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Smoking Turkey

TulsaMurphTulsaMurph Posts: 131
edited November 2011 in EggHead Forum
I have used Mad Max's turkey method for a few years with great success, but want to try my hand at smoking a turkey this year.  Aside from the usual rules of indirect cooking and smoking meats (I have done several briskets and pork butts), is there anything special to consider with a turkey?  To brine or not to brine is one that comes to mind, although it seems that brining may not be necessary, just an added benefit from what I have seen.

I plan to smoke the bird (probably 16 pounds or so) indirect at about 250 dome temp, or a little below, until the breast meat is 160 - 170.  What is the best wood to use for a nice, smoky flavor?

Thanks in advance for you tips!


  • Never smoked a turkey but I know it is popular in the US and central Europe. I bought a smoked turkey leg and used it for chili once. I know you can't go over 24.999 lbs or it will be in the danger zone too long


    Caledon, ON


  • Perhaps an hour of smoke, then increase the temperature?  We get smoked turkey at a local barbecue restaurant that is really good, that is what I am thinking of trying to reproduce.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    you sure as heck can smoke at 250.  i wouldn't want that much smoke, but cooking it is fine.

    try a farm fresh bird.  the supermarket ones have no flavor.

    but a good fresh local bird, fed well, sure will.

    man, i am sick of the declarations that attempt to shut down all thinking on a subject.  beware: usually that kinda stuff comes from the least experienced folks who are trying to look experienced. hahaha
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,020
    get the breast to 165, there isnt much carryover cooking low and slow. be also aware that the meat near the bone is sometimes pink, its not from the smoke its from a younger bird and prefrozen ones there is even more pink near the bone, if you have a good thermometer trust it. i use pecan pellets, a small handfull a couple times during the cook and bounce then off a spatula under the direct setup during the cook. the skin gets tossed as it turns to rubber. low and slow turkeys are moist, no brining needed
  • Thanks to all!  This bird will be the one for leftovers at my house, not the big family dinner, so I have some creative license.  

    Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Eggheads!
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