turkey for thanksgiving

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by toad2002, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. toad2002

    toad2002 Newbie

    new to smoking and want to do a turkey for thanksgiving and

    found online that you should smoke a turkey for 8-12 hours at 225 until inner thigh is 180  does this sound right
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The safe temp for poultry is 165 In eiither the thigh or the breast. Some will take the temp up higher. You can smoke at a higher temp than 225. At the lower temp the skin will not crisp up. I used to do low and slow but have changed methods for poultry. I now run the smoker @ 350-365. A 12-14 pound bird at the higher temp will take about 3 hours. If you run your smoker at 250, figure about 30min per pound, but make sure you cook to temp. Also figure on rating the bird foiled for at least 45min prior to carving. If you do a lower temp smoke and want crisper skin, put the bird in a 425+ degree oven when the IT hits about 155.
    With either a hot or low to smoke dry the skin of the bird prior to smoking. This can be done in the fridge for 8-10 hours or if you're in a rush hit it with a hair dryer right before smoking.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
  3. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Absolutely correct . . . at any higher than 165*F IT the meat begins to lose it's moisture you want. 180*F , IMHO would be like really dry...especially the Breast. And for 12 hrs. at 225*F would , well lets say the Dog has a tough dinner...
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    All of the above would depend of course upon the actually size of the bird. Size matters!

    Also the type smoker you'll use. Electrics are built more for low and slow, fire breathers normally are hot and fast. Not always true, but a pretty good generalization.

    Just a suggestion, get a whole chicken and smoke it before then to practice. 

    I currently am enjoying electric smokers, I like my turkey normally at about 220/230. Yes it takes longer but I love that tender juicy meat. I start the smoker with the turkey on high (275) and let it rumble for the first 30 mins. then I turn it down to 220 and start adjusting vents.

    I have tryed an entire bird hot (275) and fast, it was injected, and it was juicy with crisp skin but I thought this paticular one was a little tuff in the breast. But that was just me, Others swear by it.

    Personal preference.

    Try the chicken, a turkey is the same only longer.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014

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