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Turkey season is upon us and I need me some help!!!


Joined May 4, 2013
Poultry Smokers,

I have a 13 gallon horizontal tube style smoker with a charcoal box attached to the side, I also have, and honestly prefer the 55 gallon horizontal drum I turned into a bbq that I want smoke things in from now on (I have yet to use it as a smoker but the potential is HUGE) because it is bigger and the smaller one won't fit a turkey in it, but the big one has no attached side box. I want to smoke a turkey this year but have ABSOLUTELY no idea wth I am doing as far as birds go. I have done hams for Christmas the past few years and it always turns out great, so I got the gist. Got this awesome drum to play with and the wife want's a smoked bird now, what would you guys suggest I can do with it? Should I take the small box off the smaller smoker and attach it to the bigger one, or do you think I have enough room in the drum for this (turkey on one side and coal on the other)? Also those of you that have done turkey's before, what kinds of recipes have you used to turn out a good, juicy bird? I am looking at a 16-18 lb bird. PLEASE HELP!! lol


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Oct 14, 2007
Hey jfloate.  If you check in the uds section of smoker builds, you will find a ton of information on how to turn a 55 gallon drum into a smoker.  Depending on how you do it, you will not need a side fire box.  You can make your own charcoal basket for a couple of bucks and it sits in the bottom of the drum.  Here is a link to one I recently made.


Also, here is a link to a cranberry brined turkey that was put out as a newsletter a few years ago.  I made this last year and it was excellent.


I will be cooking our turkey in the uds (55 gallon drum) this year. 


Thread starter
Joined May 4, 2013
Thanks for the good info I'll give it a shot and post some pics of the results! I appreciate your help.


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Jul 16, 2008
Just as a fun thing to do is to burn down some wood to coals(embers) , then add to one side of the barrel  or you could spread a bit of Embers across the bottom of the Smoker and use a probe to keep the heat as high as you need to ,  to get a good skin.

Burn the wood in a contained container such as an old Weber or fire pit.

Just and idea, let us know how you did it...but use wood- charcoal taste bad to me.


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