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smoking a turkey


Joined Feb 2, 2013
i wrapp everything on my smoker like pork .....but should i wrapp my turkey after i get the color i want most of what i see nobody wraps there turkey......and i have a my own rib rub will it work or should i use a poultry rub


Master of the Pit
Joined May 12, 2013
Hello amigo.  I don't wrap anything before resting unless I am trying to get "fall of the bone" ribs.  Wrap it if you wish.  The skin will not be crisp.  The rub would be a personal choice.  Without knowing what's in the rib rub it is hard to advise.  If there a strong flavours in it, it may overpower the turkey.  If you like the rub, give it a try on turkey.  So long as food safety is observed, there is no WRONG way.  Experiment and find what you and your family like and stick with it.  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!



Fire Starter
Joined Oct 5, 2013
Smoked my first turkey yesterday.  I did not use my normal paprika/garlic/salt based rub that I use on most everything else, but instead just coated it with olive oil, sprinkled bird with salt, thyme (didn't have poultry seasoning), and garlic and it came out great.  Don't think one of my red rubs would have been nearly as good on turkey.  Besides the smell was delightful.  

My MES 40's meat thermometer worked pretty well, but I didn't have bird stuffed or tied and legs sagged away from body when it got close to being done.  That must have exposed the sensor because temp indication went up rapidly and I ended up pulling it just a bit early when the temp indicated 175.  Didn't want it to be over done.  Still turned out great but there was a bit of pinkness in the deepest recesses of some large joints that I would not have anticipated for a bird cooked to 175. I did not "tent" my bird or wrap it but did use water in the "drip" pan. The bird was in its own disposable pan so sat in its own drippings.  I cooked this in the top of my MES 40 with 10# of chicken legs and thighs on the two shelves below. (Didn't want them dripping their red rub on the turkey).  Removed them when done and continued cooking the turkey until it was finished as well. 

Carved it this morning and of course had to sample a bit.  Delightful!  Then I took the carcass and drippings and turned them into turkey soup.  That was great with a super smoked flavor. Rest of the meat was turned into thin slices for sandwiches for use over the next week and much was frozen into small convenient packages. Some is going to deer camp tomorrow and will make enjoyable fare while sitting for extended periods of time on the deer stand.  I will be eagerly looking for the turkey sales at local stores over the next six weeks.
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RIP. Gone but never forgotten.
OTBS Member
Joined Apr 4, 2013
If iots your first turkey, I suggest doing it nekkid. Salt and pepper, maybe some "Kitchen Bouquet", and either a fruit or veggie in the cavity. That way you are confortable with cooking it and you have a good base line to just with in the future.

Heres my last turkey.


I suggest you skip the injections, marinades, brines, and every other modifer to the smoke.

Use a light smoke, thats basically nearly any wood other than hickory, mesquite, and oak. If you are not used to them chances are you'll over smoke the meat.

If I can be of any help or you need a question answered I'll gladly try to help.

And to answer your question, no there is no need to wrap a turkey. Any rub is fine, I use salt and peppper mostly occassionally I add some tony's.

If you are having a big group, I'd recommend you look at two 13 to 15 pound turkeys instead of one monstrosity at 20+ pounds. Those are for the Norman Rockwell pictures.

Good luck, don't stress, and remember to enjoy the smoke.
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