Smoked turkey

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by freiesleben, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    This weekend I smoked a whole turkey, as a test for Thanksgiving. This was my first turkey ever, and I think it came out pretty good.

    I followed Jeff's recipe for Maple Syrup Turkey with a couple of adjustments.

    After approx. 14 hours in the brine:

    Ready to go into the smoker: 

    In the smoker:

    Approx. 6 hours it was done and ready for resting for approx. 20 minutes:

    Carved and ready:

    On the table: 

    Really nice and moist, not too dry which I was afraid of. 
    xray and floridasteve like this.
  2. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    I am planning on doing one of these for my company potluck, only I'm going to Spatchcoc it. I've used that recipe on chicken and it was wonderful -- even tried it on pork loin (less the brine) and it worked out well.

    Thank you for sharing your experience as it give me confidence-- I don't have the time for a test run.

  3. That turkey looks great! Thanks for sharing.
  4. Great looking bird! I will never make another Turkey or whole chicken without brining first. You have inspired me to do a trial run!![​IMG]

    Did you keep the smoke rolling the whole time, and what type of wood?
  5. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Congratulations , your Turkey looks great :drool For a first , you nailed it proper :biggrin:

    I give you :points: for your post .

  6. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    Thanks guys, really appreciate it :)

    Marktx923: I used pecan wood only, and only added 4-5 good size chunks from the beginning, did not add more during the smoke and the taste was really good. Brining is also the way forward for me when it comes to poultry, did not even inject mine(not that keen on injecting). 
  7. xray

    xray Smoking Fanatic

    Looks great!! I did a test run for thanksgiving, I spatchcocked mine.

  8. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    Yours looks really good as well :) Did you brine it as well?
  9. xray

    xray Smoking Fanatic

    I brined using the maple BBQ recipe as well. I brined overnight and then removed the turkey from the brine to crisp up the skin, spatchcocked and smoked about 325 until my IT was 165.

    I guess we're all set to go for Thanksgiving?
    magnus likes this.
  10. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    Sounds good, I did mine a bit more low and slow average of 235 F, with 164 F at the breast and approx. 174 F at thighs. 

    So yes, I would say that we are ready :) Also with the fine results you got. 
  11. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sound awesome and looks great,,, Been wanting to do one also. 

    Great color in 6hrs

    A full smoker is a happy smoker

  12. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    Thanks DS, it came out pretty good, you should really try it. 

    My WSM 18.5 is the minimum space needed for a turkey this size, I am scaling up soon :)
  13. amlong88

    amlong88 Meat Mopper

    Looks real good! Did one last year before Thanksgiving and I need to get one out from the freezer and thawed out. You've got me wanting to do one.
  14. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    Glad that I inspired you to make one this year as well :)
  15. Smokin a turkey  tomorrow in a MES 30" Brimmed over night and air drying in the fridge tonight, will oil it it up a bit and add the dry rub with a little Baking powder for a better browning experience. We will see how things turn out tomorrow  
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  16. bigsmoketexas

    bigsmoketexas Fire Starter

    Whats a good temp to smoke a turkey? How long should i straight smoke and then charcoal only?

    I have a 12 pounder. I will brine for about 10-18 hrs.

    I plan on using apple wood

    Also, is there a diffeence with putting apples and onions in the cavity versus it being empty?
  17. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    Hi Bigsmoketexas,

    As mentioned above I go low and slow normally, so I aim for 225-230 F at the grate. I added approx. 4-6 chuncks of pecan and will not add anything further during the smoke. I have a WSM so I only used charcoal and wood chunks for flavour. 

    I got following from Jeff's website regarding filling the cavity or not: 


    Can I stuff the turkey before smoking it?

    No. Smoking turkey at low temperatures makes it unsafe to block heat flow into the cavity of the turkey. Wait until the turkey is done then stuff it with the already cooked stuffing for table presentation.

    It is ok to place a few pieces of onion, apple, carrot, etc into the cavity as long as heat can travel freely into the cavity.


  18. oldhawk

    oldhawk Newbie

    Put my brined and spatchcocked turkey in 2 hours ago and the internal temp is already 155. Mt actual smoker temp was probably closer to 255 than it was to 240.
    Does anyone finish the bird on the grill to crisp the skin a bit?
  19. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    Hi Oldhawk,

    I have not tried finishing on the grill, but have been considering it as well. But I will just make the turkey tomorrow without putting it on the grill, think that will go on my project-list I need to try as well :)
  20. bigsmoketexas

    bigsmoketexas Fire Starter

    Thanks. Im using apple wood and i plan on mixing it with a litlle bit of oak wood or maybe a cherry wood chips. Should i just use straight apple?
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015

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