will be smoking my 42 pound homegrown turkey need some pointers maybe ideas

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by thecapps, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. [​IMG]

    I have raised some turkeys from poults (chicks) I will be processing and cooking two of them for thanksgiving.  I don't think this bird will lay down  in my smoker due to the size, so I think I will have to stand it up somehow.  I'm not sure what the dress weight will be but I am almost positive it will be over 25 lbs, maybe more around 30.  We haven't weighed the birds as they are now.  I'll try to jump on a scale with them tomorrow and get an idea.  Is there a rule of thumb as to so many minutes a pound? I saw the recipe for the brine which I will mix up and give a shot.   I will be using my homebuilt smoker, kingsford and oak.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You will have a very hard time getting a bird that big thru the danger zone in 4 hours if your smoker will not get into the 300-325 degree range. You may have to spatchcock it.
  3. I can do 300 to 325 with my smoker,  I just watched some spatchcock videos on youtube, never heard of it till now.  If I did it that way it might be a little easier to work with as far as the smoking process goes,  I'll consider that. 
  4. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I smoked a home grown turkey that I raised a couple of weeks ago that dressed out 17lbs. I started it at 275* and when it reached 140* at 4hrs and 15 min. I took it back down 225* for the rest of the time. I injected it with Cajun Butter and also rubbed it all over with it...The bird came out great...I just like them smoked whole...[​IMG]
  5. If you cannot hit the temps with your smoker how about foiling it up and using the kitchen oven to get it through the zone then unfoil and transfer to the smoker for a nice low and slow ride to the finish?

    You should still get plenty of smoky goodness that way and be safe on the temps as well.
  6. Thats another good option.  I just jumped on a scale with one of the toms, approximatly 50lbs as they are now,  what the dress weight will be I don't know.
  7. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would guess 30# Dressed, the Spatchcock idae will be your saving grace. Smoke @ 275* to 300*f until 165*f in the Thighs. Place a pna under her andcatch et drippings,include Onion,Carrot Celery,Potatoes and anything else you like in the drip pan for use as the gravy;if you like Giblets,cook them inside in Boiling wated(the smoke get acrid with organ pieces.).You can add them to the Veggies and make your gravy strain and add the giblets,danged good[​IMG].

    Have fun and...
  8. plj

    plj Meat Mopper

    50 lbs live weight, holy $#!*!

    I smoke 24-25 pounders every year, no problems. I do sort of a modified spatchcock - I split the breast in half but without breaking the skin, so that that huge chunk of breast is now 2 smaller pieces... but I still have what appears to be a whole bird at serving time. 

    I smoke it on a wire rack that is sort of like a beer-can chicken rack... hang on I think I can go get a pic...
  9. plj

    plj Meat Mopper

    Here's the pic:


    These were "cheapo" beer-can racks my wife picked up somewhere, came in a set, one for chickens one for turkey.  You just shove the rack up the birds.. ummm... cavity, and it then sit it on the grill/smoker with a can of beer if desired.

    The rack + the weight of the bird just naturally spreads those 2 big breasts apart so the temp can come up quicker.

    btw, those are some nice looking birds. We dont keep guineas anymore, they are a loud pooping pain in the butt. Ducks are a royal pain too. Chickens are good.  How were the turkeys, noisy? messy? do they harass the smaller birds?

  10. That might be just what I need to keep the bird upright so it will fit in the smoker. I have a vertical type smoker. As far as the raising of turkeys If you think guineas are a pooping mess you have nooooo idea. Turkeys eat a ton and crap a whole Lot more. We have a total of five three toms and two hens I was wanting to bring it down to one Tom and one hen, my wife wants to keep two hens and a Tom. We have chickens also twenty something. The guineas are loud when they get goin but doesn't bother us too much. The turkeys gobble back and forth all day I'll try to get a video of them up on here, I'm sure you'll hear the guineas too.
  11. kavey

    kavey Newbie

    Is there a reason for the four hours? Is it supposed to be cooked in under 4 hours or something? Im curious too as I will be smoking my first turkey for thanksgiving and dont have a clue what I am doing. I have deep fried and roasted them but never smoked.

    I was just planning on brining it for a day or so in my HUGE stock pot in some ice water and then smoking it around 300 degrees till it is done. Mine will also be 28-30 pounds.

  12. The first four hours is said to be the danger zone where harmful bacteria can rapidly grow if the meat you are smoking does not reach 140deg in the first four hours. From what I have read around here it pretty much goes for everything except if your doing a rare price of beef , then I guess you just write yourself one of those disclaimers you see at the bottom of a reasturaunt menu " eating raw or undercooked meats can be harmful to you health...." of corse if you live in California anything is bad for your health.... J/k, glad I live back in Virginia.
  13. Ok, so we processed the bird yesterday, I am amazed.  The bird dressed out at 42 LBS here are some pics.  Right now I have it in a couple 2x2 ziplock bags in my fridge, the bags wouldnt close.  I am going to do the Tip's Slaghterhouse brine, but I'm going to throw in some fresh cilantro, I just love cilantro.  I'm going to do some insulating mods to my smoker to make sure I keep a good solid temp while smoking.

  14. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

      oops, double post
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  15. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    HOLY COW!! 42LBS!!  Are sure they weren't eating chickens and guineas when you weren't lookin.

    This will be interesting, gonna watch this one.  Good luck.

  16. kielbasa kid

    kielbasa kid Smoke Blower

    I tried to raise 6, they were good size, Fed them @ 7 & checked them @11. Three were D.O.A.[​IMG][​IMG]
  17. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    I can hardly wait.  [​IMG]  I am on the edge of my seat.  More please!
  18. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Holy cow 42 lbs.!!!!
  19. working on the smoker mods.  I got a roll of this fiberglass exhuast wrap, its 12" wide 4 layers of fiberglass, the inside layer is foiled.  This will help out with the colder weather smokes too.  The smoke chamber is stainless steel.  Also put in a fiberglass door seal, I had a few leaks in the door, so that should take care of that.  I like the way it turned out, still a little more to go, ran out of rivets.


  20. austinl

    austinl Smoking Fanatic

    I think this "4 hour danger zone" has been taken a little out of context.  When you are holding food that is already cooked between 40-140 degrees for serving the bacteria multiplies well in this range and the 4 hour rule would apply but when you are cooking something you're taking it past that range and whatever bacteria multiplies when your food is in the 40-140 range will be killed when its fully cooked and should not have enough time to produce enough toxins to spoil your food in the time it is in that range as long as you are holding a good cooking temperature.  To put it simply if you are trying to cook a 30 pound turkey at 180F it may have enough time to spoil before it gets fully cooked but I have never had this problem with proper hot smoking temps of 220-300F no matter if it has a cavity in the middle of it, a bone, a "whole-muscle" cut or anything else.

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