Live! 3/23 - First Turkey Smoke

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
My aunt gave me a 12lb turkey she's had in the freezer since last Thanksgiving. Figured it would make for a nice first turkey smoke! Gonna need some practice before I make one for the family, possibly for Easter.

Thawed the bird out in a bucket of water for 6+ hours, and then brined it overnight using most of Jeff's brine recipe off his website (all the ingredients that I had). Rinsed it, dried it, and rubbed some olive oil all over. Popped it in the smoker at noon EST. Apple wood chunks with some cherry chips to fill the gaps. Smoker is around 250°F, and turkey is at 50°F after the first half hour. My camera batteries are charging, so no pictures till later.

Read some differing opinions on cooking temps - some say 325° because turkey doesn't need the "low & slow" temps & others, including TulsaJeff, recommend 225°-250°. Gonna bring the smoker up to 275° and see how it goes. Practice makes perfect...
SmokeEater, remember the new internal temp is now 165° for turkey, but check inner most thigh too! Ya don’t want to dry it out!
Detailed Local Forecast
Today: Cloudy. High 58F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy. Low near 35F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.

IT JUST STARTED RAINING!!! Hopefully it's just a quick passing shower. I've never smoked in the rain. I see my smoker temp has fallen almost 15°F in two minutes. No problem!
NICEY NICE.Really looks good.I have a turkey breast and two whole chickens thawing for tomorrows smoke.Come rain or shine makes no difference to me.
Guess I got really lucky on my first attempt at smoking a turkey. It was moist & juicy and had a nice smoke flavor. The smoke ring, especially on the drumstick I just devoured, was pronounced. Next time, I'm going to try all cherry smoke!





Two thanksgivings ago we had smoked turkey at my dad's. My step-uncle (Dad's wife's brother!) smoked it indirectly on a little Weber, and it came out great. The part I found interesting, was that he smoked it most of the way breast down. The reasoning was to have the juices continually marinade the breast meat, and I must say that it was juicy as hell!

How juicy was the bird you did? How was the breast meat? is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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