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First time turkey

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
With the price of turkey the cheapest they are going to be for a while, I decided to give it a shot. I bought a 12 pound bird, frozen I must've met, and let it thaw in my refrigerator for three days. I've been mixed up a simple brine and let it soak for 24 hours. I've been fired up the old smoker and threw it on. I am using Hickory and I'm keeping my temperature at 325 degrees. If I can figure out how to post pictures I will. Any comments and suggestions are welcome. Merry Christmas everyone!
post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 
So apparently talk to text makes me sound like an idiot. Sorry for the grammatical none sense in my post. : )
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
post #4 of 17
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post #5 of 17
Sean, You said that it was thawing in the frige for 3 days. Are you absolutely sure that the bird was totally thawed? Be sure that the IT is 165* in the breast and 175* in the thigh. Besides the brine, how did you season/rub it?

You might want to try the spatchcock method next time. It is easier to get seasoning on the inside, cooks quicker and cooks more evenly. There are numerous threads on this method.

Good luck and good smokin', Joe
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am fairly certain that it was completely thawed. I rinsed the cavity and outside thoroughly yesterday morning. I didnt see any ice on the inside and it was very pliable. Should I consider thawing it longer? All together it was thawing for 4 days if you count the brine.

I need to learn how to spatchcock a bird also. I've never ventured down the poultry road when it comes to smoking before.

Also, when I tent it how long would you advise me leaving it? So far I am lookin to pull it when the breast hits 165 and the wrapping it in foil until it reaches 170.

Thank you for your reply! I certainly don't want anyone getting sick on Christmas!

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Also i did very little on the rub, mostly butter. I didn't want too salty of a flavor. I figure for my first time I would try the KISS method. ; )
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Pulled it at 166. Skin is pretty dark in some spots. Now to wait.
post #9 of 17
A total of 4 days should be just fine. I just wanted you to be sure. Check out the spatchcock thread. I may never smoke another bird without spatching it. I rub butter mixed with SPOG under the skin at the breast and anywhere else that I can get under the skin. I give the cavity a moderate sprinkle of SPOG and rub the outside with butter. I sprinkle a coating of SPOG on the outside and a light sprinkle of Weber Kickin' Chicken.

Good luck. My family really likes chicken and it's really hard to screw up. Joe grilling_smilie.gif
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I'll definitely try that on the next one I do.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
post #12 of 17

I am with Joe, I will never cook a bird unless I spatchcock it.  Some on another thread posted a YouTube video link on how to do it.  Perfect results every time.

Your bird looks good, you might want to check the flow of the smoke through your smoker and add some tuning plates.  Looks like the smoke is not hitting the bird evenly.


Let us know who it tastes.


Smoke ON!




post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
It turned out ok. I agree on the smoke distribution. A little dry in the legs. I will definitely spatchcock the next one I do. Love and learn. Thanks guys!
post #14 of 17

I am smoking a turkey today, following the advice I've found on this site.  Thawed in the fridge for 3 days, then brined for 24 hrs.  I made a garlic herb butter recipe from pinterest and rubbed it under the skin this morning, then rubbed w/ a variation of Myron Mixons chicken rub recipe.  I split the bird in half so it would fit on 2 separate racks in my MES 30.  It has been smoking for about 5 hrs and I have a Bradley digital thermometer running in the vent into the thick part of the thigh.  Just checked it and it's at 165 deg, should be done soon!

post #15 of 17

Did a 20lber just after Christmas in my Smoke Hollow electric Smoker. I make my own Hickory pucks from trees I cut and put them in the smoking pan on top of a couple charcoal brickettes. Inject with Cajun injector Creole Butter,  pack a little garlic, parsley/oregano, black pepper and butter in the cavity. Cover just the breast with aluminum foil until about the 3 hour point then remove. 225 for 7 hours and it always comes very moist, with great flavor, legs too. Crunchy skin everywhere meat falls off the bone. I just make sure the water pan does not go dry, one refill usually to the water does it. It's super easy. Probe breast and inner thigh for proper finish temp about 170. Multiple Cornish game hens can be done the same way but take about half the time.


post #16 of 17
Hey I have a question for you. Do you add time on smoking more if I have more than one bird
post #17 of 17

Sorry it has been so long but I have not been on here lately. Well I can only fit one bird in this smoker. If it were bigger I would not add time as long as I could keep the temp consistent. I probe the  thickest part of the breast and thigh area to see the internal temp is 170-180. Also there should not be any red blood in there.

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