How much to charge to smoke whole turkey

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wes w

Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
Jul 31, 2012
NW North Carolina
Good evening friends.

I've been ask to do several whole turkeys this year for Thanksgiving.   I generally supply  the meat when I smoke, but I just don't have the freezer space to store several birds.   I've ask my customers to bring there own.  

I'm curious what would be a fair price to charge just to smoke them.  I generally just take donations when I supply and smoke yardbird.  I think I do better then setting a price.    I do have a set price for pork though.

Thanks for any suggestions you may have.  

Hope everyone is having a great evening!

I like to smoke the day of.  They can pick it up hot and serve it.   I was thinking 20.00.  To much, to little?
lets see... about 6 hrs a bird ? $20 divided by 6... a little more than $3 an hour.... not sure that's adding up to a decent pay... JMO ...
Wes I think it all depends on why you are doing it.  1 If its to make some money... too cheep.   2 if its because you want to help then what ever your costs are + some profit.   3 if its because you love to smoke then  just what your costs are.  I guess you have to ask why you are doing it first then figure how much you need to profit.

Keith I see what your saying.  I do understand that.

Stan, I do love to smoke.   I have a lot of customers that buy my pork and bacon.     The folks  in this area are not rich by any means.   I've given more food away then I've sold.  To get my name out and well, I give it to people who need it.   I've never lost money, but I don't see getting rich either.   I think I've got my answer.   Thanks Stan.

Hope everyone has a great evening!
Your welcome Wes.  I have always thought it's  better to feel good then rich.  But on the other hand you need to feed and take care of your family first and help others second.  So it's whatever you can afford and do that makes decisions.  I commend you for the help you have offered to others and wish others would be as kind as you are.   Buy the way your smoker is incredible. 

I say hams and turkeys, double the price, the turkey is 10.00 charge 20.00 its easy to keep up with that way, no calculator needed.

If they want specials like cure, brine, injection Have a set adder to the price. maybe 10 to inject 10 to brine and 15 to cure.

Thats the friends and family price.

That is sizably cheaper than a custom meat shop. Check out the prices at smithfieldmarketplace <= since I can't link it, for smoked city hams and standard smoked turkeys. Thats what you can buy 'em for, so what would you pay for a guaranteed delicious juicy turkey /ham from a local smoker? You shouldn't make enough to put a kid thru school, but you should be able to buy his books!

Its more about building a clientel, making friends and getting the word around. Its the good return business you want so you can send out holiday cards next year. Amyone owning a brick smoker obviously doesn't need the experience any more.

Thats my opinion.... ya know what free advise is worth.

BTW you realize picking up that day hot so they can serve it, sort of ruins your Thanksgiving day cause there is always that one,car broke down, lost directions, wife got sick, had a flat tire, etc etc etc.
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So am I getting overpaid for getting $100 plus cost of meat.?? Haha. Weird when u see a number on things. My "clientele" so to speak gave me that price themselves...they told me what they were gunna pay for my services..i knew I was doing good but with what FOAM has said makes me think im making out like a bandit...haha. Good to know.
What the market bears. I have smoked a many of them mostly for game meat, camp and fishing trips and booze.

I checked today the local grocery with my butcher. They will smoke 'em but not posting prices yet waiting on bulk bird deal first. But Brisket is 2.49/lb and they are selling it smoked at 8.99/lb. Did I mention their brisket would not be my first choice if hungry?
Lol. Guy at work starting to sell hams and turkeys that he smokes...hes doing $50/ham and $75/turkey...i can't imagine someone actually paying that much but what can I But I guess it works out right...cuz the bird is probably $45ish bucks..and he's charging $30 or so..for his time..guess it is a good deal..lmao.
Lol. Guy at work starting to sell hams and turkeys that he smokes...hes doing $50/ham and $75/turkey...i can't imagine someone actually paying that much but what can I But I guess it works out right...cuz the bird is probably $45ish bucks..and he's charging $30 or so..for his time..guess it is a good deal..lmao.
I can't imagine people spending thousands of dollars on smokers but they do... It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest. 
Well,  maybe I'm just old school.  I feel guilty charging that much.   If I can cover my cost and make someone happy,  99.9% of the time they will be back.  I'm not tied to my smoker all day.  I check it about every 30min. or so and do other stuff around the house.   If I do an event, its different.  

Mike, I agree, but I do have to cut wood and split it once a year plus a little charcoal.    If I could I would in a heartbeat.  I did some yardbird a while back.  Some for us and some I had sold.  After eating it, it wasn't something I would pay for.  It was good, but not outstanding.  I contacted the customers and there next purchase was on me.  

LOL Foam,  I'm not sure what the brick smoker has to do with it.  As much as I'm used it the past year (at least every other weekend average)  it still throws me a curve every so often.  Its never fool proof. :-)   I think it watches me.  If it thinks I'm in a hurry, it take longer.   If I got all day, meats done in half the time.   :-)

Thanks for everyone input.  I hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving!!
cover costs and 10:00$. that's what I do since Im doing one for my family as well I come out on the upside but cust doesn't fee ripped off.
I don't charge...ppl just seem to pay. Over and over works. If they wanna gimme $100 then so be it. I tell them just buy the meat and ill do it..but they insist on paying the $100. Win win. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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