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Smoking Turkey in WSM

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by seth99, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. seth99

    seth99 Newbie


    I plan on smoking the Thanksgiving turkey this year. I will be cooking for 17 people so I need a lot of bird. My plan was to smoke two 13 lb birds in my 18.5" WSM. Has anyone done two in the WSM at the same time? If not, do you think it will work? How much cooking time difference do you think it will be with 1 vs 2 birds?

    I plan on doing a test smoke this weekend of just 1 bird, but some advice on the above questions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. I don't think you'll find much difference at all. I've not done two turkeys simultaneously, but I have done two butts which resulted in very little additional time.

    Here's last year's turkey:

    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    You may see a larger temp dip when you put the birds on, and a bit longer recovery time. But your overall cook time shouldn't vary much. Best to have two therms, one for each bird that way your not having to open the smoker up to check. Don't be surprised if one bird gets done sooner than the other.
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I highly recomend two things. When you do your two turkeys, get the biggest two that will fit on the smoker. Trust me there will be fights over any leftovers and you'll still want a smoked turkey gumbo or soup too! Don't worry about figuring pounds per person...

    Second, Thanksgiving your going to want a presentation bird, I can't recommend enough the use of "Kitchen Bouquet" as a rub before any spiced are put on the outside. It has NO taste you will notice on the bird. It will give you the most beautiful mohogany color on your bird. Kitchen Bouquet is available nearly anywhere as a browning and seasoning sauce. Below is a bird I did with it.

    Yes its cheating, yes its easy, My Pop always used it and taught to me as the "Family secret".  Try it on your test bird.

    I'll leave the brining/injecting/rubing/herbs and spices for everyone to discuss. Everyone has their own favorite way.

    BTW I see its your first post, you might run by the ROLL CALL section in the FORUMS so you can get a proper introduction by all the Guru's who will help you get started right here so as to insure your continued enjoyment of the site. I promise its doesn't hurt..... much.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  5. ravenclan

    ravenclan Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    and he is so right !!!! I have done three in my electric smoker at the same time ,  smallest on the top rack ,  largest on the bottom and as before smoker up to temp then the birs went in temp went down and it took about 45 minutes to get back to temp , but my cook time was a little longer but only by 30 minutes not real bad.

    good luck with the test !

    and take some pics so we know how it came out !
  6. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Best bird you will ever eat....good thinking to do a test run....allow plenty of time for them to get done & don't ruin YOUR Thanksgiving by being under the gun.....have it all organized....on paper...LOL......Willie
  7. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    This is all great advice! I plan on cooking a turkey in the smoker this year (maybe just a breast) and I like the kitchen bouquet tip! The color on that bird of yours is amazing!
    Good stuff , brother. Thanks.
  8. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Can ya see those apricots pearring out the chest cavity? All those juices and the bird still waiting to be sliced? That turkey had been in the freezer for 2 years awaiting its debut! LOL
  9. I tried a whole turkey once, it turned out dry.  I've done around a dozen turkey breasts and never had a dry one.  I would make sure to brine it overnight.
  10. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

     The WSM does fine with two birds, I highly suggest you look up Tip's Slaughterhouse Brine and use it on both birds. Brine them overnight, pat them dry, then rub the skin and under the skin with a mixture of butter and seasonings. DON'T stuff the birds! Stuffing keeps them in the danger zone to long - making everybody sick is not a good Thanksgiving. Don't worry about basting the lower bird, it will get all the drippings from the upper one, only baste the upper one if you are opening the smoker for some other reason.

    You will definately be fighting for any left overs, they are really really good!