How big of a turkey can I fit?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by canucksmoker, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. canucksmoker

    canucksmoker Newbie

    First time posting here, been smoking for about 2 years, mostly successfully. Never tried a turkey. Love chicken on the smoker, it is actually my favourite. 

    thinking of smoking the turkey this year for Christmas. My smoker is small, a Traeger Jr, here are the specs on it:

    292 sq. in. (15 X 20) Grilling Area

    Any idea how big of a bird I can stuff in it?

    How do you solve the gravy problem when smoking? Can I collect the drippings from my bucket to make the gravy? (if I clean it well that is!!)
  2. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome Canucksmoker. Glad to have you here... hope you enjoy it enough to call it home for all yourBBQ needs .

    It would helpif you could send some Q-view of your Smoker so we can guesstimate the size Foul you can cook. [​IMG]  Basically leave room for smoke and heat to circulate around the whole bird.

    As for the Gravy, place some veggies and the Giblets in a Foil pan and set it under the bird (below the grill if possible) or place on a rack -in the pan as you Smoke it...[​IMG]

    Have fun and send Pics (Q-view).

  3. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I believe the conventional wisdom is the turkey should be no larger than about 13 pounds for smoking & unstuffed, of course. OK to stick an apple or onion in there but no dressing. If more bird is needed it's better to smoke 2 at the same time rather than one large one. I do believe even a Traeger could handle 2 birds of this size. Now, there are some who have smoked larger turkeys with good results. Your gravy question has been answered above. Smoked turkey one of my fav things to smoke. Here's one from a while back
  4. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I have a weber rib rack that you can flip over and it doubles as a roasting rack which you can place over your disposable foil pan or roasting pan or whatever. I really like it. In my humble opinion A 14 pound turkey would be a nice fit. You can always take the backbone out and spread it out a little bit if you don't have enough lid clearance.
  5. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Yep, dead on and beat me to it. Smaller birds taste better anyway.
  6. canucksmoker

    canucksmoker Newbie

    The smaller bird does seem to be a consensus. The Problem here being that then we will need to cook another small bird in the oven. I am finding it hard to believe I could fit 2 x 12lb in the Traeger jr. but perhaps I can get even smaller turkeys than that. 

    I will try to get a picture if I can. 

    Regarding the gravy, my traeger has a drip tray under the grill that drains into a bucket. I don't think there would be room to either put a tray on top of that or put the bird in a tray on a rack, space is limited already. Can you think of any reason why I couldn't just use a portion of the drippings in the bucket? Other than they won't be hot? But I can remelt them. It is cold out (-7c) so they will be safe. I would lose the idea of any giblets or veg in it. 

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