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what the right size turkey to smoke ???

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
My wife found some turkeys that was 20+ lbs.
Is that size ok to smoke or should i stay around 12 to 15 pounders.
post #2 of 29

I would lean more toward the 12 pounder, but that might just be me & my maximum temp MES of 275˚.

 

Also I would not stuff it.

 

I'm sure you'll get other opinions on this one.

 

Bear

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bear. That what i was thinking
post #4 of 29

The USDA recommends 12 lbs and under in order to make sure they get through the "Danger Zone" in time to be considered safe. Some people hot smoke them with temps of 325 degrees and up I personally don't know that size matters much at these temps

post #5 of 29

At 225*F 12-14lb is the best choice but as Piney indicated at 325*F anything goes I have done 26-28lb Monster Gobblers, unstuffed, in the neighborhood of 4hrs at various Restaurants...JJ  

post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys for the fast reply. My wife text me from the store about the size turkeys and I turn around and posted this right away.

within minutes Bear replies, and few minutes later got two more fast replies. That why I love this place. Help is always

right around the corner. She pick up 2 turkeys at right under 13lbs a piece.

so again thanks for the fast replies!!!!!

 

post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineywoods View Post

The USDA recommends 12 lbs and under in order to make sure they get through the "Danger Zone" in time to be considered safe. Some people hot smoke them with temps of 325 degrees and up I personally don't know that size matters much at these temps



Not to hijack this thread, but does the USDA have any recommendation for a turducken?

 

post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post



Not to hijack this thread, but does the USDA have any recommendation for a turducken?

 


Yes a whole bunch of them, like no lower than 325˚ oven temp, etc.

 

Here's link:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Turduckens_Require_Safe_Food_Handling/index.asp

 

 

Bear


Edited by Bearcarver - 11/10/11 at 4:56am
post #9 of 29

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Now if you have a bird thats maybe too big then you can also Spackcock it and that will let it smoke faster with more surface area to cook. Now for a turducken I have done a few of them and I have always done them in the oven cause they are usually too big for a smoker.

post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post




Yes a whole bunch of them, like no lower than 325˚ oven temp, etc.

 

Here's link:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Turduckens_Require_Safe_Food_Handling/index.asp

 

 

Bear



 

Thanks Bear!

post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineywoods View Post

The USDA recommends 12 lbs and under in order to make sure they get through the "Danger Zone" in time to be considered safe. Some people hot smoke them with temps of 325 degrees and up I personally don't know that size matters much at these temps


Not to hijack this thread, but does the USDA have any recommendation for a turducken?
AL , if u do turducken i hope you post step by step "how to" .
I would love to try one .
post #12 of 29
If you want to get the 20lb one then just cut it in half and you will be ok.
post #13 of 29

You could also cure it using Pops' recipe and take some of the worry out.

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by solaryellow View Post

You could also cure it using Pops' recipe and take some of the worry out.

We got two of the smaller ones but i want to do a big one to.
I will have to reread pop's recipe and give that try.
Thanks for info.
post #15 of 29

What is space cocking? That's a term unfamiliar to me guys. I'm smoking a 21 pounder this Thansgiving and I really don't want to make my guests sick. 

 

post #16 of 29

Basically it's cutting along or cutting out the backbone so the bird can lay flat

post #17 of 29



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef michael View Post

What is spackcocking? That's a term unfamiliar to me guys. I'm smoking a 21 pounder this Thansgiving and I really don't want to make my guests sick. 

 

Spatchcocking a bird is removing the back-bone so the bird can lay flat during cooking and still remain a whole bird, for the most part.

 

21 pound? Kinda big, so don't inject marinade, stab a probe too early, or otherwise puncture or cut into the meat. If you avoid these, you can treat the bird as intact whole muscle meat which can be cooked following less strick guidelines. If it's non-intact (puncture, ground meat, mascerated) then, a time temp guideline of 41-135* in 4 hours should be adhered to during cooking...that's fairly quick for a 21lbr, and difficult to reach high enough smoke chamber temps in certain smokers.

 

What is your choice of smoker for this beast, btw? Wide grate size, I'm hoping?

 

If spatchcocked, it can still be considered intact whole muscle meat because the cut meat will be exposed while cooking, thus preventing any possible introduction of bacteria during handling from being closed back up inside the meat.

 

Here's a basic thread on a pair of spatchcocked chickens with Q-View from Pignit, found HERE;

 

and another started by Nola Saints Smoker with some different discussions and Q-View, found HERE;

 

and, the search I used to find these, found HERE.

 

I'd suggest some simple rub ingredients: rosemary, pepper, garlic, a bit of cumin, thyme, just for starters...not too complicated.

 

Spatcock and smoke @ 275-300* to internal temp of 175+ in the thighs and 168-170* in the breasts. Still juicy, but should be clear juices in the meat and next to the thigh bone at these temps. Keep the temps in check and it will be juicy regardless of anything else you do with it. Oh, don't stick temp probes until at least 2 hours in so you don't skew the intact whole muscle meat. USDA calls for a minimum of 165* internal temp for domestic poultry.

 

 

Eric


Edited by forluvofsmoke - 11/14/11 at 11:11pm
post #18 of 29

I spaced it out, but most store-bought birds are already injected, so you still need to follow the 41-135*/4-hr rule when cooking...my bad.

 

 

Eric

post #19 of 29

I am wondering about this 41-135*/4 hour rule. Can you be more specific about what that means.

 

I am using a Masterbuilt electric smoker and I like this spachcocking suggestion. I am planing to do it. I saw a great video on actually spachcocking a turkey and it looks like I can pull it off in my Masterbuilt electric with the 21 pound turkey.

 

Thanks all for your help. I love this site and all the experts that are so willing to share their knowledge.

 

Please help with that question at the top.

 

Michael

 

post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by chef michael View Post

I am wondering about this 41-135*/4 hour rule. Can you be more specific about what that means.

 

I am using a Masterbuilt electric smoker and I like this spachcocking suggestion. I am planing to do it. I saw a great video on actually spachcocking a turkey and it looks like I can pull it off in my Masterbuilt electric with the 21 pound turkey.

 

Thanks all for your help. I love this site and all the experts that are so willing to share their knowledge.

 

Please help with that question at the top.

 

Michael

 


It means the internal meat temp of the bird must get thru the 41-135 degree zone in 4 hours or less. So if you take it out of the fridge & put it right on the smoker you have 4 hours to get it to 135. That's why it's not a good idea to let it sit out & get to room temp before you put it in the smoker. As soon as it gets above 41 you have 4 hours to get it to 135.

 

 

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