Smoking a turkey this weekend!

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by countryboy19, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. countryboy19

    countryboy19 Smoke Blower

    It's a BIG one, at 23.5 lbs so I definitely plan to spatchcock it. I read that a higher temp should be used for a turkey just to get it through the danger zone quickly. But I also plan to do a couple butts as well and don't want to over-do it on them. If I'm spatchcocking the bird, is there a good "middle-of-the-road" temperature I can cook at? Maybe start things off at 260-270 and once the bird is through the danger zone turn the heat down a little? Or would 225-250 be acceptable with a spatch-cocked bird?
  2. dutch

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

    CountryBoy19, You'll be fine doing the bird at 225°-250° and pork butt are very forgiving and can take the slightly higher temps. You'll just end up with rubbery skin on the turkey. You can also fire up your grill and pop that bird in thethe grill to crisp up the skin.
  3. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Listen to Dutch, he is the man!
  4. countryboy19

    countryboy19 Smoke Blower

    Sounds good, thanks for the advice.

    I may up the temp a little bit towards the end to crisp the turkey up, and mop the butts to keep them moist.

    Regarding spatch-cocked turkery, I've never done one before. I'm pretty sure I can actually handle spatch-cocking it, but what about cooking it? Skin-side up or down? Should I flip it over part way through cooking? [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the help guys!

    Unfortunately I don't have a grill to pop it onto. I just graduated college, still paying for my fiance's college, bought a house etc and I am without a lot of the things a good homeowner should have. I'm slowly acquiring them, but a grill just isn't in the budget yet (maybe later this summer). I plan to use my UDS for grilling until then. I think I can raise the charcoal basket up and use it like a grill so I haven't been too worried about getting a grill. Unfortunately, it'll be tough to use it as a grill, and a smoker to finish the butts off at the same time. Either way, rubbery skin isn't terrible because I plan to shred the turkey and eat it for lunch at work next week so it would get rubbery anyways.
  5. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Once you spatchcock it you can just leave it with the cavity side down and it will smoke just fine. I often do butts with a smoker temp of around 250 and know some people that do them closer to 275 as Dutch says they are forgiving.
  6. countryboy19

    countryboy19 Smoke Blower

    Ok, 275 = less time on the butts, I think I'll give 275 a try since I have some pretty big butts this time (about 8 lb each).
  7. dutch

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

    CountryBoy- Check out this link to see how to spatchcock poultry. The link shows them doing a chicken but the technique is the same for a turkey. Not hard to do at all.
  8. danielh

    danielh Meat Mopper

    I'd personally kick it up around 300 for the first 3 hours or so and then start working my way down. 300 for a few hours aint going to hurt those butts, and it will help get the turkey up to temp. I dont know what you cook on, but if there are any hot spots, you may be able to use them to your advantage in this situation.
  9. countryboy19

    countryboy19 Smoke Blower

    I know how to spatchcock the bird, just wasn't sure on cooking/smoking it. I didn't know which side should go down and if I should flip it or not. I think have it all cleared up now.

    Gonna try for a higher temp to get it through the danger zone quicker but still not kill my butts. Wish me luck!
  10. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm with Dutch and Jerry (pineywoods) on this one. Theses two are that good too.
  11. countryboy19

    countryboy19 Smoke Blower

    Well, I spatch-cocked the bird last night. I didn't have any good, heavy knives or shears that I was willing to sacrifice on bone. So I did the only thing a reasonable man would do, I went and got my hatchet. [​IMG]

    I used my Gerber Back Paxe (8" hatchet) to chop back-bone out. Or course I washed the hatchet really well before and after using it. It did a remarkable job of cutting bone and partially frozen turkey (I figure Sunday night to Wednesday night would be long enough for it to thaw out but I guess it wasn't).

    Anyways, got it laid out and rubbed down with a poultry rub I got from here. I was planning to smoke it after work today/through the night, but I don't think that's going to happen because it's raining here and it doesn't look like it's going to quit soon. Although I'm seriously considering doing it on my front porch out of the rain.

    Tomorrow is my day off, and unless AT&T got my internet self-install package to me today I won't have any internet all weekend. Comcast recently upped the rate on my internet and their customer loyalty department didn't seem to be cooperative. All they were willing to offer me was their economy internet at the standard price, which was still $10/month more than my AT&T will be for their high-end internet package. Plus AT&T is giving me a free modem and $100 for switching from a competitor. Can't beat that. And Comcast CS SUCKS; AT&T really made me feel "loved" on the phone.

    Wish me luck. If all goes well I'll update as things progress; otherwise I'll just update Monday.
  12. northern greenhorn

    northern greenhorn Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    We just bought a ham, and you got a free turkey breast with it, so I look at it like I have 2 new things to smoke
  13. countryboy19

    countryboy19 Smoke Blower

    Internet is working and the turkey is on. Once I get the temp settled out I'm going to hit the sack for a couple hours sleep and I'll get up periodically throughout the night to check on it. I'll catch everybody in the morning!

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