Potential Conflict Smoking a Turkey

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by sailingcal21, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Go buy a 12 pounder and loose the 17 pounder. Not very in keeping with the season's spirit.

    0 vote(s)
  2. Cut the 17 pounder in half, smoke the halves and attempt to reassembly during the presentation phase

    0 vote(s)
  3. Roast the 17 pounder in the oven and purchase and smoke another 12 pounder. Probably get fussed at

    0 vote(s)
  4. Smoke the 17 pounder as always and just make it work, thereby suffering in silence for breaking my S

    0 vote(s)
  1. I've got an issue to resolve.

    Conventional wisdom on the forum says that the best size for a smoked turkey is around 12 lbs.  Since joining SMF, I've resolved to do things right so am taking the CW to heart.  I've smoked many turkeys in various (charcoal and electric bullet type smokers) with reasonable success, however have only considered the weight to calculate smoking times.  This summer I bought a MF propane smoker from Lowe's and am planning to smoke the guest of honor in it.

    The wife bought a 17 lb turkey, which is typical for our Thanksgiving feast.  I never told her of my new relevation concerning limiting this years size do 12 lbs.  There in lies the issue.
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I appreciate your predicament and your efforts to keep your turkey safe for your family.  Don't know how long it will take to smoke a 17 pounder, that is a big bird

    I guess the large bird is completely defrosted so throwing it back in the freezer is not an option.

    Personally I would cook both,  if you have good success with the 12lb bird stick with what you know you are good at.  There is never too much turkey.  Plus you can give your family an option,  baked or smoked!  Always a good thing.

    Plan on vacuum sealing the leftovers,  Christmas isn't that far away and you may be able to heat and serve then if you don't make too many sandwiches between now and Christmas.

    Only problem is that you will pay substantially more for a fresh bird the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, if you can find one.  That may be the deciding factor.

    Good Luck on whatever you decide to do
  3. Thanks for the reply.  Yes, the turkey was bought "fresh" and is completely thawed.
  4. diesel

    diesel Smoking Fanatic

    You ever debone a bird?  I have started doing that w/ both turkeys and chickens.  I actually don't remove all the bones just the rib cage and backbone.  Lots of youtube vids and it is really easy.  Just a thought.

    Good luck.
  5. Never did that before.  I'll check it out.  Guess that's the first step to making a turchiduckenkey or whatever its called.
  6. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Turduckens are great, only problem is deboning the Turkey, Duck and Chicken.

    By the time I have them all deboned they look like somebody took a chainsaw to them.

    That is a good idea, take the large bird apart and smoke it.  The smaller pieces should smoke faster and then everyone gets what they want, white meat or dark meat.  Plus then you'll have 4 drumsticks just for me when I drop in!
  7. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Personally I don't have a problem smoking a 17lb bird. As long as you can get from 40-140 in 4 hours it will be safe. You may need to kick the temps up to achieve that but none the less if you can make that work then you are fine. If you are worried about making that deadline then I would probably spatchcock it or cut up it like the others said. Me personally if I kick my smoker up to over 300 I can make that window with a bird that size. It all kind of depends if you can get your smoker up to the 325 range or not.
  8. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Spatchcock it.
  9. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Cal21, they got you covered, Spatch and Smoke.[​IMG],and your thermometers...[​IMG]

    Have a great Thanksgiving....

    Stan and Trish
  10. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The 2 gentleman above gave you 2 great choices. Either smoke it at 300-325 or spatchcock it!
  11. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Agree 100% with this - be safe 
  12. buzzy

    buzzy Smoke Blower

  13. slownlow

    slownlow Smoking Fanatic

  14. plj

    plj Meat Mopper

    spatchcock & crank up the temp, the folks here know what theyre talkin about!
  15. Learn something new every day.  I had to google spatchcock, I thought that it was SMF slang or something.

    "A spatchcock, otherwise known as "spattlecock", is poultry or game that is prepared for roasting or grilling by removing the backbone and sternum  of the bird and flattening it out before cooking"

    You guys are Top Shelf.
  16. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I do all my chickens that way.

    It works so well, i'm doing a spatchcock turkey tomorrow.
  17. We're having a belated Thanksgiving turkey meal because #2 daughter, our RN was working yesterday.

    Started @ 7 AM.  I ended up removing the backbone (a modified spatchcock?) I figured that we rarely eat our way to the backbone anyway.  Got through the 40-140F temps in around 3hrs and am currently @ 150F.


    Ya'll got me so inspired that I built 2 fatties, a breakfast one with egg, jalapeno, onion and spinach, just came out and a bell pepper, mozzarella, garlic and onion for Sunday. 

  18. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looking good

    The color is right on!
  19. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks perfect!

    Nice job!
  20. @ 165F.  Should I foil the wing and leg ends?

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011

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