trying agin this weekend.. smoked turkey or chicken(s)

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by mikes30911, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. mikes30911

    mikes30911 Newbie

    I made a turkey for easter it was roughly 14 pounds, and sadly in my Bradley digital smoker, I was unable to get it hot enough. It didnt wanna budge from 135degrees after 6ish hours..  perhaps the smoker just dose not get hot enough I had to finish it off in the BBQ .. Anyhow I'm going to try again this weekend with a smaller bird. I Or mabey this smoker is just not good enough...  I plan on trying a smaller bird or two small chickens. What is the optimal cooking temp ? 
  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Optimal cook temp is 250*+ until the bird hits 165* internal temp.  

    You really need to check your thermometer accuracy by placing it into boiling water to confirm your internal temp is truly 135*.  The factory thermos are often horribly inaccurate.  Always check every thermometer this way.  That smoker should have no trouble finishing anything you smoke unless it is defective somehow.

    Also, make sure you're not constantly opening the smoker to check things; there's a saying around here: if you're lookin', you ain't cookin'!

    I've done 22 lb. turkeys cooked all the way in the smoker without any problems. 

    Keep trying, & it will all come together for ya!
  3. mikes30911

    mikes30911 Newbie

    The max cooking temp of the Badley is 280F perhaps the outside elements were a problem i'm going to give it another try? So roughly how many hours per pound will it take to perfectly smoke/cook a turkey aprox 14lbs.? Also how long should I actually apply smoke for to not oversmoke.. 
  4. smokinal

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

    If you haven't bought the turkey yet I would stick to a bird 12 lbs. or less. A turkey larger than that may not make it through the danger zone in time. It must not stay in the 40-140 degree range for more than 4 hours. If you already bought a 14 lb. turkey I would spatchcock it. Which is simply cutting out the backbone & breaking the breastbone so the turkey will lay out flat. As James said an accurate therm is a must. When you are smoking the smoke coming out the top vent should be almost invisible. If you can smell smoke, but not see it that's good, or just thin wispy smoke trailing out the vent. If it is you should be able to apply smoke the whole time. You do not want billowing white smoke.
  5. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That certainly could be.  Wind & cold weather can make maintaining temps tough.  A nice corner on the patio or a windbreak of some sort is helpful.  Sometimes an old sleeping bag or quilt wrapped around the unit insulates it enough for a good smoke.  Many on this forum just smoke in their garages when the weather is pooey (presumably well-vented in some way).  I generally don't have these problems here in CA.

    I forgot to mention last night:  NEVER stuff a bird you are going to smoke; bacterial growth conditions are just too good (& bad for you) in that scenario.  I also do not close up the ends with skewers either (for the same reason); I want the warm air to circulate all around & through for a good cook & good smokey flavor.

    SmokinAl is right: watch our for lingering in the danger zone too long.  I've never had a bird take over 5.5 hours at a steady cook temp of 250* in the smoker, so my birds are never in the danger zone very long -- even the big ones.  (And, yes, my thermometers are tested and accurate!!)  [​IMG]

    Good luck, and show us the money!!!!
  6. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree. Make sure all of your thermometers are accurate that way you will know your smoker is the correct temp and also you will know when you bird passes the danger zone and finally when the bird is actually done and safe to eat. If you don't know for sure what your temps are then it is very hard to know whats going one and someone can really get sick.
  7. mikes30911

    mikes30911 Newbie

    Alright guys. Thanks. Any ideas for a Maple based brine? I usualy use a cranberry/orange based brine , Just felt like trying something different and I got a Ton of real Canadian maple syrup here since it was in season just a month ago. 
  8. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I neglected to mention that most of my turkey smokes are done in 4-4.5 hours -- well within tolerances for "The Danger Zone."  That 5.5 was an anomaly.
  9. stickyfingers

    stickyfingers Smoking Fanatic

    I did a 20 lb. turkey Thanksgiving and it took about 5 hours to 5.5hours at 250 degrees.
  10. smokinal

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

    That is incredible, are you sure the smoker temp was 250? Did you have accurate thermometers? It would be hard to believe even at 300, because I don't see how a 20 lb. bird could get done that fast at that temp. unless it was spatchcocked. Then it would still be hard to do it.
  11. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Takes me longer than that to do a breast...alot longer...
  12. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Can't speak for Stickyfingers, but my thermos are accurate and tested regularly, & the bird was not spatchcocked...whole, skin-on, & unstuffed.  Stickyfingers' data match mine, though: 5.5 hours is the very longest I've ever smoked a turkey (22 lb.), & usually under 4.5 hours (typically 16-19 lb. birds).  I've got my technique dialed to keep my smoker at a perfect 250* just as though I were burning propane.  Smoked literally dozens of turkeys this way & no problems or illnesses (thank the Lord!!).

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