Immediate Help Needed! Smoking a turkey as I type...

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by smokinginmaine, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. I have been smoking a 15.5lb turkey for 4 hours now at 230F. My temp probe is telling me that the breast is at 174F. I read that a bird that size should take about 9 hours to smoke. Is it safe to assume my probe is junk? Any help is appreciated.
  2. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    hmmmm, doesn't sound correct. Do a quick boiling water test on the probe...should be close to 212 degrees. Some hand held ones can be calibrated by twisting the back to align the temp with the needle. My last turkey was 12 pounds and took 6 hours at a higher temp than 230.
  3. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Take your probe out of the bird and test it in boiling water to check the accuracy
  4. slownlow

    slownlow Smoking Fanatic

    If your probe shows 212 in boiling water, I'd verify your smoker to make sure your cooking at 230  like you think your are.
  5. So I tested the probe. It is accurate within a degree or two. I turned the turkey around to try the other breast. It's now reading about 159-161F and I'm a little over 4 hours of smoking at 230F for a 15.5lb bird. How would I verify the smoker temp? Leave the probe on the rack? Oh, in case I didn't mention, I'm using a MES.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  6. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds like you might have hit a bone the first time you inserted the probe - to test the smoker temp stick the probe thru a piece of dowel  or something like it and let the tip stick out so it is not touching the rack or any other metal and you should be fairly close. I would have told you to use a potato if you were going to monitor it from the start of the smoke but the potato will give you a false reading for at least an hour until it warms up is my experience 
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Good luck!
  8. owlcreeksmoker4

    owlcreeksmoker4 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Sounds like either that smoker is a roaster or you hit the bone possibly
  9. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Something is not right.

    Either the smoker temp is off or the meat probe is off.

    I always double check meat with an instant read stick therm.

    I wish you luck my friend.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  10. elohel

    elohel Smoke Blower

    I think you probably hit the bone like others have said. I do that all the time without realizing it. If it's reading in the 150s in another spot, that's probably the temp it's at. If I recall correctly, the time it took to get from 155-165 was like an hour and a half for me, so you seem to be on target mostly.
  11. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Maine, Do just that. Check the grate level temp. with your probe( that has been calibrated and calibrate  the smoking unit  by adding or subtracting the amount you are off on the unit's therm. from what you had on the calibrated probe.    ie: probe is at 214*f in boiling water; place the bottom of the therm.(if it's one of those push and turn to lock in ,  therms.) or the tip at the end of the therm. when removed, and see what it reads. Take the difference in that one and subtract 214*f  from it and you'll know the temp. to record in your BBQ Record book   to know what your cooking temp. is...

    Hope that helps,

    Stan    aka    oldschool
  12. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I hope everything came out well [​IMG]

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