Yesterday I smoked a 22 pound turkey which I brined for 18 hours and then put in the smoker (CookShack Amerique) at 225 degrees. I figured it would take around 10 - 11 hours for the bird to be done, and was shooting for a breast temp of 165 to 170. This was probably my 30th attempt at a smoked turkey at that weight, all done the exact same way, and all really good prior to this one.
When 9 hours came, the turkey was at 150, which I had no issue with. However, at 10 hours the turkey was at 151 and 11 hours also 151, and I was wondering if my thermometer in the turkey or cabinet were having issues. I checked the cabinet temp with a calibrated thermometer and it was fine, then I put another thermometer in the other side of the turkey and it read 151, just like the other side. So I upped the smoker to 250 and waited. At 13 hours the turkey managed to get to 165, so I pulled it and let it rest for a bit.
I sliced the turkey and found that is was very overcooked, and looked like a turkey taken to a much higher finishing temperature. While great tasting, the inside was still moist, but much dryer than normal for a smoked turkey. The dark meat was even overcooked and not as good as usual.
The turkey was one of the Costco Butterball's that was not injected with anything, and it was a good brine, so I am absolutely stumped on this one.
So - here is my question. Is it possible to get unreliable readings from two thermometers depending on the structure/moisture or something else of a piece of meat? Or, did my turkey simply bite and I should forget it and try again next time -
Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving and on to planning for Christmas!