preparing for T-day

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by hazard5150, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. hazard5150

    hazard5150 Newbie


    Im not new to smoking, I've done my fair share of pork butts and ribs, however I have never done a turkey. I just have a couple questions

    Spatchcock or not?

    Brine or not?

    Inject or not inject?

    What is the appox time per pound and at what temp? Do you go low and slow for it?

    The research i have found varies quite a bit but the general thing I see is people finish in the oven at 350* to get the skin crispy. I'll be doing this... Do i pull the bird when it reaches 150*?

    Sorry for all the questions and thanks for the answers!!!!!!! :)
  2. aceoky

    aceoky Smoking Fanatic

    First welcome!

    I like to inject mine with Creole Butter, time depends on too many factors, each piece of meat, smokers all vary as do the temps, rain or not etc. etc. etc.  I don;'t personally think you gain with turkey with "low and slow" (say 225 rather than 300* but opinions also vary)

    We like pictures also BTW
  3. aceoky

    aceoky Smoking Fanatic

    IIRC- the MIN temp for safety = 165*  (I look for at least 170 for breast and 175 * or so for the thighs)
  4. hazard5150

    hazard5150 Newbie

    so would i be better off smoking at 250-275? what is the best way to plan a dinner time with the bird?
  5. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    I prefer my turkeys at around 300 degrees, cook to 165 to 170 in the breast, 175-180 in the thighs and or legs.  Usually at this temp, I'm looking at a 15# to be done in around 3+ hours...injected with creole butter too (good stuff).  A nice paste like rub under the skin all over the bird makes for a great flavor enhancer too!  Just take your favorite rub, mix it with a little olive oil and make a paste.
  6. hazard5150

    hazard5150 Newbie

    that sounds good. thanks for the approx time and degree, I'd hate to tell everyone dinner would be at 6pm and not have it done until 9pm or have it done too early lol
  7. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Better to be ready early than late.  Just wrap it up and stick it in a cooler or pop it in the oven at it's lowest setting to keep it warm until it's time to serve.  
  8. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As you see , there are many ways to do your Bird.[​IMG]  This is my lazy man's way of cooking a Turkey.

    Brine or not?  No ,I don't  , a processed bird is gonna be juicy , now if you want to change the flavor profile , yes , Brine with the added flavors you want. (Use like the Slaughterhouse brine)

    Spatchcock or not? I see no reason , unless there is a time restriction. I like a whole Bird ,besides it's prettier.

    Inject or not inject? Again , do you want a specific flavor,then inject , otherwise I'd leave it be , besides there are less holes for juice to escape.

    What is the appox time per pound and at what temp? Do you go low and slow for it? I don not go by poundage ,Poultry needs a done temp. of 165*F IMT ( as mentioned) in the Breast meat .deep enough to be in the center of the meat mass and not

    touching bone.I cook at 225*F with my probes in place.

    Have fun and ...
    steve4christ likes this.
  9. hazard5150

    hazard5150 Newbie

    thanks everyone for the replies. if my bird does get done too early and i wrap it in foil and cooler method, is there anything i can do to keep it moist and keep the skin crispy? any secrets?
  10. I haven't tried this yet, but in my opion, if the bird gets done early, wrap and put in the cooler, that would keep it moist.  Before ready to serve put in the oven with brioler on low to crisp the skin, you wouldn't be trying to cook it anymore, just crisp and brown the skin.  Maybe someone else can help answer this better.  But it sounds like that would work.
  11. Hazard,

    I smoke a few turkeys each year and just smoke a 20 lb bird this last weekend.

    -Brine the bird - the smoke flavor is enhanced, the turkey ends up juicier, and it supposedly keeps better afterward

    - Inject if you want to add some additional flavors.  My hands down favorite is to inject apricot brandy in the breast and thighs.   rub down with some olive oil and a few spices,  throw some sweet onions and a split up apple in the cavity, but leave room for air and smoke to pass through.  Simple and it comes out great 

    - Smoke setting is usually 225-235.   I use two thermometers as I like to get the breast to about 167 F and the thighs to about 180  - Time varies by smoker: My bullet smoker if I keep at 225-235  will take about 10 hours for a 20 lbs bird.   My pellet smoker just took 7 hours when set at 225-230.  This is one of those smoking mysteries that I will probably never figure out.

    Did track the temperature on this last turkey I did on my pellet smoker - at 225 - 235 degrees,  the temp in the breast increased by about 20 degrees per hour for the first 5 hours, hour 6 was only 13 degrees, and hour 7 was about 9 degrees. 

    Do not tie the legs together when you put the turkey on, just wrap a little foil on the end of each leg (about 2 inches) and let the leg hang free.  This will let more heat get to the thighs and legs which will help you get the temp up on those.  

    If you are not into the crispy skin on your turkey the above works great. We usually throw away the skin or give to the dog when we carve our turkey anyway.   

    Good Luck
  12. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes, if it comes off earlier than mealtime , the cooler method is good , except for the fact that the skin will not stay crisp. [​IMG]

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