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First 13lb Turkey on 22.5" WSM

tmeans

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OK I am attempting my first turkey on my new smoker.  I purchased a 13 lb full turkey and currently have it soaking in a brine.  I am planning on smoking it around 275-350 to attempt to cook it at the right speed.  I have read that it should only take around 3-4 hours is this about the right time frame?
 

I am assuming that I place the bird on the top rack and a pan underneath to catch the drippings for some gravy.  Once the bird is out of the brine and just prior to throwing it on anyone have any ideas about seasoning as it is smoking?

I am smoking with lump cowboy charcoal and pecan chunks.

Thanks for the advice in advance.

"The Newb"
 

pineywoods

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Be sure to rinse the bird well after the brine then you can apply your seasonings or rub before you put it into the smoker. A light coat of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) will help the spices/seasonings stick and will help with the skin crisping as well. Good luck with the smoke and don't forget the Qview
 

mballi3011

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Well I have smoked quite a few turkey's in my past so. You have a good plan and Bear has given you the best advice just read all of what Jeff's says after all he knows his poop about smoking. Then he just started this forum. So enjoy and don't forget the Q-view it's your way of paying us back for the advice.
 

tmeans

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Nice video a little different method for the smoker than the WSM but I got the main idea.  I am just trying to schedule the bird so it is done for dinner.

I guess I could start it and if it finishes early just wrap in in foil and place it in a cooler until dinner time.  I'll add a pic of the bird in brine and finished product that is if I can wait to cut it up and eat it... lol

Tim
 

eman

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I have only done one smoked turkey and smoked it at 240 - 250.

Turkey as w/ other poultry needs to be cooked to 160-165 at the thickest part of the breast.

 Can't really give you a time frame as i never paid attention to the clock, only the thermometer.
 

Bearcarver

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Nice video a little different method for the smoker than the WSM but I got the main idea.  I am just trying to schedule the bird so it is done for dinner.

I guess I could start it and if it finishes early just wrap in in foil and place it in a cooler until dinner time.  I'll add a pic of the bird in brine and finished product that is if I can wait to cut it up and eat it... lol

Tim
If you wrap it in double foil--then towels---and then put it tightly in a dry cooler, you can hold it for a few hours.
 

reichl

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When I do turkey in my WSM, I don't use water in the water pan.  Start by putting a full chimney of unlit charcoal in the charcoal ring and light a full chimney of charcoal for minion method.  When you put the WSM back together, keep all of the vents open and you should have a lid temp of 275-350.  You are correct about the time, it should take about 3-4 hours for a 13 lb turkey.  My last turkey was 14 lbs and took a little over 3 hours but I had temps between 325-350 for the whole smoke.  Also, only add one or two chunks of wood... probably two if you are using pecan.
 
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tmeans

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What is the advantage or disadvantage of using a water pan?   I always figured using it puts mositure into the meat you are cooking.  Could someone explain when and not to use it.
 

tmeans

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Can someone explain the advantages or disadvantages of using a water pan.  I always thought that if you use one it puts moisture into the meat you are smoking.  I have a ton to learn when it comes to smoking like the pros and any advice is welcome and I'll post pics when I pull the turkey from the smoker in about 3-4 hours.  Smells good so far.
 

tmeans

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oh and by the way this is a little off the subject how do I add the information below my post so I don't always have to tell everyone what I am using?  
 

big-guy

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Be sure to rinse the bird well after the brine then you can apply your seasonings or rub before you put it into the smoker. A light coat of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) will help the spices/seasonings stick and will help with the skin crisping as well. Good luck with the smoke and don't forget the Qview
X2 on the EVOO rub then I sprinkle on some Mrs. Dash and smoke away
 

reichl

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If you use water in the water pan your turkey's skin won't crisp up as well if you use the water pan empty.  Plus, you will have plenty of moisture in the bird from the brine.  I have found that the moisture from the water doesn't penetrate the skin of poultry anyways.  Good Luck!
 

jirodriguez

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The water pan is primarily used as a thermal mass/heat sink. As a thermal mass absorbes the high heat from the coals and then releases it at a more moderate and controlled rate, it is kind of like a govenor on an engine. As a heat sink it takes a large amount of volume and holds it at a steady state of 212° (water boiling point), then when you have to open your smoker it helps the temp come back up  quickly because you have a large volume of water sitting there radiating heat.

.... or something like that, somebody else might have a more precise answer, but that gives you the basic feal for what it is doing.

To edit your posts - if you are logged in and you pull up a thread you stared you should see a button that says "edit" at the bottom of your original post. Just click that and it will let you edit all you want.

..... forgot to mention on the turkey, I like to soften some butter and, mix it with some poultry seasoning and other herbs, then use your fingers to work it between the skin and the meat as much as you can. I also use it to rub the outside of the turkey (instead of EVOO). You can also salt the inside of the cavity as well.
 
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tmeans

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That turkey looks really good I just home mine looks nearly that good..

Mine has been on the smoke for 90 minutes now and internal temp is at 118 hope it is not cooking to fast.
 

tmeans

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sry the turkey was a bit burnt on the first smoke.  I have since tweaked it but I am not a pro yet.  I still am enjoying the smoker but I have since seen the Yoder pellet smokers. 
 

mummel

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Im thinking about doing one for Thanksgiving.  Is there a big wave of people on the forums that do the same thing each year?  I'd love to give it a try. 
 

hardcookin

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I usually try and smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving.
Last turkey I done was a 15lb turkey. I put it on at 8:00 and it was done at 11:35 @300. It was really moist and had good flavor.
 

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