First Smoked Turkey Q View

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by billpetrie, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. billpetrie

    billpetrie Newbie

    I'm new to smoking, but it's something I've always been interested in learning. For our 20th anniversary, my bride purchased me a GOSM 34" 2 drawer smoker. To date I've smoked a pork butt, baby back ribs, eggs, and steak with varying degrees of success. As a newbie, I believe I was committing the usual rookie mistake of over smoking. Essentially I would load up the chip box with chips and see the billowing "white smoke of doom". After spending copious amounts of time on this site, I believe I've finally figured out what I've been doing wrong - but more on that later. More than anything, I was determined to finally have a smoked meal that didn't have a tinge of bitterness or over smoking.

    I have been itching to smoke a turkey ever since I got the unit and, knowing I would do one for Thanksgiving, I thought August 2nd was a good time to do a dry run. I got the smallest bird I could find (16 pounds) and set about my work:


    16 oz of creole butter


    Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning


    Pecan - chunks, not chips. One of the many things I've learned is that the chips just seem to burn up to fast in my GOSM. For this cook, I switched to chunks and I will never look back.

    Pre-cook preparation

    I prepped the bird by injecting the breasts, thighs, and legs with as much creole butter as the bird would take. This turkey would NOT be dry! After injecting, I spayed canola oil all over the skin to help hold the rub. I applied the seasoning all over the bird and stuffed the cavity with granny smith apple wedges and vidalia onion chunks to help even out the temperatures and for some aromatics. I covered the wing tips with foil for the first two hours so they wouldn't get too charred.


    My target smoker temperature was 250 degrees using my Maverick 733. I slid the other probe into the breast and my target temperature was 165. I used one chunk of pecan at a time. When it stopped smoking (and I couldn't smell the smoke), I simply threw another chunk into the fire box. I pulled off all wood after the breast temperature hit 140 degrees.

    The Cook

    Right as I slid in the bird

    The bird after about an hour

    Looking good after 2 hours. At this point I took off the foil on the tips

    Obligatory pic of my beautiful TBS and my beer of choice on Saturday - the delightful Shiner Ruby Red. Plenty were consumed.

    Out for a 20 minute rest - LOVE the color!

    I was pretty excited and took a bigger slice than I intended, but it was SO flipping juicy.


    Honestly, it was the best turkey I've ever eaten bar none. My family - and neighbors who collected during the day - agreed. There was no bitterness, the smoke was PERFECT, and the turkey was juicy to the point of melting in your mouth. I can't say I would do anything different next time, save for being a little less excited when carving. 

    Who says turkey is only for holidays?!?!
    foamheart and padronman like this.
  2. knifebld

    knifebld Smoking Fanatic

    Great pics Bill and that bird looks incredible...will be smoking a turkey this Thanksgiving, but kinda nervous cause the wife takes price in cooking the family turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas...there will be hell to pay if mine turn out better than hers!
  3. [​IMG]Great job and that bird looks delicious!!!   We eat turkey all year long and I often smoke turkey breast to slice for sammies mmmmmmmmm
  4. babyt

    babyt Newbie

    That looks delish!!!
  5. talan64

    talan64 Meat Mopper

    Looks great!!!

    I love some smoked Turkey.  Try brining one, then smoke, I love doing the breasts that way, all year long!
  6. billpetrie

    billpetrie Newbie

    Thanks for the kind words - it really was a great bird. Now I'm plotting what meat to smoke THIS weekend!
  7. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice job , and the color WAS great !!!

    Congrats on a well done Bird [​IMG].
  8. MY T FINE! It has nice color. I do several a year. In fact it is time to do one again.

    Happy smoken.

  9. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    That bird looks great !!!
  10. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That turkey is a beautiful thing. Great job for your first turkey.

  11. Turkey is likely one of my first meats I'll be smoking and I only hope it looks as great as yours! My dad is building me a 16" dia Offset. Been using my 22" Weber kettle for ribs and chickens so i'm really looking forward to the step up. Thanks for sharing your great work!
  12. todg

    todg Fire Starter

    WOW is all I can say it looks D-lish for  sure Nice Job!!!!!!!!!!!1
  13. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    Looks awesome!  Everyone has advice.  So do I.  Tuck the wings behind the back and you won't have to foil them.  I think it adds stability and you're probably not eating those tips, anyway.

    Go ahead.  Get cocky and start fiddlin' with your recipe.  Welcome to the addiction!  
  14. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Awesome Bird
  15. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Great pictures and beautiful bird.  Nice job.  Maybe I missed it if you mentioned it but how long was the overall cook time on your 16 lb bird?
  16. billpetrie

    billpetrie Newbie

    Rob - thanks for the compliments. The 16 pound poultry took about 5 1/2 hours.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  17. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    OK.  I got it now.  you were talking about 2 different pieces of meat.  a breast and a full turkey.  I knew you said 16 pounds.  I couldn't imagine a 16 pound breat.  I also couldn't see a 165 lb anything only taking 2 hours.  Tahnks again and it really looks like you did an awesome job.
  18. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    That sounds about right. I do whole turkeys (11-12 lbs) in about 8-10 hrs.  Not to hijack your thread, but I have to brag.  This was one I did several months ago.  Honestly, it looks pretty and tasted great, but the bacon kept the bird juicy more than it added a bacon flavor.  IMHO, I won't be making this one again unless it's requested.  The bottom line.........start messing with a good thing!  

    It's fun and therapeutic!!!!

  19. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Everything's better with Bacon!
  20. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    I have read several times that stuffing a bird and smoking it can be dangerous due to the temp and food poisoning.  Not going to do that.  However, I'm thinking a smoked side dish like a cornbread stuffing with bacon would be a good addition.  Going to have to try that one this Fall.

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