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Turkey Size

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to smoke a turkey this weekend so I started researching some recipes.  Came across some information that recommended not to smoke a bird larger than 12 pounds.  I guess this is due to the amount of time the bird would stay in the danger zone during a long low heat smoke.  The bird I currently have is 17.5 pounds.  Should I get a different bird?  Any advice on how to proceed would be appreciated.  Don't want to get anyone sick.  

post #2 of 7
Many will spatchcock a larger bird.....thus shortening up the time needed. I'm thinking at this time of year, as opposed to a Thanksgiving presentation, no one would object to such a bird. I am quite fond of smoked turkeys....yummy stuff.....make stock for smoked gumbo outta the carcass, delicious....Willie
post #3 of 7

can't beat a spatchcock bird! What smoker are you using for a bird that big? 

post #4 of 7

Spatchcock it and you'll be fine with the one you have, another thing you could do is kick the smoker up into the 325-350 degree range that will get you through the danger zone much faster

post #5 of 7

I spatchcock the bird then then cut the leg quarters and wings off. everything lays nicely on the rack. I believe this gives a more even cook. I try and find 15 pounders. This works well for me. Freeze the smoked wings for your greens. good eats

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions.  Sounds like I shall try to spatchcock my first bird.  Just googled how to do that an it looks pretty simple.  Apparently this method will help it cook faster.  Any feel for how much faster?  Just wondering if there are any guidelines such as number of hours per pound.


My plan at the moment is to smoke it at around 240 degrees until it reaches an internal temp of 170 in the breast.  Will probably plan for a 7 hours smoke.  Does that sound about right? 

post #7 of 7
Depending on size 3 to 4 hrs. I go for 165 and rest
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