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Smokin a turkey?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Can I smoke a 20 lb. turkey or is it to large.  I think I read no bigger than 13-14 lbs. or else it is not safe.  Any help would be great, thanks.

post #2 of 11

The problem with a large bird is getting it out of the danger zone (40°-140°) in less than 4 hours. You need to have the internal temp at least 140° in that time to be in the safe zone. I don't think a big bird will heat-up that quick.

post #3 of 11

Depending on what kind of smoker you have, you might be able to get the temps up to roasting or baking levels to begin with in order to get through the danger zone, then drop them back down to smoking temps (225-ish) to finish it off.

post #4 of 11

Maybe try quartering the bird?

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

I have a propane smoker so I guess I could start hotter than cool down for the long haul.

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewtoomuch View Post

I have a propane smoker so I guess I could start hotter than cool down for the long haul.


Thats what I would do to get past danger zone

post #7 of 11

Smoked up to 22 lb birds w/o a problem in the Weber kettle with the indirect method.  Don't stuff the bird.  beautiful smoke ring, no sick loved ones!  I believe that bird took close to 5 hours, if memory serves me....  I would not hesitate to smoke in a gasser where temp is easy to control & maintain.  Treat it just like you would your oven when it comes to temps; just add the wood for the smoke.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewtoomuch View Post

Can I smoke a 20 lb. turkey or is it to large.  I think I read no bigger than 13-14 lbs. or else it is not safe.  Any help would be great, thanks.

 

Check out the Wiki I created with you in mind. Go to Wiki, then click on Browse all Wikis, then click on USDA Safe Food Handling.

post #9 of 11

I have a gasser too and think adiochiro3's got the right idea....but still 22 pounds is huge.  Maybe butterfly the bird?  Last few times I did turkey I got parts instead of a whole bird and it was much, much easier to deal with.  EZ to brine and smoking time was a fraction of doing a whole bird.  And you can take the various parts off when done instead of having to time the whole thing just right.  Of course you loose the whole "Thanksgiving presentation" aspect, but that doesn't bother me too much.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adiochiro3 View Post

Smoked up to 22 lb birds w/o a problem in the Weber kettle with the indirect method.  Don't stuff the bird.  beautiful smoke ring, no sick loved ones!  I believe that bird took close to 5 hours, if memory serves me....  I would not hesitate to smoke in a gasser where temp is easy to control & maintain.  Treat it just like you would your oven when it comes to temps; just add the wood for the smoke.

post #10 of 11

There are two ways to deal with a bird that size. Personally I use high heat for all my poultry smokes. I smoke at 325-350 the entire smoke and get a nice crispy skin. The other thing you could do is spatchcock the bird basically cut the backbone out and lay the bird flat

post #11 of 11

I'm with Pineywoods on this one and if you spatchcock the Turkey you should be able to get the bird to heat up quite enough I think. I always keep my smoked birds to around 12lbs or so.

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