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Big, Big, Turkey Questions

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I went to the local fair and bought a 4-H turkey project. It's for a great cause. I knew it was a big bird and it dressed out at a touch over 31 pounds! I've read in many posts the concern over poultry being in the "danger zone" while cooking in a smoker. I would love to smoke this thing but don't want to take a chance. Has anyone ever tried cutting a big bird in half and smoking? What about brining? Any other suggestions before I'm forced to roast it the traditional way! As always, I appreciate all the help from everyone.
post #2 of 28
My only question is what did they feed that thing? I can't see any reason you couldn't smoke it whole if it fits in your smoker. Just going to take longer to cook all the way through.
post #3 of 28
Boy that is a BIG bird !! Yes I have smoked some big birds and what I did is to cut them in half ( bird is frozen ) with a meat saw , thaw and then brine the two halves . I had no problems doing it this way .
post #4 of 28
I brine it and I either cut the back and ribs out and lay it flat or cut it down the center and smoke it in halves.

What's that word? Swatchbuckle it?
post #5 of 28
my lord you could of put a saddle on it and rode that thing

post #6 of 28
Do half one way and half the other. See which u like more and let us know. Thats a lotta bird
post #7 of 28
Whole, halves or parts, but I have to reccomend the brine no matter what. I has been several years ago, but I had a 20lb+ bird that was almost too big for the oven. And there is the "too long in the danger zone" arguement. (I think that 10 to 12 lbs is the reccomended size limit)

I don't serve smoked turkeys whole. While everyone seems to like smoked turkey, not everyone wants it to be the main course it seems. It does seem to make for better sandwiches sliced or turned into a turkey salad type spread.

If you cut it up, the legs and wings can be smoked "Festival style" with a teryaki type seasoning or smoked heavy and thrown into a pot of beans.
post #8 of 28
You do not hvae to smoke poultry low and slow to get a good smoked bird.

Crank it up to 325 to 350 and snoke it high. It'll give you a great smokey taste and crsipy skin without the worry of being in the danger zone. Polutry doesn't NEED to cook slow it's already tender.

post #9 of 28
Good point! I am too narrow minded and focused on the long slow cook all of the time.

Something else to consider trying, is stuffing the meat with green peppers, onoins, garlic, hot peppers, olives or what ever you want. Cut the peices up small enough to fit into a knife stab in the turkeys meat. I learned this from a crazy Cajun and it is great! I don't know what the official name of the method is. My brother and me just call it Cajun stuffed. (Great for deep fried)
post #10 of 28
Spatchcock..............but I think I will use Swatchbuckle from now on.......I like that one........LOL
post #11 of 28
Brine it and high heat.............is there an echo in here?

I think I would have to leave it whole just for the shock value of a Turkey that large. PDT_Armataz_01_23.gif

Got any pics of that big ol' bird?

Good luck.
post #12 of 28
Will it look like this when serving?

post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Not sure that it will look like that, but it is a big bird. The drumsticks are about the size of a cornish hen. Thanks for all the advice and keep it coming. I'm looking at an October get-together and I'll try to get some pics for you. WIth the high temp cooking would I still get ome smoke flavoring???
post #14 of 28
according to replies on other threads you should be fine with the smoke flavor........tho i have yet to smoke a pteradactyl


post #15 of 28
I believe your are refering to "spatchcock" mom ... yes?
post #16 of 28
Now ya see, to me, that, is hilarious!
post #17 of 28
yeah it was zapper.......

Big Bird

post #18 of 28
Swatchbuckle... is that a swiss watch mounted on a belt buckle?
post #19 of 28
i DO believe it is Vlap

post #20 of 28
Yep spatchcock that the word. Don't know where I got swatchbuckle. Ah well you knew what I meant. Although with a beast that big you may need a sword to slice it.
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