First Time Smoking Whole Turkey

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by finsfree, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    This will be my first turkey smokin and I have some question:
    1. What temp should I smoke at? I was told smoke at a higher temp 325-350 to make the skin crispy
    2. What internal temp am I looking for (Breast & Thigh)?
    3. My bird is 10.94lb. How long does it take to cook if put on a room temp?
    I'll be using an Okalahoma Joe Longhorn Offset Smoker........with mods[​IMG]. Just added a new gasket kit to!
  2. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

  3. smokingreg

    smokingreg Smoke Blower

    I always go about 300-350.  Just depends on the weather outside.
  4. ibbones

    ibbones Meat Mopper

    I just smoked a turkey two days ago.  It was just an 11 pounder so kinda small but I first put it on at 275 to heat up and when I put the bird in I droped it back to 225* and it was ready in about 5ish hours.  Yummy!!!!
  5. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    Thanks guys!

    As far as seasonings:
    1. Olive oil, salt, pepper to cote the outside
    2. I have 3 kinds of injection sauces (Not sure what to use)
    • Peppercorn & Sage
    • Creole Butter
    • New Orleans cajun sauce
  6. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    Started out with this. Used olive oil, salt, pepper & garlic. Injected with Cajun sauce.

    Smokin away...
  7. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    After 2hrs at 260-290 degrees.
  8. richjt92

    richjt92 Fire Starter


    What is the internal temp?

    Gig 'Em Aggies

  9. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    IT 170 at breast
    IT 180 at leg

    Only took 2 1/4hrs to cook. What is the deal with that?

    I was thinking more like 4hrs+
  10. smokingreg

    smokingreg Smoke Blower

    It always seems like my birds go extra quick.  Looks good.  You got some nice looking crispy skin.
  11. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    I wasn't really impressed with this turkey at all. The skin was a little bitter, maybe because of creosote, and the cajun injection didn't seem like it went with the meat real well.

    With this new gasket kit I think it holds the heat as well as the smoke in causing it too settle on the skin (creosote). I need to smoke lighter next time and use more a butter base injection.
    Any tips are welcomed
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I always did low and slow, then tried the higher temps like 275/300. Yes I got crisper skin but.... honestly it seems to me the meat is tuffer. It just maybe me thinking its tuffer but it seems that way.

    When doing a turkey, I always go easy on the smoke. Actually I nail it with smoke when it hits the fire and that's it. I do rub my turkeys with two items, olive oil which is for the suntan, I don't want the skin to crack and dry. Also I rub it with "Kitchen Bouquet" (Browning and seasoning sauce), which my Pop always said mellows out the color. Then I just sprinkle some type of spice mix on it and it sticks. This is what my last one looked like:

    Can you see the juice in that pan?

    This is one of those I tried at a higher temp to make the skin crisp. I would much prefer a tender juicy turkey without crisp skin to a tuff one that's crisp. You can always throw it in a high temp oven after-wards if crisp is what ya need.

    I make my own injection. Heck here is my write up.

    I realize you've got a fireburner but holding temp is holding temp, its the name of the game.

    II am not saying I am right, but it works for me. Like everything else there are loads of ways to accomplish the same end result, I mean Pop's hung and smoked turkeys are beautiful. Lots of people lots of ways. It's about you liking what you cook and you are the only one that can find that.

    Smoking is about making it a beautiful day, and enjoying the smoke.

    BTW..... good choice to smoke a bird after a cooker modification, lets you get aquainted with the new temps and zones. Purty smart man.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  13. mattjne

    mattjne Newbie

    I hit this thread because I'm thinking about smoking a Turkey for Thanksgiving and I've done very little poultry. However, I want to ask what mods you've made on your smoker.  I have an original Oklahoma Joes smoker that I believe is the equivalent to yours.  I was thinking about running a silicone gasket sealer on it, but have never bothered yet, but just curious your results and what other mods you may have implemented.  
  14. smokin backyard

    smokin backyard Fire Starter

    I always like to pull the skin back from the breast, while not removing it. Seasoning under the skin and depending on the size of the bird, putting a few "pats" of butter under the skin as well. Butter under the skin along with an injection will almost ensure a moist product! [​IMG]
  15. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    As far as mods, charcoal basket, extended exhaust to grate level & gasket kit. I'm able to hold temp pretty well with all these mods.

    I did the gasket kit because i was having leaks on the top corner of the cooking chamber lid.

    I it's a great grill though. My issue is just testing out seasonings.
  16. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You are a lucky man, just think of all the smokes you can do using that excuse!!

    "But Honey, I need to work out this seasoning so how about a butt for Saturday and ribs on Sunday?"
  17. 250*, approx. 40 minutes per pound. I use a recipe from a Smoking Cookbook I bought a few years ago that uses a cranberry/whiskey mop with honey, sage, sea salt and pepper. Only smoke the turkey for no longer 3 hours and watch what woods you use. Fruit wood is exceptional for poultry, mesquite is a bitter disaster and I've had mixed results with hickory. Make sure you soak your wood chips for at least 15 minutes in water before putting in the smoker. If they smolder too fast, you can get a blueish like smoke that will cause bitterness. Good luck, when you finally nail that first smoked turkey, you'll fall in love :)

Share This Page