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Smoking a turkey in the snow

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm trying my first turkey today.  I've done a whole chicken as a preparatory experience and we're also frying a second turkey, so if the smoked one takes longer than expected or completely bombs, we'll still be OK.  The smoker was covered in light snow when I went out to start it up:




I fired it up a little before 10 am.  As I mentioned in my roll call post, I've used the smoker a half dozen or so times and haven't had any problems getting it will above 300 degrees any time I've tried.  I made a test runs yesterday with the new Maverick ET-733 to get comfortable with it and got to ~340 in just a little while with the water pan in place so I wasn't too worried.  The outdoor temperature yesterday was in the mid-40's and no wind.  Today, barely 32 with a steady light breeze and occasional gusts.... It hadn't made it over 300 by just after 11 am. I pulled the water pan.  I was unsure whither to use it and the gravy drippings pan (see below).  The gravy fixins may get dry or scorched, but I'll risk that to get the temp up a bit. I've added a old canvas drop cloth over the top and down the sides of the smoker.  It's up to 306 30 minutes later.  


Today's victim:



 Brined overnight in Slaughterhouse brince with molasses substituted for half the brown sugar.  Rubbed under and over the skin with room temp. butter mixed with poultry seasoning.


I'm also trying @BBQ Engineer's gravy fixin's recipe (http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/83062/turkey-tune-up)



As mentioned above, the gravy pan is now serving as the water pan, on the lowest cooking rack with no water pan between it and the wood pan.  I don't know what this will do to the veggies and broth, but the temp is up, so I'll risk it.


The bird is up to 97 degrees after ~ 1 hour.  Seems to be coming along nicely.  Time to check the wood (apple chunks) and the broth pan.

post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

The Masterbuilt with it's winter jacket :-)




I opened up at ~11:45 to add wood chunks and to put a bit of water in the pan with the broth & vegies.  1/2 hour later it's not quite back above 300.  The turkey temp is still coming along nicely, though.  Up to 133 after 1.5 hours.  Dinner isn't until 5-ish so I should be fine.  Hope to have the smoked one done in time to put it in a cooler to hold and head over to my folks to warm the fryer up by around 3:15.

post #3 of 9
Everything sounds great!!! Looks like your in for one tasty meal today!!! Glad to see the snow didn't dampen your spirits. We got 8 inches yesterday in NE PA.
post #4 of 9

I was wondering if you loved you girl to get her a Coat. Man she looked Cold at first...


Next year , think , Q-Bana...

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Wellllllll...., according to the Maverick probe and the Thermowand (yeah, the cheepie knockoff by LavaTools - has worked great so far), the turkey is done at the 3 hour mark



Dinner's not 'til 5-ish, so I guess I'm gonna hole it for 3 hours.  Should't be a problem, folks I've done pork butts with have held them 6-8 hours in coolers, lots of butts packed together, at well above 140.  Time to figure the rest of the gravy thing out :-)

post #6 of 9
Looks awesome!!! Great Job!!!
post #7 of 9
Looks awesome!
post #8 of 9
Good color on that bird
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

The verdict is in.... it was a success.  Only half the family likes smoked flavor, hence the deep fried second turkey.  Those of that like smoked all enjoyed it.  The comments were that it was very moist and had a nice but not overpowering smoky flavor.



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