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oven broke and smoke 15 lb turkey time est - MES smoker max around 275-265 ?


Joined Sep 9, 2013
So Thanksgiving at my place this yr. And I'm doing the turkey.

I planned on smoking it anyway / and combo finishing in the Oven on a higher temp if needed.

But this week our oven broke and the electronic part will take days to get in - so no oven.

My MES smoker has a max temp setting of 275.

So my challenge - is mainly cook times for max 275 degree MES 40" electric smoker ( it actually gets closer to 265 max)

How to smoke a 15 lb turkey and get it ready to be on the table at 1pm - with no oven with hungry people waiting. :) 

I don't really want to smoke it for like 15+hrs on lower temps - I think it will be dry and chewy. 

I will for sure brine it first. Not really looking for full recipe help - Just Time estimates for a max 265 temp smoke.

I'm thinking of spatchcocking it ( cut out back bone and lay it out flatter) .....but not sold on that idea yet - opinions on that and the cook times required ?  I have internal temp gauge to make sure its done at proper internal temps.

But I smoked chickens this weekend - and had to smoke them an extra 1.5 hours more than expected. That would make for an interesting Thanksgiving.  And it got really cold here this week (ok really cold for TX low 40's daytime) - maybe that is affecting my max temps a bit.

I estimate a whole turkey at 265 - around 8 hrs. And spatchock turkey at 265 around 4 hrs.

my loose plan so far - put whole bird on at midnight - and check it at 7 am ( 3 hrs left to cook it to 10am).

or Spatchcock and cook it at 6 am- 10 am.

Hope to rest bird about 1 hr. so need it done at 11am.

Back up plan - if bird not done by 10 am - take bird out and into a neighbors oven and finish on 350-375.

What do you guys think about cook times at 260 or 265 > ? < Thanks !


Joined Oct 11, 2010

I don't have as much experience at smoking turkeys as some in this forum, two weeks ago I smoked a 13.75lb turkey for 6 hours at 250º-275º and it wasn't completely done (still slightly pink) near the bone when carved so I had to finish in oven even though the instant read thermometer clearly shown a breast temp of 165º.


RIP. Gone but never forgotten.
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Joined Apr 4, 2013
Last edited:

pc farmer

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Joined Feb 17, 2013
Yes sir, Foam has you hooked up.


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Oct 4, 2012
We'll a 15 pound turkey at 275 will be done no later than 7 hours later. More than likely a bit earlier. Do you have a good therm? Need to get that bird to 165* IT.

Spatched cut the time in half or less.

If you finish early,,put that bird in a foil pan, wrap with foil, towels, into a cooler (if you have one, or a cardboard box) and let it sit. Up to four hours later serve that bird!

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