Smoking Turkey and Pork Butt together

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by raa171, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. raa171

    raa171 Newbie

    Hi All, 

    I'm new to smoking and have been going through this forum for a little while now.  This weekend will be my first attempt at smoking a turkey and pork butt.  I'm using a chargriller with the side firebox.  However, since I'm new to this I'm trying to uderstand how you would work the temperature of the two different meats.  One time and temperature chart that I was viewing online showed turkey at 240 degrees and pork butt at 225 degrees.  How do you adjust for time and temperature?  Looking for any help I can get, my wife has been bragging about smoking these two items to friends and family that are coming over on Monday to eat.
     
  2. terry colwell

    terry colwell Smoking Fanatic

    Get some oven thermometers and find the places on the grill that giv e you your temps,, Closer to the box will be warmer, put the turkey there and put the Butt on the far end,
     
  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    With a side car you will be lucky to keep your smoker in that temp range.  Shoot for 240 but be happy with 220 to 250.  You will get warmer temps near the fire box and higher verticaly in the smoke chamber.  I wouldn't not do it because of the difference in recommended temperatures.  What is important is the internal temps of the meat and don't forget to brine the bird!
     
  4. smokinal

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

    [​IMG]    Glad to have you with us!

    You picked a hard combination to cook together.

    We usually cook pork butt at 210, and chicken at 325.

    If you cook both at 225-250, then you will have to crisp up the skin on the chicken on a grill or in the oven.

    Like the other guys said put the chicken next to the firebox & the butt on the other end.

    Good luck & don't forget the Q-view!
     
  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hey Al,

    He's cooking Turkey!  Do you run Turkey at the higher temps also?  I always keep Turkey at the lower temp and just raise the temp toward the end to crisp up a bit!
     
  6. smokinal

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


    Yes, we cook turkey at 325 just like chicken. It seems to be juicier at the higher temp for some reason.
     
  7. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I can see less time on the smoker will make it a moister bird when cooking at the higher temps. I'll have to give a try.  Now that I brine and inject during the smoke I haven't had a problem but between traditional baked and fried,  I don't do smoked turkey very often.  I'll give the 325 a try.  Thanks for the tip

    also Al
     
  8. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think I'd do them separately. I'd do an overnight smoke on the butt and try to time it (I said TRY, I know he should cook to temp) so it's done 6-8 hours before the meal is to be served. Foil it, wrap in a towel and put in a preheated cooler. Crank up the temp as high as you can get it and put the bird on. It shouldn't take more than 5-6 hours at that temp, and the butt should be resting nicely for as long as you'll need it.
    OR
    Take the butt to 160 in the smoker, then foil and transfer to the oven @ 225˚. Proceed with bird in smoker--should get pretty close to being done at the same time.
     
  9. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Welcome !!!!1
     
  10. raa171

    raa171 Newbie

    Hi Al,

    I noticed that you recommend cooking at 325.  Is that what will give me the crispier skin on the outside?  I just found out from my wife that the turkey is 17#, what would you recommend for cook time on a bird that size?  Everything I've been reading recommends a turkey of 12# or less.  I'm looking at putting the turkey in a brine prior to smoking.  However, I was wondering if I should be looking at putting a rub on the turkey also?  Sorry for all the questions.........

    Bob
     
  11. smokinal

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

     
  12. I have a Chargriller with side fire box. You'll be really hard pressed to keep that thing at 325 for a long period of time. You will need a big fire and a lot of charcoal. If you haven't done all the usual mods on the Chargriller 325 will almost be impossible.
     
  13. smokinal

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


    You should listen to Scott. 

    He has your smoker and knows it's limitations. 

    If it won't hold the higher temps, then you can either finish it on a grill or discard the skin.

    Since it's such a big bird & you won't be able to maintain the higher temps, then I would suggest you spatchcock the bird  to get it

    through the danger zone safetly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  14. Spatchcock it. Great idea Al. That will get him through the danger zone much quicker. It may take up most of the cooking surface though. That be a big bird.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  15. raa171

    raa171 Newbie

    Hi Scott & Al,

    Thanks for the information.  I just looked up what spatchcock meant so I understood what you were discussing.  I know you had mentioned before about achieving the 175 degree temperature in the meat between the breast and thigh.  Is that the temperature I'm still looking for and should I still plan on 1/2 hour per pound for the turkey, which would be a cook time of 8 1/2 hours.  I guess what my question is by spatchcocking the turkey does that cause the cook time to be faster?

    Scott, I'm defering to you for this question since you've got experience with the chargriller.  What temperature should I be looking at for the smoker?

    Thanks to everybody for your help.  3 days and counting to turkey day............

    Bob
     
  16. smokinal

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


    Yes the 175 degree temp in the deepest part of the thigh is what you are looking for no matter how you cook it. The cook time on a spatchcocked turkey will be much faster. I would estimate around 5 hours for a turkey that size. If it gets done later just feed everyone more appetizers. If it gets done early wrap it in foil until your ready to eat.
     
  17. raa171

    raa171 Newbie

    Hi Guys,

    I wanted to thank everybody for their input on smoking a 17lb turkey and pork shoulder together.  The turkey and pork shoulder turned out good.  Everybody enjoyed and within an hour the turkey and pork shoulder were gone.  No pictures this time after smoking.......Will get some next time and post.
     
  18. smokinal

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

    Glad to hear everything came out good for you!
     

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