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Turkey day turkey cook temp/time conundrum

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Good evening!

 

I recently got a green mountain grill pellet smoker and have had some great success doing everything from ribs to whole chicken.  As my wife and I are hosting thanksgiving this year, I'm looking to do the turkey on it.

 

I've got the bird already dry brining as we speak in the fridge (got some fresh chopped thyme, rosemary and minced garlic under the skin as well to add some flavor).  I'll be doing a light seasoning on the outside of the bird before it's time to smoke and using some herb butter to rub the whole thing down to get a nice brown.  I may inject some herb butter too for kicks and giggles.

 

My plan is to do the traditional gravy by catching the drippings as well - already retrofitted this into the smoker.

 

My big conundrum and main reason for posting is temps and times. I've ready everything from doing the bird at 200-225 for about 30 min/lb and raising the last 1-2 hours to 325 to crisp the skin, all the way to doing 325 the whole cook (good article here that suggested it http://amazingribs.com/recipes/chicken_turkey_duck/ultimate_smoked_turkey.html)

 

Any help or insight?  My pellet grill seems to not produce as much smoke over 300, so i was considering doing an hour or 2 at 225 and then bumping to 325 until internal temp hit 160-165 and pulling the bird.  Thanks for any suggestions or tips, i want this thanksgiving to go off without a hitch!

post #2 of 16
This will be my first turkey on my GMG DB also. I have done numerous chickens, and not one bird cooked the same, so im not going for a set time to eat tomorrow. The bird will determine when we eat.

I plan on lightly stuffing my bird (17 lb'er). I'm going to start it @ 150* with the amnts and hopper full of Hickory for a hr. Ill then bump the temp to 250* for another hr. Then 350* for the remainder of the cook.

I'm also going to toss a few potatoes in the smoker for smoked mashed potatoes.
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mowin View Post

This will be my first turkey on my GMG DB also. I have done numerous chickens, and not one bird cooked the same, so im not going for a set time to eat tomorrow. The bird will determine when we eat.

I plan on lightly stuffing my bird (17 lb'er). I'm going to start it @ 150* with the amnts and hopper full of Hickory for a hr. Ill then bump the temp to 250* for another hr. Then 350* for the remainder of the cook.

I'm also going to toss a few potatoes in the smoker for smoked mashed potatoes.

I'd be careful with that temp and time frame on a bird that big and "lightly stuffed". You may not make the 140 in 4 hour rule. Now if you spatchcocked the bird and dropped the 250 step you'd probably be okay.

I hot smoke all my poultry otherwise tou might as well remove the skin prior to smoking it. I have tried the smoke it low then crisp at the end and yes you can get a bite through skin, it won't be oven crisp.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post

I'd be careful with that temp and time frame on a bird that big and "lightly stuffed". You may not make the 140 in 4 hour rule. Now if you spatchcocked the bird and dropped the 250 step you'd probably be okay.

I hot smoke all my poultry otherwise tou might as well remove the skin prior to smoking it. I have tried the smoke it low then crisp at the end and yes you can get a bite through skin, it won't be oven crisp.

I should have explained my plan a little better. I'll shorten or skip the second hr @250* if I feel the IT isn't where I need to make the 140-4 rule.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Any idea what time frame you're looking at for hrs? Trying to determine when to start my bird for a 12pm lunch
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post

I'd be careful with that temp and time frame on a bird that big and "lightly stuffed". You may not make the 140 in 4 hour rule. Now if you spatchcocked the bird and dropped the 250 step you'd probably be okay.

I hot smoke all my poultry otherwise tou might as well remove the skin prior to smoking it. I have tried the smoke it low then crisp at the end and yes you can get a bite through skin, it won't be oven crisp.

For an oven crisp I've heard 325 for the duration of the smoke which would be about 3 hrs to a 160-165 IT. Plan right now is to do a 200 beginning smoke for an hour, bump to 250 for another hour, then finish at 325. Problem with pellet smokers is over 300 degrees you don't get a lot of smoke. Any other thoughts?
post #7 of 16
My GMG has very little smoke flavor over 225*. I use a amnts to add more smoke to my cooks.
post #8 of 16

I run with a WSM, so getting to higher temps isn't a problem.  I try to cook at the same temp as if it were an oven, but with smoke.  Remember, light smoke on turkeys, they are very easy to over smoke and turn bitter.

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Roorda View Post

For an oven crisp I've heard 325 for the duration of the smoke which would be about 3 hrs to a 160-165 IT. Plan right now is to do a 200 beginning smoke for an hour, bump to 250 for another hour, then finish at 325. Problem with pellet smokers is over 300 degrees you don't get a lot of smoke. Any other thoughts?

Cold smoke the turkey for 2-4 hours (40 degrees or less) then into the smoker @ 325.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post

Cold smoke the turkey for 2-4 hours (40 degrees or less) then into the smoker @ 325.
I don't believe my smoker will go under 30° and that puts it in the danger zone for too long. I feel like that would over smoke the turkey as well
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Roorda View Post

I don't believe my smoker will go under 30° and that puts it in the danger zone for too long. I feel like that would over smoke the turkey as well
My apologies, under 40°.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Roorda View Post

My apologies, under 40°.

He means to cold smoke the bird making sure your pit temp doesn't go above 40*.
My new plan...

The lows tonight are going to be in the mid 20's in my neck of the woods, so I'm planning on cold smoking mine first thing tomorrow for a few hrs to get the smoke flavor I want, then I'll stuff the bird and cook on the pellet grill at 325-350*
I'll have the smoke flavor I want, and the dressing from the bird which has a better flavor than dressing cooked in a dish.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Your pellet grill can stay below 40, or are you using another way to smoke for that time period? About how long could I expect the bird to need to stay on at 325 for a 12.5 lb bird? Guessing 3 hrs?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mowin View Post

He means to cold smoke the bird making sure your pit temp doesn't go above 40*.
My new plan...

The lows tonight are going to be in the mid 20's in my neck of the woods, so I'm planning on cold smoking mine first thing tomorrow for a few hrs to get the smoke flavor I want, then I'll stuff the bird and cook on the pellet grill at 325-350*
I'll have the smoke flavor I want, and the dressing from the bird which has a better flavor than dressing cooked in a dish.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Roorda View Post

Your pellet grill can stay below 40, or are you using another way to smoke for that time period? About how long could I expect the bird to need to stay on at 325 for a 12.5 lb bird? Guessing 3 hrs?

Cold smoking is smoking with no heat. You can use any type grill or smoker, heck you could even use a cardboard box, with a smoke generator such as a AMNTS or AMNPS.
As long as whatever you have your turkey in doesn't go over 40*, as the bird wasn't cured. If the pit temps goes over 40* bad things happen. Bacteria starts to form, and you don't want that.
As soon as the pit goes over 40*, the 140* in 4 hrs or less clock starts. Meaning you need the internal temp to at least 140* in 4 hrs or less. Again this is for uncured meats.
So, since my overnight temps are going to be in the 20's, I can cold smoke this bird for a few hrs without worrying about my pit temp going over 40*
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mowin View Post

Cold smoking is smoking with no heat. You can use any type grill or smoker, heck you could even use a cardboard box, with a smoke generator such as a AMNTS or AMNPS.
As long as whatever you have your turkey in doesn't go over 40*, as the bird wasn't cured. If the pit temps goes over 40* bad things happen. Bacteria starts to form, and you don't want that.
As soon as the pit goes over 40*, the 140* in 4 hrs or less clock starts. Meaning you need the internal temp to at least 140* in 4 hrs or less. Again this is for uncured meats.
So, since my overnight temps are going to be in the 20's, I can cold smoke this bird for a few hrs without worrying about my pit temp going over 40*
Makes complete sense. Thank you for the insight! I'm in iowa, not sure what the temp is going to be
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
I think I'm going to start it at 8am @150 for an hour to get a good smoke, then 225 for an hour, then finish at 325. Should put me right around 12-1ish and well within the 4hr danger zone. Going to run a timer when I hit 40 degrees to make sure I don't risk it.
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