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I'm confused - smoking an 18 pounder

aucivil

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I understand the danger zone concept and the 12# bird recommendation for regular smoke temps.  Also see where the rec. time for an 18 # bird in the oven is 4 hours @ 350.  So why not just run the smoker temp up to 325-350 range and give it a go.  Will it dry the bird out too much?

I have an 18# fresh Butterball which I had planned on brining with cranberry (until I read the don't brine a butterball threads).  Wasn't planning to spatchcock the bird but was going to pop a couple of apples in the cavity.  Cooking in a 24" Smoke Vault so I can get the temps up.  Was planning on cooking at 325-350 for 2 hours then backing down to 275-300 to finish.  Estimating that cook time will be in the 5-6 hours.  Also thinking about mopping each hour.

Does this sound ok?  Do the times sound right?  Any recommendations?
 

pineywoods

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I smoked two 15-16 lb Turkeys at around 325 the entire smoke and they came out pretty good. I had injected them last night. Once they reached 140 I could have turned the smoker down but didn't and got a nice crispy skin on them
 

aucivil

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How long did they take?  Did you spatchcock?

Thanks
 

meateater

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I did a 20# last year on my UDS, no problem. This year I'm doing a 20# on my UDS. This year I'm getting some wind and temps are colder, I'm glad I cured this one or it would have been in the oven a long time ago.
 

pineywoods

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I didn't spatchcock them and I honestly don't know the time I was doing to many things at once
 

richc

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I understand the danger zone concept and the 12# bird recommendation for regular smoke temps.  Also see where the rec. time for an 18 # bird in the oven is 4 hours @ 350.  So why not just run the smoker temp up to 325-350 range and give it a go.  Will it dry the bird out too much?

I have an 18# fresh Butterball which I had planned on brining with cranberry (until I read the don't brine a butterball threads).  Wasn't planning to spatchcock the bird but was going to pop a couple of apples in the cavity.  Cooking in a 24" Smoke Vault so I can get the temps up.  Was planning on cooking at 325-350 for 2 hours then backing down to 275-300 to finish.  Estimating that cook time will be in the 5-6 hours.  Also thinking about mopping each hour.

Does this sound ok?  Do the times sound right?  Any recommendations?

For what it's worth, I brined an 18lb butterball for 15 hours this year and put it in the oven. The consensus was that it was the best turkey anyone had had. I smoked a breast too and people liked it, but they said they'd never had a better bird out of the oven. 
 

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