, the neck, broth, etc and make gravy with it afterwards?  What's the best procedure for making the gravy with all the veg and juices, etc?

    3.  Bring for 12 or 24 hrs?
    4.  Wrap and let sit for a bit when done, or just cut and serve right away?

    5.  I am looking at low and slow, 225-230 degrees (not worried about a skin), what would I look at, approx 35-40 min a lb?  With that said, is there ever a stall?

    I'm sure I'll think of a few more, but any help is provided so I can win this ;-)


  2. If you will post this in poultry you will get more responces.

    Happy smoken.

  3. generalee

    generalee Fire Starter

    Hey...I'll jump in here..I have a couple of answers...

    1. I don't put the turkeys in a pan..just right on the grill surface.  But, I'm not interested in the drippings/etc for a gravy.  All about choice.

    2. Brine...depending upon size...I do 11-13# whole turkeys...I brine for a minimum of 24 hours, and try to get 36 hours in.

    3. As for letting it rest....it really depends on when it comes done.  I'd try to wrap it in foil (heavy). I double wrap and let it sit. Perhaps about 30 minutes or so.  I have no real specified time..I've taken them right off and carved them.

    4. Temp is great! 22-230...I try to get mine to sit right there. 

    5. Since I only do 11-13# birds, Mine are usually done in about 6 hours.  Most people do 165 deg F on the breast & I believe about 185 on the thighs...I find that if you hit temp on the breast the rest is done.

    6. For me, the skin is 100% sacrificial....I also don't use any rub on the turkey surface.

    7. I do use a spritz on the skin & for the inner cavity every 45 minutes.

    8.  I do not do larger than 13# turkeys on the smoker due to the health/salmonella related issues. Others do...again personal choice.

    Your mileage will vary, depending upon your tastes, etc...

    Hope that helps...I've picked alot of this up from these forums.
  4. gilayles

    gilayles Newbie

    I just completed my first smoked bird as a test run for TDay and it was, without a doubt, the best tasting turkey I've ever had! Here are my findings.

    13lb bird took a surprising 9 hours to reach 165IT in breast @ 225 degrees. Maybe because I had a foil drip pan in rack below?

    Used Apple wood and liquid pan half full of chic broth.

    Stuffed bird with quartered Apple and lime.

    Brined in slaughterhouse brine for about 30 hours and dried in fridge for 22 hours.

    Once the bird was in I didn't open the door until it was done.

    Didn't make gravy.

    Smoked with MES 30"

    Good luck man - I bet your bird will win!
  5. [​IMG]   Good afternoon and welcome to the forum, from a partly cloud, and nice day in East Texas. Lots of great people with                 tons of information on just about  everything 

  6. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You're not worried about the Skin , so you will be able to let the Bird set in the pan . I'm assuming you just want the Smoke rflavor[​IMG].

    Also , go by temp. to cook your Turkey , 165*F in the Breast and 170*F in the Legs and Thigh . A meat probe type Thermometer is best for this as you can see the temp.

    without opening the door... i.e. - if you're looking , you're not cooking.[​IMG]  Gilayles  recipe good , make a Gravy of the De-fatted juice (put in Fridge a couple of hrs. and skim off the fat) , you'll love the flavor.[​IMG]

    Have fun and . . .
  8. gilayles

    gilayles Newbie

    Thanks Dave, that makes sense. I did have the temp set @ 225 tho. I'll try without a foil pan next time.
  9. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  10. christophcbv

    christophcbv Fire Starter

    Thanks everyone for the responses.  Think I have developed a pretty good plan of attack for this Thursday.  2 more questions.

    1.  When making gravy in the smoker - does it stay in there the entire time, or can/should you take it out early to prep for the meal?

    2.  BD - Do you use the fruit later that was inside the bird for anything? Or are they pretty much dried up and the juice is in the bird?

    Thanks guys.
  11. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi ya Chris. By the time those slices of fruit have done there job in the turkey, about the only thing they are good for is the compost pile.  Good luck friend. B
  12. christophcbv

    christophcbv Fire Starter

    I'll post what I do, how I do it and pics on Thursday.  Thanks. 
  13. christophcbv

    christophcbv Fire Starter

    And we're off on this fine, yet chilly Thanksgiving day.  Brined it for approx. 16 hrs, dried it, added fruit in the cavity (lime, apple and orange) and a little bit of memphis rub.  Gravy is simple, some broth, onions, apple, celery, carrots and parsley.  Turkey is 12.8 lbs, and was put in around 8:20am, hoping for a 1600 finish.  Pics to follow.
  14. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looking good!  We'll be watching! B
  15. christophcbv

    christophcbv Fire Starter

    I feel like I can't get out of the danger zone... is hanging around at 138 deg.
  16. christophcbv

    christophcbv Fire Starter

    For approx. 4.5 hrs... Is it ruined?
  17. briggy

    briggy Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Chris, just saw your thread.  What ended up happening with your turkey?  I am trying a 20# tomorrow for a late Thanksgiving and my better half's birthday.
  18. christophcbv

    christophcbv Fire Starter

    It still turned out quite well.  I didn't inject or poke the bird and read that if bacteria don't have a way inside, then it'll be killed on the surface of the bird and you'll have no worries.  Nevertheless I still brought it in after a 6 hr smoke and finished it in the oven at 325.  This ensured a nice skin on the bird and it was still quite juicy from the brine and the smoke smell filled the house, which you can't complain about at all.

    Good luck tomorrow. 

  19. smoked my first turkey yesterday ,wrapped in bacon...stuffed w/ apple and onion....apples also in the water pan..........wasnt sure how to set the vent but i always keep it close and boy she turned out perfect........
  20. christophcbv

    christophcbv Fire Starter

    Ya, I stuffed it with lime, apple and oranges and then put some onion, apple, carrots and chicken broth in a tray below it, caught the drippings and made gravy from it.  It was very good.

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