Smoking a 23#r tomorrow take a look

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Feb 25, 2013
Snohomish, Washington
Ok for 1 thing we had no say in the size of this thing but I have a plan and a plan B if all else fails. My plan is to crank up my smoker to 300-325, light the chips then set alarm for 140 deg. so I can check the time/temp, wrap turkey in dbl layer of foil then set controller to drop temp to 130 when IT reachs 160-165 deg. If the timing doesn't work we will finish it in the oven.

Maybe we should stuff the cavity with all those peeps in the back to teach them a lesson?

more picks to follow.
Wow. That is a big bird. Is splitting it in half an option? I've had pretty good luck doing that. Cuts your cooking time way down. The Peep stuffing sounds good....that might catch on!
That's a Big-un!!!

Great Start !!!

Stuffing those peeps won't teach 'em anything----Eating them will fix 'em!!!

I agreed to smoke a turkey for a small graduation this weekend.  Found out last night that they are bringing me a 26.5lbs bird!  So the first thing i did was jump on here figuring someone had smoked a bird that big and would have some pointers. 

So how did your turkey go and do you have any tips?
Although its recommended that a bird that big should be spatchcocked, I have done whole 23 lb'er on my vertical gas smoker. As for tips, it must be brined! I would stay with the smoker until it reaches that safety zone temp. Make sure the temps stay steady in the range that you want to smoke. Use a reliable digital thermometer, one probe for the cc and the other to monitor the bird. If I recall the first one I did, I hit the 140 IT right at 4 hours and the smoker setting between 225 and 235. I did begin to worry at the 3 hour mark and was only at about 130 or so and allowed the smoker to hold 235- 240 until that 4 hour mark and reasoned that 135 would have been ok at the 4 hour mark if that was to be the case. The bird turned out great and have done other birds of comparable size and never spatchcocked any of them. That is what has worked for me but a bird that big, just be careful to insure that it is done throughout! For the record, had I known about spatchcock when I did my first turkey, I may have done it and continued to use it. I am comfortable doing big birds whole!
Thank you. 

I have done quite a few hole birds in the past but they are usually under 20lbs.  I have never done a brine, typically I inject and wrap in bacon before the smoke.  Someday I am going to do a brine but that will wait to do that on one of my own.  I hate experimenting on someone else. I am however reviewing this spatchcocking thing.  That sounds like it could help get through the danger zone. 

Thanks for posting your times and temps.   Every time I smoke that stall is always bothersome, especially when it comes to poultry.  Its nice to see others work through it. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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