Temp for 1500w Element?

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Original poster
Dec 18, 2016
Ok trying to post again. So if this pops up twice sorry.

So I received a smoker from someone. It has a 1500w element. It has no temp control. Just on or off. What temp should I expect it to cook at? I'm new to smoking so don't want to mess up this turkey I'm going to smoke.

The smoker holds 50lbs. I'll be smoking a whole turkey approx 18lbs by itself. The smoker uses a chip & lava rock combo. Below is a link to the one I have.

Brinkman 810-7080-K Smoker

18lb turkey in an electric Gourmet that you've never smoked with before? I can't say it's a good idea, 'cuz I don't think it is. Depending on the weather, you might be lucky to get 220-230* out of it, and for a bird that big you need around 300*. Until you KNOW what temp it will run at you need to think about smoking smaller birds, like 5lb chickens. 18lb isn't recommended unless you can push well above the 275* mark...they take too long to cook. Minimum safe internal temperature for poultry as measure with a food thermometer in the thickest portions of meat is 165*...personally, I like to go closer to 170* (+).

For details on why see the FOOD SAFETY FORUM heading.

If I were in your situation and had to use that equipment, and had no prior experience with it, I would go get 2 whole chickens and do a trial run with those before attempting that 18 pound turkey.  This will give you some idea of the temps, how the chips will smoke, and how well that particular cooker (it's more of a cooker than a smoker) will actually perform in your area weather.  2 chickens are fairly inexpensive and you still get some good food assuming all goes well.  Also 2 chickens will cook fairly quickly due to their smaller mass.  Don't forget to test your poultry rub and you can also use a pan to catch the drippings for a trial run on gravy also.

That is about as basic a cooker/smoker as they make, but it will cook food. Make sure you watch the temps and meat closely as full on heat is that and once the meat gets past a certain point, it will cook quickly (unless you are in an area where the polar vortex has the air temps at -5 and 20mph winds, then it's a whole different story).
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