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Newbie question - smoking Turkey for Thanksgiving

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

A newbie question - do you dissect your turkey prior to smoking in order to fit more in the smoker?  or leave it on the bones - smoke it whole?  I would prefer to brine - then separate the breast, legs season and smoke them separately - removing when each reaches its proper internal temperature.


What is the advice?

(I have an Old Smokey smoker)


post #2 of 12

I have cut my Turkeys for a couple of years...Check this technique out! ...You can cut it for cooking then Easily put it together for the "Norman Rockwell" money shot at the table...JJ

post #3 of 12

I just leave it whole and let it smoke..


post #4 of 12
Now take this with a grain of salt because I have only done 2 birds. I kept them whole and just pulled them when the breast hit 165. Every bit of that turkey was delicious. Now I'm definitely a white meat guy but I dare say the dark meat was every bit as good as the white.icon14.gif
post #5 of 12

I leave mine whole. I just can`t see it anyother way on the Thanksgiving table...They are so pretty smoked whole...

post #6 of 12

I always do beer can turkey. You have to get one of those big wide cans like Foster's.

post #7 of 12

I leave mine whole.


I find the skin helps retain moisture in the bird that would otherwise be lost during the cooking process.



post #8 of 12

I like the others leave the bird whole. I then hot smoke it so the skin comes out crispy or I smoke it at 225 and when it gets to 145-150 degrees I drop it in 350 degree oil and finish it in the fryer. You could always pull it out of a 225 or so degree smoker and finish it on a grill or in the oven to crisp up the skin.


By the way welcome to SMF glad you joined us

post #9 of 12

I like your way Piney!


Smoked/fried turkey has got to be good!


I guess a turkey fryer is on the list for the holidays now.


Oh well, another toy for the toy box!

post #10 of 12

Just for safety sake,being your first Smoked Turkey,think about doing a whole Turkey. Reason being that every cut you make on the Bird before cooking, opens potential pathways for Pathogens to contaminate your meat.Poultry and other fowl tend to be at risk easier(short answer). By having the bird full thawed(2 days at least in the refridgerator),a good wash after taking any Gibblets out of the cavity(and look in both the front and up it's keester for parts) , then Brine overnight and rinse the next day drying well with clean towels and season as wanted for the Smoker.


We want you to have a good, Healthy Celebration,


Stan   aka   oldschool


Have fun and...

post #11 of 12

Hello everyone,

I am interested in smoking a Turkey for the first time.  I have my family visiting from new york and I would love to impress them with a nice holiday smoked turkey.

Could you guys give me some recipes and tips?

I know there are a few cautions with smoking a turkey, something about the 40-104 rule and some other cautionary things.  It would be great if you guys could help me out. Thanks

post #12 of 12

The danger zone is what you are referring too. 40-140°F. You need to get the meat through that temp zone in 4 hours or less or you risk bacterial growth in the meat. Don't smoke a turkey larger than 12 pounds if you can help it. You will have a hard time getting through the danger zone with larger birds. Hope this helps.

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