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Some final 1st turkey questions


Smoke Blower
Joined Nov 14, 2010
So I am ready, have my minimally processed 12.5 lb fresh turkey, will be using Tips brine, using cherry wood.   I have a longhorn smoker with an offset firebox, and was planning to put the turkey in a disposable foil pan while smoking vs. putting it directly on the grate.  Just wanted to make sure that this was proper way to do it.    Thanks for all the useful info on this site!


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 21, 2007
I put mine directly on the rack when using my GOSM, but I don't see any harm in using the pan that you mentioned. I'm not sure if there is a improper way to do it. You can use high heat for a more crispy skin, just be sure and use a meat probe to check internal temp, it should be close to 165°-170° before foiling and storing it in a cooler.. Sounds like you're ready to smoke. It's all good my friend.


Rest in peace. Lost but not forgotten!!
Staff member
OTBS Member
Joined Feb 3, 2009
A pan works good but you need a rack in the pan to keep the bird up out of all the juices. If not the part that is in the juioce will be rubbery and imo nasty.


Smoke Blower
Joined Nov 14, 2010
Thanks, that is a great point - I will probably uses a roasting rack


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Mar 12, 2009

I too say that you should put the bird right in the grates. You can use a foil pan but like Bob said you don't want it to sit in it's own juices. I would think that it would be all  soggy and mushy too. Now I have always smoked mine right in the grates.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Mar 22, 2009
If you do use the pan, turn the bird over every hour or so and it will be juicy but not soggy.


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 25, 2007
Try placing the bird on a can inside the pan, add about 2 cups water and some gravy spices

Or place it over a pan cover the pan with foil and poke holes in the foil for a less smokey gravy.

Pin the wings to the breast

Start the smoker at around 300 degrees and slowly bring it down to 250 over the course of an hour. when you are comfortable that you will clear the danger zone, bump the temp down to around 230 - 240

Foil the wings when they start getting dark.

Foil the breast at 15 degrees.

This was a 12.4 lb bird and took almost 34 minutes per/lb at 230 - 240°F, I was at exactly 4 hours into the cook when I reached 140°F, next cook I will maintain 250- 260°F until it is out of the "danger zone", this was too close for comfort.

 Spices used for the slather and Gravy

 Fresh Sage, smoked garlic, green onions, white onion, applesauce and various spices.  Bird ready to go, can half full with Killians and spices as pictured with a large sprig of fresh sage and smoked garlic.

 Cherry wood smoke

 Foiled Wings, starting to get dark  Foiled breast when thigh reached 150°F

 Removed all foil at 155°F and brushed with honeyPulled when thigh reached 160°F  Rested, wrapped in foil and towels for 30 minutes and ready to carve.
  • When carving the turkey if it appears pink Don't panic, this is normal. The smoking process causes a chemical change in turkey that causes it to turn pink. Just make sure the lowest reading throughout the turkey reads 165°F.
  • This was a 12.4 lb bird and took almost 34 minutes per/lb at 230 - 240°F, I was at exactly 4 hours into the cook when I reached 140°F, next cook I will maintain 250- 260°F until it is out of the "danger zone", this was too close for comfort.
  • Keep the turkey refrigerated or in iced brine until ready to cook, do not bring up to room temperature before smoking.
  • Watch temps closely, the bird needs to be above 140°F in under 4 hours, bump up the temps until you are above the "Danger Zone".
  • The turkey turned out great, It had good flavor and was moist throughout, the dark meat was exceptional.
  • Compared to an Oven Roasted turkey and my "Keg Roasted Turkey" the smoked turkey wins over the Oven Roasted but not the Keg Roasted turkey, but in all fairness the turkey was 11 months old and was an enhanced bird so I did not have the option of brining. I will follow this up with a fresh bird next time. However the skin was much better on the smoked turkey than the Keg Roasted Turkey,
  • The gravy was good but needs work, I think next time I will saute or brown some of the ingredients before adding to the drip pan and use fresh diced apples in place of apple sauce. The sauce was much better the next day, after removing the grease.
  • Many will say you can not get a crisp skin smoking with low heat, I had no problem getting a crispy skin and this bird was smoked sitting in liquids.

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