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Turkey Low & Slow??

I've been cooking turkeys on charcoal grills and a Weber Smokey Mountain as long as I can remember cooking turkeys.  I recently was talking ot my neighbor and he swears by cooking them at 240F max and smoking them.  I've always cooked around 350 (when I had a thermometer).

All the forums and threads, and BGE / Weber Bullet sites seem to recommend 350F.  Does anyone smoke their turkey like traditional barbecue?

Why or why not?

Comments

  • DonWWDonWW Posts: 258
    I did on my offset smoker.  Kept it at about 250, and it took forever.   I have not with the Egg.  But, when I get the chance (sadly not this Thanksgiving) will increase the temp and mix some wood into the lump. 
    XL BGE.  Dallas, Texas.
  • Not much help, but I've never found a smoke I liked better than just using a neutral lump. Just let the charcoal speak for itself. We like a sage based rub, indirect at 300-325, no stuffing (because it is spatchcocked). 

    Never cooked it lower, but don't see why you couldn't. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 901
    The first three years I made turkey on the grill I did it indirectly at 325-350 on my 6 burner gas grill using apple wood chips in the smoker drawer. When I got my offset horizontal barrel smoker I wanted to make a smoked turkey at 225. I'd heard that a turkey smoked at that temperature would be incredibly moist, but would have rubbery skin. I did a cook off in October of that year where on two consecutive weekends I did one of each. One on the gas grill at 350 degrees with a hint of smoke which is the best I could do with the smoker drawer and wood chips. One on the smoker at 225 with Apple wood chunks. All of my Thanksgiving guests to be picked the low and slow smoked version. It was moister and had more smoke flavor. 

    This is what I have been making for the last 7 years. But I always wanted to try a smoke roasted bird where it could be cooked at 325 on a grill that could use wood chunks to make more smoke - like say a BGE. I'm looking forward to this years bird. 

    As long as you don't have people who crave crispy skin, no reason you couldn't do it low and slow.

    Jim

  • Skiddy-
    How does the spachcock indirect compared to spach direct? I have only done chicks direct.
  • Direct is better in my opinion, as long as you can get it raised in the dome so it doesn't burn. If you can't, or are likely to get caught up with other activities, indirect is more forgiving.



    "Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage."

  • What kind of charcoal do you use?  I have Cowboy Charcoal and it has a strong flavor.  I bought BGE charcoal.  Does that add a lot of smoke flavor or not?

  • IsCornell said:
    What kind of charcoal do you use?  I have Cowboy Charcoal and it has a strong flavor.  I bought BGE charcoal.  Does that add a lot of smoke flavor or not?

    I prefer Wicked Good, BGE or Royal Oak.  I've found that if you let it burn a while, the acrid flavor in any of them dissipates once you get the vents adjusted.  If I have something that tends to pick up that flavor, I'll cook it last (grilled onions come to mind).  

    For anything less than 350F, after 15-20 min open, then 15-20 min dome closed and vents adusted, the charcoal smoke and flavor diminish.

    Your mileage may vary and others certainly may have opinions.  This is just what I've noticed over the years cooking over charcoal (lump and Kingsoford, Weber grill/smoker and my new BGE
    :D)
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,244
    for thanks giving i always do a smoke roasted bird at 325 but have probably cooked a hundred birds at 220 in a water smoker thru the years. the texture is different, almost a little gummy with a low and slow bird but its still good and more moist than roasted. timing is the issue, with the smoked low and slow i setup before sunrise and cook all day while im out fishing, if i get back at nightfall sometimes i have to raise the heat to get it done. i prefer the roasted but like the convenience at times of the low and slow. where the roasted bird makes a great sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce, the low and slow makes a better turkey salad sandwich
  • I think that HomebrewTim's comment may have been part of my problem.  I added more charcoal just before putting the meat on, so it may not have had a chance to burn off all of the smoke flavor. I also appreciate the advice from Fishlessman.  How long do you cook it at 325?  I know to use the temperature as the real guide, but am planning on 11 mins a pound.  It seems like that is a good compromise.  I was also going to put it on the grill with the plate setter and a drip pan below.  Sound about right?  Thanks for the advice guys.  Happy Thanksgiving!

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,244
    when ive done turkeys on a grate over a pan at 325 they cook in about 12 minutes per pound, if cooked at 325 in a roasting pan its more like 15 minutes per pound. smalle birds 16 and under seem to cook a little faster than bigger birds per pound as well so its a rough guide at best
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 12,423
    What's the indirect, 250 hr/lb average?
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • IsCornell said:
    I think that HomebrewTim's comment may have been part of my problem.  I added more charcoal just before putting the meat on, so it may not have had a chance to burn off all of the smoke flavor. I also appreciate the advice from Fishlessman.  How long do you cook it at 325?  I know to use the temperature as the real guide, but am planning on 11 mins a pound.  It seems like that is a good compromise.  I was also going to put it on the grill with the plate setter and a drip pan below.  Sound about right?  Thanks for the advice guys.  Happy Thanksgiving!

    11 min a pound was on the money everytime I ever cooked a turkey on either my Weber Kettle or my Weber Smokey Moutain.  It's funny, I've added lump to my smoker many times and not picked up any acrid charcoal flavor.  Only when I've been at high heat and lots of airflow does it seem to smoke.  Plus I do not think I pick it up in beef or pork as much.
  • NautiRogueNautiRogue Posts: 99
    edited November 2012

    This was my first time for cooking a turkey on a grill, but it definitely won't be my last!

    I brined the 15 pound, fresh, free-range bird for 36 hours with the aromatics (coarsely chopped orange, apple, celery, carrot, garlic, and fresh herbs).  I used Royal Oak lump with 6 big chunks of beechnut wood.  With the dome at 225 to 250, I smoked it in a V-rack over a pan filled with chicken broth for 13 hours.

    OMG!  I've never even had smoked turkey before, but this was so flavorful and moist!  Excellent stuff.  I probably committed a big faux pas by taking some to my in-laws' for Thanksgiving because my mother in law's turkey couldn't hold a candle to the BGE smoked bird!

     

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  • Put a 13 lb fresh butterball on about midnight and pulled at 180 in thigh at 9:30. Used apple chunks. No brine. Skin was not crisp but tasted fine. When the cooler was opened and the FTC turkey removed there was no doubt this was a smoked bird. Breast was somewhat moist-more so than oven roast. Dark meat fell off bone while trying to cut.
    A good pork roast or a butt would have been better, but somebody's ancestors didn't have an egg for low and slow.
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