Turkey Smoke (among other) ?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by haydenfox, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. I have the common Brinksman w/ side fire box, no mods. I'll be asking a question or two about smoking a turkey but it seems lately I've been havin' a heck of a time with anything I smoke. Dont wanna mess up the family bird, but everyone insisted I smoke it.

    Problems I have been having are with the temps, I just cant get it right! I use Kingsford or natural wood coal w/ split oak logs for fuel. At this point I believe I have tried everything and my temps are either too low or WAY too high. I like the minion method concept. However, Im beginning to think that without some mods, that wont be possible in this smoker. I have tried sliding the coals, circling the coals, fewer coals, etc. At some point they eventually all catch fire and the temp gets too daggum high. I use an oven thermometer placed on the warming rack (yes I left it on,lol) directly below the smoke stack. I always cook my meat at that end of the smoker, which brings me to my next issue. While I do spend some time wrestling with temps, bigger pices of meat seem to take longer than what the temp guage would indicate. Or the meat gets to temp and will be no where near as tender as I'd like. Then of course I have to wrap it and finish it in the oven, which I hate to do. I could go on but I think yall get the point... so on to the turkey 

    From what I have read it seems smoking a turkey requires a slightly higher temp. I s this the case? Whats the ideal temperature ?

    I like crispy skin, so drip pan or no drip pan? Side question, does a drip pan, in general effect bark? I normally dont use one and the last couple times I ve done ribs or a butt I tried, the bark just wasnt right or there was no bark at all, just goopy rub.

    How long should a turkey take? small, medium and large times.

    Thanks in advance
  2. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  3. smokinal

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

    [​IMG]   Glad to have you with us!

    Sounds like Rap has got you covered.
  4. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hayden, first Welcome to the SMF[​IMG]. On reading your post,I have the feeling you spend most of your time chasing temps. This could be from too much air flow,causing higher temps. It could be too much Charcoal ,also; monitor your temps. both in the Smoker and in the Bird(ie-2 therms.)

    Do you leave the exhause open ? Do you have a baffel in the smoker?(this is a piece of metal that partially deflects the fire heat to a lower lever in the Smoker and can be as simple as a piece of foil (4 layers);heat flows and hot air rises,by sending your heat downtoward the bottom of the Horizontal part of the Smoker , you could maintain temps. better by using the intake.

    Heat control starts at the intake at the FB.,and is controled by that intake. Start your fire and place the coals where you want in the FB and shut the door,the lid of the Smoker and leave the exhaust wide open. Close the intake to about 1/3rd open and see where that levels the heat(taken from a calibrated therm.).If the temp. is at your desired cooking temp. for 10min.,then add the meat.

    You said you use sticks to keep the fire fueled. I also feel you are feeding too big of a piece of wood at a time,cut your wood to a manageable size for your Smoker...;(3X3X6) in., and don't build a bonfire in there, a small hot fire is what you need I'm gonna say about 6"X6" of good glowing embers is all you want, then monitor the embers and add fuel as the temp. lowers , or add (air) if you have a mound of charcoal(embers). I keep saying Embers, and small, that means don't throw any fuel to the fire unless  it is necessary to keep to heat where you need it(watch your thermometers,both in the meat and in the cooker) .

    You want the turkey to start it's journey to the table with a good Brine and rinse, Seasoning (under the skin if you can) and go from the 40*f in the Fridge to a nice 275*f in the Smoker ,leaving the lid SHUT for at least an hour,then place your therm. in the deepest part of the Thigh(without touching the bone). Watch the temps. and cook to an IMT of 165*f, and if you have kept the heat in a good range of around 275* to 300*f , you should have a great Turkey.

    Hope this helps and...

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