Smoked Turkey

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Original poster
Oct 11, 2010
Lubbock, TX
Well, it's a balmy 12 degrees outside right now, that's cold for West Texas.  However, it was hovering aroung 70 this weekend and I took advantage of a great opportunity to smoke.  I went out and bought a couple of breasts, on the request of my wife.  I split the turkey and removed the breast to smoke individually.  I brined in just salt/sugar solution.  Rub was pretty simple.  I smoked at around 235-245 for about 4 1/2 hrs until it hit temp.  It was extremely flavorful and juicy but the skin was not as crisp as I had hoped. I there anything that I could have done to help crisp the skin?  That would have made this turkey the perfect smoke. This was on the bottom rack closer to the water pan, I had ribs on top rack because of the 2-2-1.  Could being close to the water pan been what kept  the skin from crisping?

Smoked at a higher heat.  I smoke turkey and chicken at 300-325. 
Yup .. what he said. Mine only gets up to 275 but it makes poultry crispy...

I guess my ECB  is the problem.  It has been modded but have issues getting it above 250, I guess I'll just have to deal with it until I can purchase a higher quality smoker, which is in the plans hopefully before summer.  Thank you for your help.
Yeah, higher temp would help. You can also not put water in the pan, this will help get your temps up and help crisp the skin,as moisture will make the skin more rubbery
I go with higher temps but if you are doing ribs at the same time I see how that isn't an option. I do one of two things. I will smoke it until it is almost done then crank up the heat in the smoker the last 30 minutes or so and crisp up the skin (this is after all of the rest of the meat is off the smoker already) or the other thing I will do if I have a full load in the smoker and can't smoke at higher temps and the other meats will be on longer than the bird I will just pull it at 160 ish and throw it on my grill to crisp up the skin.
Try putting sand in your waterpan that will help stabilize your temps and help with crisping up your skin. If you still want to use a waterpan you can always use a small foil pan on the bottom grate.What mods did you do that you can't get the temp above 250???
I do mine at 300-350 but when I have other things in the smoker I run 225 and just pull them at about 150-155 internal and put them into the oven set at 350 to crisp the skin and finish cooking
"What mods did you do that you can't get the temp above 250???  "

I just made the basic recommended mods for the ECB I found here on the forum.  It is probably more likely that I am making a mistake building the fire .  It always seems to be around 235-245 until I throw on the meat, then it seems like the heat is just sucked away, drops to around 200-210 and I have to play around with it, and check it frequently to maintain it at a good temp. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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