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Smoking turkey


Joined Sep 5, 2015
New to smoking and trying a turkey today. After 1 hr at 225 it looked like this so finishing in the oven. Any ideas why it looks so burnt so quickly? Is there such a thing as too much smoke?


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Nov 20, 2014
Your questions are hard to answer with out more information. There is lots of help on this forum if all the facts are known. Certainly looks dark for being smoked at 225 for 1 hour.

Need more info: what type of smoker you are using, type of wood, charcoal?  Have you checked the accuracy of your temp gauge. What preparation and rub used on the turkey.


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 18, 2013
I agree with twoalpha, we'd all be happy to help but much more info needed ! The more detailed ya can be, the more we can help !


Smoking Fanatic
Joined May 23, 2009
Looks like you could have had a dirty smoke. Need addition info. Is that a black greasy film?


Thread starter
Joined Sep 5, 2015
Masterbuilt gas smoker. It has oem chip tray that I put cast iron skillet on as oem burns the chips. You can see on the skillet that there is a black film so I agree that it is dirty smoke. Just not sure of why the smoke is becoming dirty


Fire Starter
Joined Jul 8, 2015
I'm not familiar with that smoker, but if everything is getting a black film I'd guess the exhaust isn't venting properly or your burner is gunked up.


Thread starter
Joined Sep 5, 2015
Vent is open all the way and only 3rd time using smoker....

Guess I need to break it down and look at the flame.

I'll let you all know what the issue is when I find it.

Thx again


Joined Nov 27, 2014
Hi, it looks like the burner has a web or some type of similar obstruction, I had a similar problem with my smoker.  You need to snake it out and you may have to take the burner out to do it.  Good Luck


Meat Mopper
Joined Feb 11, 2015
A few questions, what kind of wood, did you soak the wood, how much wood did  you use,and what color & how much smoke did you have?


Joined May 6, 2013
I've been smoking meat for just over 3 years.  I bought a restaurant in 2012 with a behemoth of a smoker out back.  This thing is monstrous and it intimidates me every time I smoke.  Most of the research I do is for small smokers so I just have to do the best I can to translate the info to my smoker.  I learn something every time I do it.  Something I've learned is that no matter how bad the meat looks on the outside, it's probably gonna taste pretty good unless you've just burned it to a crisp by cooking too high.  My smoker uses real wood and real fire and it's very hard to regulate.  It's an end fire box so that sometimes makes my meat not look smoky enough.  I have to move things around inside the smoker but my stuff usually turns out well.  The only complaints I've had were with my first batch of ribs and I used Billbo's rub on those.  I love Billbo's rub but it's not good for ribs - in my opinion.  I've changed recipes, and they are a fav at my restaurant.

I smoked 9 turkeys and 8 Boston Butts this past Saturday night 11/21-22.  Butts are easy.  I use Billbo's rub 2 days  before, smoke in alum. pans. fat down.  Very easy.  I smoke for 8 hours around 225 - 250 F.  If the internal temp is 180 or above at 8 hours and it always is, I throw on 3 - 4 hickory logs and clamp down my smoker so it's not getting any air.  It'd old so there is just enough air that seeps in to make it burn very low and slow the rest of the night.  I take butts out around 6 - 7 am the next morning.

I rubbed my 12 - 14 lb turkeys first in Lawry's seasoned salt.  Slather with land o lakes sea salt & olive oil butter (melted). I've got an all purpose poultry seasoning that I found at Sam's club in the big shaker.  Shake that on last.  I stuff a whole onion and 3-4 celery sticks in the cavity.  I put mine on a thin short disposable aluminum pan.  2 birds per pan.  That was a mistake.  I had to move 17 chunks of meat around inside my smoker and the pans are not sturdy enough for moving around on this old rough iron grate smoker.  I lost a lot of drippings/juice  As the turkeys cooked, about every hour, I sprayed with a concoction I came up with:  chicken broth, olive oil and that same land o lakes butter.  Lightly spray.  You don't want to knock the seasoning off.  After the first hour, it's fairly well attached to the skin though so don't worry too much about it.  I cooked them for about 5 hours along with the butts.  So, they sat in the smoker all night with the butts and I was afraid they'd dry out.  The did not however.  Very nice smoky flavor.  I may try taking them out of the smoker instead of leaving them but those last few hours of slow smoldering is what I think sets my smoked meat apart from my competitors in this area who use more modern or gas smokers.

Everything turned out great this batch.  We served the turkeys at the restaurant on Sunday as the special.  Sold out commpletely.  We gave away 2 to customers which was fun.  The shoulder was pulled and we'll server that over the course of the next few weeks for our menu bbq sandwiches and our specials.

Oh, almost forgot. I used my Roman Pork Puller for the first time.  Much easier than pulling by hand and way less waste.

I love smoking meat and it's a vey rewarding hobby.  Keep smoking meat and you'll learn what works best.  Here are my birds.  Happy Smoking & Thanksgiving!



Smoke Blower
Joined Jun 16, 2014
I have a Camp Chef vault, very similar to your model. The guys above are right. That burner needs to be burning a clean flame other wise your get the dirty smoke. Also, make sure it wasnt a grease fire issue. On mine I have to make sure that the bottom of the unit around the burner hole doesnt get a buildup of drippings, etc. One day I noticed a brighter than nprmal glow from the bottom vents an discovered a small grease fire there that caused some nasty smoke.
good luck and keep smokin'

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