TURKEY SMOKING TIPS
Yes, that’s right in this article I’m going to tell you how to cook, smoke or prepare that big bird we call a turkey. I have many ways to cook this big guy but I’m not going to go tell you all of them because.
I like certain ingredients, and so do you I’ll give you some ideas but in the end your taste is the ultimate goal.
First things first. If your turkey is fresh like they are here on the farm, then prep is very vital. freshness is not going to last on a fresh bird so the faster you get it prepped the better it will taste.
The first way i have is smoked traditionally it’s got the butter rub and the honey brown sugar coating. And the stuffing inside the bird all sewed up so all the good juices get soaked up.
The neck and other parts they get smoked as well on the side but aren’t in there the full time as the bird, for about 1 or so just to get some smoke flavor in them.
Then off to a pot for some stock. This traditional flavor is hickory that’s the very first of the pellets to roll off the shelves.
The turkeys I’m working here with are 21 to 25 lbs. and are fresh, they are smoked at 275 for the first 2 hrs. Then back down to 225 for the remaining time so 10 to 14.hrs. You’ll have to check your pellets often. If you have a larger hopper then a 20 lb then you’ll have more then enough.
A 10 lb. bag will only last about 3 hrs so have more ready for the long hrs. an oversized hopper might be of help here if this is going to be something you’re going to do long term smoke turkeys, or you could just go with wood chips or just hickory firewood.
Remember the equation 1 lb. of meat to 30 mins of smoking at 225 degrees, less if you’re going to cook at higher temps but remember it might not be as juicy as you would like and might just get it cooked on the outside. NEVER put frozen meat of any kind in smoker unless its thawed out.
how I smoke my turkeys
I have a 21 lb. turkey fresh not frozen washed with coarse salt and warm water. In a 5 gallon bucket or a pot big enough to be able to cover bird in a brine, (there’s many brines to choose from), but this isn’t going to be a brine but rather a marinade. Of brown sugar and apple cider, for 2 days rotating pot or bucket every couple of hrs or so to keep your brine or marinade moving I think is best. This should be covered, Placed in a cold dry area.
With a brined turkey theres many other ways to add flavor to this big bird for instance you could place turkey in a turkey pan yeah, the flimsy one, place the bird in a even level of Mr. Stubbs BBQ sauce original.i then rub this sauce all over bird even inside bird, here I just leave him empty but you could add fruit like apples , oranges, lemons all sliced up. I leave it till the smoker is up to temp 300.
I place a large cookie sheet pan under the flimsy one for sturdiness. My smoker has cherry and hickory wood pellets(for a brined turkey). For the marinated turkey theres apple andvhickory pellets. I took and placed 6 small chopped up apples and placed them inside the bird ,put bird in the flimsy pan and rubbed apple sauce all over ,then took course sugar and sprinkled on top. I let this bird smoke for about 1 hr at 275 , this sets the binder that is Mr. Stubbs BBQ sauce.or the applesauce and sugar.
I place it back in the smoker after I place on my rub or other seasonings ,the bbqed one got a poultry rub, the othere one got a smoky brown sugar rub laid on pretty thick both ways and placed back in the smoker. I’ll let them smoke for the remainder of their time 10 to 14 hrs. at 225. The inner temp should be at 165 to 170 at its thickest point the breast in at a sideways push with your meat probe. If your smoker doesn’t come with one you can find them at any good cutlery place. It should come with 1 probe and a temp monitoring system can have a timer built in. This will be battery operated separate from your smoker. So you may need to read all instructions to make sure you understand how unit works.
REMEMINDER TIP the more you open the lid to check on bird the longer it will take to cook. For every 30 seconds the lid is open the temp in the smoker will drop. It takes longer for the temp it get to desired heat then to reduce its temp or if you got more than one thing smoking.
After the bird was done, I took it out and placed on a plate to let it rest for 10-15 mins. The turkey that had the bbq sauce got all of its meat pulled off and placed back into the BBQ sauce and with toasted buns, and toasted kaiser buns too, I made pulled turkey BBQ sandwiches. I wasn’t going to, but it literally fell off the bone trying to get it out of the smoker let alone the plate it was resting in. The other one that I marinated in brownsugar. I let it set for 15mins got me another flimsy pan I placed all this cut meat both breasts and the the thighs and then the legs meat. I sprinkled on more smoky brown sugar rub all over meat then coverd.
My friends made all the other goodies to go with this dish. The best pie comes from mom. especially when she knows you’ll eat it all, yum mom apple crisp pie.
I tried to put all my turkey ideas to this article but have to say that there is literally tons and tons of way to smoke just a turkey it will blow your mind.
Having said that I’ll let you all go create that signature bird recipe for you and your friends and maybe new friends. Thank you for taking the time to read. How awesome if there’s anything else you would like to know please leave me a comment down below.
I AM DENNIS (THE MAN WITH THE SMOKER).
4 thoughts on “A few ways to smoke a turkey”
I am always amazed by your thorough knowledge of the various meats, temperatures and cooking methods, Dennis! You are th “go-to” guy for BBQing and smoking, my friend!
Thank you, Mr. Brown, even if it’s a smaller portion it still has to have the right temp to cook rule of thumb between 160 and 180 on the thickest parts, that’s where a good thermometer comes in, have a great day
I am Dennis the man with the smoker.
Today I have learned a new technique to use for cooking a Turkey. I love turkey and normally prepare it in an oven bag with loads of butter and stock basting injected into it. We love turkey at Christmas time and in our part of the world it is warm weather at the holidays so smoking tha turkey sounds perfect. Thanks for all your info and insight into smoking.
You are amazing 🙂
You can inject some of this homemade apple cider into the bird the breast meat and in the thigh. I also took brownsugar and cinnamon and injected that into there as well. This came out so damn juicy. It was amazing. I coverd this bird with foil after it came out for 15 mins resting time.