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Smoking a monster turkey

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by kidd52, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. kidd52

    kidd52 Newbie

    We have been smoking off and on for a few years with a Masterbuilt electric smoker. After reading suggestions here on this site we ordered a AMNPS to use in the Masterbuilt. We are not real happy with the amount of smoke the Masterbuilt produces. This year we decided to raise our turkey for Thanksgiving, yesterday was butchering day. I knew he was big, but when he was all dressed out the monster tom tipped the scales at 43 pounds. Our plans are to split him in half, brine him, then roast half and smoke the other half. Now I am dealing with half a bird that weighs around 20 pounds. I am planning on cutting up the half to smoke, thighs, legs, wings and deboning the breast then smoking them. Any suggestions on temps (we would like a slow cook and I don't have an issue with starting him in the middle of the night), how long, etc.?

    I appreciate any advice.

    Thanks, Kevin
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  2. Kevin

    That is a monster bird. I have no idea about the time. I would smoke between 250° and 275° If you want more smoke back off on the temp a little. I can't beleive your not happy with your AMNPS. What pellets are you using?

    Happy smoken.

  3. kidd52

    kidd52 Newbie

    Hi David,

    I guess that is worded wrong. We just placed the order today for the AMNPS so we haven't had a chance to use it yet. It's the Masterbuilt smoker itself that we are not happy with.

    Thank you for the response.

  4. Kevin

    I have the MES40 and use a AMNPS. I love it. Which Masterbuilt do you have? Why are you unhappy with it?

    Happy smoken.

  5. jdawg

    jdawg Fire Starter

    I smoke poultry at 225F. My favorite wood for poultry is Alder. I really like the flavor I end up with. Right now I have a chicken in the smoker but have done Turkey the same way and been very happy with the results.
  6. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Go as possibly hot as that watt burner will let you.
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Cut up the parts aren't going to rake as long as a half or a whole bird. You're gonna need to watch each piece. I would probably leave the half intact, especially if you are looking for a slow smoke. As pieces you are going to have stuff finishing at all different times. Like Keith said if it were me I'd crank that MES up as high as it goes to get you through the 40-140 in four hours rule. I've found that slow smoking birds really has no advantage over hot smoking them. I run my smoker at 325 for birds. Always get a smokey bird, crispy skin and nice moist meat. Good luck and posts some photos of your mega bird smoke!
  8. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Before IT was popular we estimated Turkeys at 25 to 30 mins /pound. That's with an initial 275 degree smoker start up for 30 to 45 mins. and then dropping to about 250. The IT back then though was 185, which today we all know is a bit excessive.  Now with IT, you are looking for a 165 breast IT. Google "Old Smokey.com /manual" Its a bit of help on the old ways.

    But that would mean a 20lb bird would be an 8 to 10 hours smoke and that does seem a lot. But we were using a water pan back in those days also.

    Here is a chart that might give you some help (right click/open separate tab)

    Sorry that is the best I can offer. Hope it helps
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013