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Thanksgiving turkey


Joined Nov 23, 2016
Hello y'all, I'm going to smoke a 16 pound bird for good ole turkey day. I plan on smoking it whole. I will be using a 24-inch smoke vault propane smoker with cherry wood chips. I've read up on the danger zone. I would like recommendations on what temperature to smoke at, and a ballpark figure on how long it may take. I've seen temperatures of 240, 300, 375 excetera. All advice is appreciated, happy Thanksgiving everyone!!


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 7, 2013
Just running out the door so I'll make this quick.  Poultry works best for safety and crisp, bite through skin at a chamber temp about 300F.  325 to 350 is my sweet spot.  I often let it go much higher at the end of the smoke to ensure I get that nice, crispy skin. 

The bottom line, for safety, is the coolest part of the bird should be 165F internal temp.  Check the breast and the thigh. 

I did a 16.3 lb turkey recently where the chamber temp varied from 290F at the beginning, then stabilizing at 340F, with a finish of up to 405F for the last 45 minutes of the smoke.  It was done in 2 hrs 45 minutes, juicy, delicious, and crispy skin.  If you use 300 to 350F, you are looking at 3-4 hours on average for it to be done. 

gary s

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Jan 6, 2011
  Good morning and welcome to the forum, from a cool crisp day here in East Texas, and the best site on the web. Lots of great              people with tons of information on just about  everything.



Joined Nov 19, 2017
Hey everyone. I posted this in a new thread but its awaiting moderation before it goes public it says and i really need some help. Sorry for the double post.
i everyone. I am a novice smoker. I have a 20lb turkey that i brined over night in a 5 gallon bucket surrounded by ice and put ice in the brine.
530 am started preparing the turkey
6 am started smoking
It is now 10:52 am and the bird just hit 140 degrees. Smoking at 225 and then raised to 275 when i noticed the temp not getting out if the danger zone.

Is this turkey still okay to eat or do i need to toss it? Any help is appreciated.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jan 19, 2008
Do yer next one at 325. Poultry don't benefit from low an slow. Be a better skin that a way.

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