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Worried about the 20 pound turkey...

butcherjuj

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Joined May 2, 2016
I've only used my new WSM 22 inch a few times, and I'm going for it with the turkey.  I didn't study until AFTER I bought and thawed my 20 pound bird.  So it's getting brined overnight. 

I've read about Spatchcocking, but I also see folks saying that if the smoker is at 350, you don't have to worry so much about the "danger zone."  However, I'm not sure that I can get it that hot?  Seems like I've used it in the 250 range most of the time.  Of course, I don't have time to test it now that I find out it could be an issue. 

I'm willing to try the Spatchcock but I'm trying to figure out if I don't have to.

Where I live, we're expecting the temperature to be 65 degrees at the coldest time I'm likely to fire it up, mid 70's later. 

Next time, I'll get two ten-pounders.

Anyone with a WSM got an pointers about whether I can get it up that high, and keep it steady?  I've got plenty of charcoal.

John
 
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noboundaries

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Yes.  Load the cold charcoal and wood in the fire ring.  You can easily put a full load in there.  Then fire up a FULL chimney of charcoal.  Let it get white ash all they way to the top.  Dump that in the center of your loaded fire ring and spread it over the top of the cold coals.  DON'T reassemble your WSM for about 15-20 minutes.  Put it together without water in the water pan and let it come up to 350F, all vents full open top and bottom. 

I suggest dry smoking, but if you want to add water to the water pan, add no more than 2-3 quarts of water, the less the better.  That way you'll get more smoke flavor at the beginning and when it evaporates you'll get a nice dry finish for a crispy skin.  Be VERY careful because when you add the water because it will flash to steam and can burn the heck out of you.  Then add the turkey.  The temp will drop initially, but will climb back up. 

If you need the temp to climb at any time, just offset the lid a little.  It will keep the heat in and allow more air to flow into the bottom vents to stoke the fire.      
 
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chef jimmyj

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Don't have that smoker but 325-350 is no issue with guys I have talked to. Just a bigger fire with air as needed. No water in the pan and NO STUFFING in the Bird. At 325+ a whole bird up to 25 pounds will have no issue getting done at about 15 minutes per pound. At these temps, the WSM is no different than your Oven but with smoke. Spatchcocking will trim the time down by an hour or so...JJ
 

butcherjuj

Newbie
10
11
Joined May 2, 2016
Thanks for the quick reply

"Full Load," like fill the ring up to the top with coal (and some wood)?  Then put the chimney load on top of that?
 
 

butcherjuj

Newbie
10
11
Joined May 2, 2016
Thanks, guys!

Anyone else with pointers, I'm all ears.  I've already got my brining and injecting recipes ready to go, thermometers at the ready.

Hopefully I'll be sharing some pictures tomorrow!
 
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