Any whole turkey smoking tips??

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

desert fish

Fire Starter
Original poster
Jan 15, 2014
Albuquerque NM
Hey everybody!

I'm planning on smoking a whole turkey within the next couple of days in my WSM.  The bird is currently brining in the garage fridge (salt, sugar, pepper and chipolte chili).  Was planning on pulling it out of the brine and rubbing it tomorrow then letting it sit over night in the rub before I smoke it.  

Does anyone have any pointers as to what I should expect?  Like how long and IT before pulling it off?  Can I leave it on the open grill the whole time (not a fan of foiling)?  Anything I should put in the water?  Also, any thing good I can stuff it with or is that a big no no when smoking a turkey.

Any help is greatly appreciated!!
How many pound turkey?

Do you like to eat the skin or not?

They recommend not stuffing a turkey when smoking it.
I do not stuff a smoking bird. Before you put it on the heat, rub some butter under and over the skin. I add some garlic powder to the butter. Shoot for 170°IT, this works for me. I also separate the leg 1/4s and wings to keep things cooking evenly, not much for presentation but I cook for me not a judge.
Skin will stay on.  Bird is a little over 15 pounds.

I'll be sure to take the plastic thing off the legs so they spread out.  Also was thinking about injecting with butter or I have even heard of people using ranch dressing...  Is it good to use a chicken rub?  I made some that turned out great on some whole chickens last weekend.  I have just enough for the turkey and was planning on using it.  Also, is it a good idea to brush the turkey with apple cider?  

Thanks guys!
Since you have a WSM, smoke the turkey at 325°F to an IT of 170°. You can plan on 15 minutes per pound, no foiling needed. Given the choice I Brine but an injection works well. The rub you used will be fine. Mix it with soft Butter or Bacon Grease and smear it under and on the skin. Rest a min of 15 minutes before carving. Smoked birds are not stuffed but a quartered Onion, some Garlic cloves, Thyme sprigs and some Fruit would be ok, just keep it to a minimum and very loosely filled...JJ
  • Like
Reactions: desert fish
Awesome!! Thanks so much guys!

What is the best way to get the WSM up to 325 and hold?  Fill the ring with charcoal and open all vents 100% including the top?

Turned out way too dry. The issue I had was the interior temp stalled at 163.  Waited 1.5 hours for it to go up before I pulled in off.  Ended up tossing it in the garbage.  Pretty disappointing....  I think the temp way have been too low as well.  started at 250-270 then went to 225 toward the end.  Not sure how I was suppose to maintain 325 for 3.5-4 hours.  Fill the ring?
Some smokers you cannot. Some you have to mod to get there. Probably why we go with the boneless, skinless alot of the times. If you want crispy skin, you need those high temps though. All the boneless, skinless I do at 250 or so with no issue.
  • Like
Reactions: desert fish is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts