Smoking Turkey?

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crewsk

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OK, I need all of you smoking aficionados to help me out!(Pretty please, I'm beggin' here!) My hubby came up with the brilliant :roll: idea for me to fix Thanksgiving dinner for his family. I want to smoke the turkey so it frees up oven space. My dad has a smoker & has agreed to let me use it. I have never smoked anything in my life. I can't remember what kind of smoker it is off the top of my head right now. Anyway, here's what I want to know...How long(as in hours per pound)would I smoke the bird, what kind of wood chips would be best(flavor, type, anything else you can think of), & what do you think about smoking a turkey in general? Thank you all for any advice & help! I really appriciate it! :D
 

Raine

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I would suggest you get the smoker and practice on a few before Thanksgiving. You don't want to run the risk of the family turkey not coming out right. It normally takes a little while and practice to learn and get it down.

Fire control is key when bbqing/smoking. Too much smoke and it will be bitter and black.

Here is how we do ours.

We use hickory and pecan wood, pieces about the size of your fist. Cook it at about 240-250. We use the pop-up turkey timers in ours and it usually takes 4-5 hours fo rthe timer to pop.
 

Lifter

Washing Up
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Jun 26, 2004
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Crewsk, we'd all love to see this come out, but I'm intimidated by Rainee's prowess on the BBQ, and anything I add would be challengeable...

On the other hand, use her suggestion, and try brining one of your "test birds", to see if that doesn't do better for you!

Lifter
 

crewsk

Master Chef
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Thanks Lifter. I plan on trying to do a bird this weekend if nothing changes. But here lately, I can't make plans without them changing at the last minute.
 

Raine

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Practice with chickens, they are a lot cheaper and take less time. You will still learn fire control.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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I've smoked many a turkey, but not in a true smoker. I use my Webber Kettle Barbecue. Brined or unbrined, the choice is yours. The method I use makes an extremely moist and tender bird. Here's how I do it.

Gather together sticks or chunks of hardwood. My favorites are maple, birch, and apple. Soak the wood for about two hours before starting the fire.

Make 2 piles of charcoal on either side of the kettle, seperated by about 4 to 5 inches. While the charcoal is getting hot, bring the thawed bird up to room temperature in hot (about 110 degrees F.) water. REmove and dry inside and out. Rub with cooking oil and salt the skin. Rub the inside with salt and place several stems of fresh basil in the cavity, along with two medium, raw-sliced onions.

When the fire is hot, place a drip pan between the chacoal piles. I like to use ready made disposible aluminum loaf pans for my drip pans, or fold aluminum foil into a water-tight pan. Place several sticks of wood on the charcoal piles. Place the cooking grate on top. Truss the bird to pull the wings agains the breast and place the turkey over the drip pan. Cover the barbecue. Adjust both the bottom and top vent to the half open position and cook for 12 minutes per pound. Better yet, use a meat thermometer and bring the meat to an internal temp of 150 degrees with the thermometer tip inserted into the area where thigh joint is, but not touching the bone. Every twenty minutes, check the fire to make sure there are sufficient coals, and add more charcoal and wood as needed. Baste with a bit of huney and butter to add flavor to the skin.

You have to cover the thermometer face with aluminum foil to prevent the smoke from darkening the glass, rendering the tool useless. REmove the aluminum to check the temp and replace it before covering the barbecue.

This technique and its results have been requested for weddings, for pot-lucks at work (with my fellow employees purchasing the food and charcoal), and at my church. It produces a great smoky flavor, but is tempered by the honey. The spices and onion help flavor the whole dish, but mildly.

A twenty pound turkey cooks at about 1 to twelve minutes per pound with this method, which is substantially faster than in the oven. But be prepared. If your birds come out as good as do mine, you may be asked to preapare many turkeys. :D

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

crewsk

Master Chef
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Thanks Goodweed! I am hoping that everyone likes it enough to want me to make more! :D

I found several resources on the internet yesterday & plan on following the directions I have been given here as well as a few of the other ones I have found. Everything looks to be about the same with very few diffrences. Here are the links to the ones that I plan on following. If anyone looks at them & sees anything they would do diffrently, please let me know.

http://www.whatscookingamerica.net/Poultry/smokedbuzzard.htm (I don't think I will use the paste that is mentioned here this time.)

http://www.eatturkey.com/consumer/smoking.htm

http://www.eaglequest.com/~bbq/faq2/10-7.html (scroll down to [Can you tell me how to best smoke a whole turkey?])
 

Raine

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crewsk, based on our experience of smoking turkeys for many years.

first link...1. doesn't tell you what temp to cook at.
2. 14-16 hours to smoke a turkey is way too long! Hell you don't even need to cook butts that long.

second link...too high a temp. we strive for 225° to 250°.

3rd link... Danny Goulden is a very successful cook. Although we would disagree with the pop up timers. We have used them for years and never had one to fail, and never poped before the turkey was done. You can double check the pop-up timer with turkey handshake.
 

crewsk

Master Chef
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Rainee said:
crewsk, based on our experience of smoking turkeys for many years.

first link...1. doesn't tell you what temp to cook at.
2. 14-16 hours to smoke a turkey is way too long! heck you don't even need to cook butts that long.

second link...too high a temp. we strive for 225° to 250°.

3rd link... Danny Goulden is a very successful cook. Although we would disagree with the pop up timers. We have used them for years and never had one to fail, and never poped before the turkey was done. You can double check the pop-up timer with turkey handshake.

Thanks Raniee, that's exactly what I needed! :D
 

Raine

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crewsk, we'll be competing in Union SC this weekend. If you get a chance to make it, come on by and say hi, sample some BBQ.
 

crewsk

Master Chef
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Columbia, SouthCarolina
I wish I could Rainee! Hubby is going out of town Saturday & the kids & I are helping to put together shoe box gifts for United Christian Ministries Sat & Sun. I was crossing my fingers for a relaxing weekend with nothing much to do but it looks like I had my fingers crossed a little too tightly this time.
 

Raine

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Too bad, as the cookoff is usually over early afternoon.
 

thumpershere2

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Sep 13, 2004
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USA,Minnesota
turkey on a weber grill is the best and has a great smokie taste too. It comes out so moist and tender. Seems to cook faster then in the oven. I usually just set the turkey, if a sm one in a cake pan and let it cook away. Basting will give you a geat looking turkey.
 

ronjohn55

Head Chef
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Jul 7, 2004
Messages
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Now, when it comes to smoking a turkey, I only have one question...

Where are you finding big enough rolling papers?? :mrgreen:

John
 

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