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Am I about to kill people?


Joined Jan 5, 2014
Okay, I am new to smoking meat. I got an electric smoker for Christmas. My first attempt on a bone in turkey breast stalled after 5 hours. Finished to temp in the oven. Tasted great but a little dry. I gave some to my in-laws and they loved it so much they want to take some to work. Smoked two yesterday. Again stalled a 158 after 7 hours finished to 163 in the oven. Allowed it to coast under foil for 20 mins then put it in the fridge. Went to slice this morning. Very moist but small spot on the tail of the tender with a touch of blood. I guess my question is can this be served cold for sandwiches without killing my in-laws and everybody at their work?

Thanks in advance!

little smokey

Smoking Fanatic
Joined Aug 4, 2011
First of all you want to make sure the thickest part of your piece of meat hits 165 always.  So if it is a whole bird check the breast and the thigh to verify.  As for the dry part well you might want to research brining for your birds that will definitely help the dryness of it.  If it reached 163 I doubt that the spot you are seeing is blood but at the same time if there is any concern about internal temp or if there is a lack of confidence in your thermal probe I would not take a chance.  It sucks to throw anything away but better safe than sorry.  Maybe a picture here might be helpful as one of the folks on this forum may be able to identify what it is and whether it is safe or not.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Apr 22, 2011
If it was at 163˚ in the oven it no doubt coasted the last 2 degrees and should be safe, however not knowing all the variables you're the only one who can make that call. The bigger question is your method. A "stall" in a turkey breast is fairly rare. My guess is you're at a very low temperature. Your smoker should max out at 275˚ so go with that. A bone in breast of 6-9lbs shouldn't take more than a couple hours, 3 on the outside. If you want your skin a little more edible you can take it to 150˚ in the smoker and move to a 500˚ oven to finish the cooking and caramelize the skin.


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Jul 16, 2008
Coolerhead , welcome and enjoy your visit . Please go to your profile and enter your location. Helps a lot...

Boatbum has a good point , cook at higher temps. , most of us go over 300*F.Also , check your therms. for accuracy. Five hrs. is an awfully long time in the heat .Just sayin'...have fun and as always . . .


Thread starter
Joined Jan 5, 2014
This is all great to know! Thank you for all your help. I am pretty sure that the owner's manual for this smoker is best used as fire starter for the weber. I am going to try again this weekend and will crank the temp to 275 (max). I know that weather, region, and taste dictate a lot of the rules and advice I will get. Still, to a newbie all advice is welcome!

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