17 pound turkey first smoke

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Original poster
Jul 15, 2018
Morning all, I have a 17 pound turkey to smoke today. Never smoked one before and looking for some advice on temp and a rough idea of time (so I can have it done around dinner time, I know I need to cook to temp). I was thinking 325-350 cause it’s a bigger bird on my camp chef pellet. Any help would be great. I was hoping not to spatchcock but will if it’s necessary.

Sven Svensson

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Dec 5, 2021
Sonoma County, California
You won’t like hearing this but I always spatchcock birds on the pellet smoker. In fact, I’ve now taken to parting out the bird and pulling when each chunk is done. I also inject and brine the night before.

If you want more smoke flavor then put the temp low for at least 30 minutes, like 160 degrees. Higher temps on a pellet smoker generate very little smoke flavor.

If you keep the bird whole I’d not go over 325.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Dec 1, 2019
The Cowboy State - Wyoming
I butcher turkeys and chickens like this because I pull the breast at 157° (and hold for 1-minute) but take the dark meat to 180°ish.

The article below is one of the best how-to for cooking a turkey I've seen.



Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Dec 7, 2017
Michigan UP
Like others have said I always spatchcock turkeys. I use a mix of apple and Nicky, but I only use 3 maybe 4 chunks of wood depending on the size. They tend to pick up a lot of smoke and easy to overdue it.
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