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Smoking two 14lb Turkeys in Brinkmans Smokin Pit

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by pepperbelly, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. pepperbelly

    pepperbelly Newbie

    My first time smoking turkeys.  We are smoking two turkeys tomorrow in my Brinkmans Smokin Pit and had a few questions.

    1) What temp should I be cooking at?  I've read everything between 225 to 325 (which sounds high to me). 

    2) With cooking two birds together should I rotate them closer/further away from the fire box?  And any additional time that should be added.

    3) The forcast is calling for temps around 30 during the day, what if any effect will this have on the cooking time?

    Any suggestions will be helpful.

  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    14lbr? I'm assuming that you have not done any mods to your SNP (judging by your mention of rotating the birds) as far as baffle plates, truning plates, extending the vent stack to grate level, just to name a few?

    This is awfully short notice to get you running down the straight and narrow.

    First, lets assume that your birds have been injected as most are, and if they have the pop-up temp indicator, they can't be treated as a whole muscle meat. So, we must follow the guidelines for puncured meats and get them through the 40-140* internal temp range in 4 hours or less to be considered safe eating.

    Have you considered splitting them in half? It's much easier to get to safe temps when the size of the meat is half of what you started with.

    Also, the cold weather will effect smoking times if you can't hold high enough temps to get the job done. Charcoal horizontal smokers are inherintly a PITA to maintain high temps in cold weather, and for birds of that size, I would recommend the 275* range, with splitting them, 300* + if left whole.

    Actual grate temps need to be monitored with a probe, preferably.

    Tells us more about your experience, smoker modifications, etc. I have no idea where to focus first without knowing more info. Tons to know about big birds if you want it to be safe.

    Check this thread out...it's explains how I got a 19.5lbr smoked up for turkey day:


    Give that a once over and come on back and let us know if there's anything you don't understand about that smoke (the how's and why's, in specific).

  3. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to SMF glad you joined us.

    Some people smoke poultry at 225 and you will get good smoke flavor but the skin will more than likely come out kinda rubbery. Some people will smoke them at 275-325 to get a crisper skin.

    As far as whether to move or rotate them to me that would depend on the smoker and if it holds even temps from end to end if not and I wanted them to finish at about the same time I would swap where they sit on the grate to try to keep them closer to the same temps.

    With the cold weather you may have to use more fuel to maintain the temps but if your not battling winds it should just be a matter of maybe having to add more fuel at some point during the smoke