Smoking a turkey (1 Viewer)

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mxd

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Oct 17, 2005
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Seems to be a lot of "smoking" knowledge in here. I want to try to smoke my first turkey Friday, and I have lots of questions, hope someone in here can answer them for me.

I have a pretty cheap Brinkman charcoal water smoker, and it has worked well for pork ribs, that is all I have tried to this point, but I hear turkey is a whole different ballgame.

1) Does it have to be soaked in brine far a day prior to cooking?
2) Are rubs or injections necessary?
3) If the temperature in the smoker can be maintained at around 250, about how long will a 12 pound turkey take?

Thanks in advance, and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated!!!
 
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stogie5150

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Jan 7, 2007
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My experience is that they are hard to keep lit. But once you get them burning they taste very good. :rolleyes::D

So, no, I don't know anything about smoking a turkey, but good luck nonetheless...:D
 
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HD MM

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Nov 2, 2006
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Believeland, Ohio
Seems to be a lot of "smoking" knowledge in here. I want to try to smoke my first turkey Friday, and I have lots of questions, hope someone in here can answer them for me.

I have a pretty cheap Brinkman charcoal water smoker, and it has worked well for pork ribs, that is all I have tried to this point, but I hear turkey is a whole different ballgame.

1) Does it have to be soaked in brine far a day prior to cooking?
2) Are rubs or injections necessary?
3) If the temperature in the smoker can be maintained at around 250, about how long will a 12 pound turkey take?

Thanks in advance, and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated!!!

I've never personally smoked a turkey yet, but from everything I've read, the best turkey's are brined first. And as for cooking at a 250°F. I'd start 3 days ahead! :D ;) In all seriousness, most recipes I've read, has instructions to smoke at a much higher temp. [FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica]Ie: Roast the turkey at 325-350°F until it reaches 160-165°F in the breast and 170-175°F in the thigh, about 2-1/2 to 3 hours for a 12-14 pound turkey. [/FONT]

This looks like a nice recipe to follow. They also have very detailed instructions that should help........

Whole Turkey - Basic Brine - The Virtual Weber Bullet

(*The above site is based on the use of a WSM Smoker, similar to your Brinkman)
 

navychop

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I smoked one whole turkey. It was ok, just perhaps not the best way of showing off a smoker. Pork seems so much more impressive, to me.

ABSOLUTELY brine it first, for a day or two. And don't cheap out and use table salt. Use large grain salt like kosher salt. And only smoke a smaller bird, around 12 lbs max. Rinse the bird after brining, and dry it.

Let it sit for 1-2 hours after you remove it from the brine. As in, on the kitchen counter. You don't want to put a cold turkey (or any cold meat) in the smoker. And let it sit for a half hour afterwards before carving.

Personally, I think next time I'll inject the hell out of it, perhaps just with Italian dressing or apple juice.

IMO poultry seems to do better with hotter temps, such as 350. But some have success at 250.

Use apple wood for smoke. Don't let the water pan go dry. If you don't mind having a mess to clean, put apple juice in with the water, 50-50. Really helps. Really makes cleaning a challenge, too.

No stuffing, of course.

I prefer rubs over marinades, but not for turkey. You can spray oil over the bird - some say this helps keep it moist and adds color. I don't think you'll need to add color, that sucker is going to come out brown.
 

charper1

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DITTO what Navy said above me; I also have had great results smoking the turkey a few hours and then finish it off with a standard roast in the oven; making sure to baste it.
 

navychop

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Does that oven finish really crisp the skin better?
 

Bogy

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Oct 18, 2006
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It sounds like I have probably smoked more turkeys than anyone else who has responded yet. A number of times I have started the turkey in the smoker, and then switched it to the oven to finish. I always use a roasting bag when I put it in the oven. Holds in the moisture, and also holds in the smoke. The roasting bags also don't require a temp much higher than the smoker will provide, but the bird will cook much more quickly. I have also sometimes stuffed the bird after it has been in the smoker and before putting it in the oven. Great smoked stuffing.

I've never brined a turkey, and I have gotten some rave reviews over the years.

A 12 lb. turkey is about the limit of what I have normally have smoked, at least all the way to finish in the smoker. Anything bigger than that and the inner part of the breast spends way to long at the perfect temp for bacteria to grow. I was...worried last Thanksgiving when I realized my wife had bought a 24 lb. turkey, since we were having the whole family over. Along with a ham about the same size, which meant the oven was not going to be available to finish the bird. Also, that is way to big a piece of meat for the smoke to really get into. After doing a quick internet search for suggestions, I cut it up like a chicken, splitting the breast. I applied the dry rub I usually use, and smoked it at about 250 to 300. It came out delicious. Even the members of the family who aren't usually fans of turkey thought it was great.

I have put a lot of different liquids in the water pan over the years, and seldom have much of a cleanup problem. I just line the water pan with aluminum foil before I add the liquid.
 

carlosvic

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I have had my best results cooking low heat for several hours. I also use a brinkman smoker and have had great results. I've used brines but not every time. I also prefer apple wood. I just smoked a 10 lb on fathers day and took 6 hours to do it. I maintained a temp of around 220 and smoked it until the internal temp was 165. It came out great.
 

KAB

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Apple wood, Weber Charcoal Grill, 11 minutes per pound.
 

navychop

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That would be grilling, not smoking. Different animal.
 

KAB

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Grilling a whole Turkey?! Interesting. Did you do it over indirect heat? What did you try and keep the temp to?
Yes, indirect. Just start with usual amount of coals and reloaded about 9 per side every 50 minutes. Grill or not, it's smoking all right. Four or five 3-4" cut apple branches per side, keeping constant for first two hours.
 
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