Pop up thermometers in turkeys, leave in ???

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by tprice, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. tprice

    tprice Fire Starter

    I smoke several turkeys a year and normally do the 12-15lb birds however doing one for my Wife's Boss and he has 4 kids so I thought I picked up an 18+lb bird

    Never have done one this size but I ALWAYS preheat my smoker to 275 for few hours BEFORE putting the bird in

    Also for some reason I have always removed those pop up thermometers the turkeys come with from the store. Not sure why but I do

    Was thinking about leaving it in to make sure it is done but I do not over cook it and dry it out

    I do not brine my bird but inject and rub them down
  2. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    Those pop up thermometers are set to pop at 180.  Turkey is done at 165 so it is over cooked already when it pops.  I always take them out and just use my thermapen to keep the IT checked and remove at 165.  Turkeys always moist and perfectly done.
  3. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I took delivery of my turkey yesterday and found one in the box. It was the first time I have seen one! I will pop it in tomorrow to see how good it is. I don't think it will replace my Maverics yet though [​IMG]
  4. I chunk them as soon as I open the bag.
  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If they help introduce people to start cooking by temperature rather than time-in-the oven I think they should be a good idea. One problem I see though is that mine came with no instructions as to where in the turkey it should be pushed. If inserted in the wrong place then it could result in an under cooked bird. I expect that is why they are set to spring at 180 F (82 C) to give a greater margin of safety.

    Although the birds are safe to eat at 165 F, personally I like to take mine up to ~170-175 F (76-80 C). It is still very moist and I think has a better eating texture.
  6. I trash them.

    Happy smoken.

  7. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I leave them in so I don't have a hole for juice to drip out from but pay no attention to it as far as far as finished temp
  8. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I just buy turkeys without them.
  9. tprice

    tprice Fire Starter

    Turkeys in the US seem to ALL come with them already inserted
  10. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

    It won't hurt anything as long as you don't rely on it. If it pops up you know you cooked the breast too long.
  11. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I also always leave them in, to keep the juices in. Those pop ups are SOOOOOOOO unreliable I would never trust 1. Case in point I have had them pop well before the 165 I pull my turkeys at. I place my maverick 732 probe in the turkeys after 4 hours in the smoker, I have seen the pop up out at that time, with the maverick reading in the 140 range.
  12. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I bought a choice standing rib roast for Thanksgiving and found one of those things in there.

    They are plastic, so they go in the recycle bin.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  13. You can leave it in just to see when it pops, But keep tabs on your birds temp using a thermometer .  The two 20 pounder's I did for Thanksgiving I pulled and tossed them both.

  14. tprice

    tprice Fire Starter

    How long and what temp did you do the 20lbers for, got mine on now and put it on a hot smoke--came by my house at lunch and turned smoker on 275----

    Had bird in brine since yesterday and came home and injected/rubbed and put on smoker around 4pm
  15. cocodrie55

    cocodrie55 Newbie

     Preheating is the way to go, 250 to 275 is ideal. Pop up therms are junk, and are unreliable at best, so I always pull the little suckers myself. I own a thermopro remote with probe, but there are other great models out there. You need a good therm when doing chickens and turkeys, or any fowl for that matter, and a good instant read therm for steaks, roast and the like, is a must, hope that helps.
  16. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you are going to recycle them, wash and dry them first; you cannot recycle food-born materials (for example, the pizza box your hot pizza came in). 

    I pull them out, but I cure-brine all my birds first.
  17. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    The turkey thingy is probably going to get Gummed up from the smoke. I wouldn't trust it . Kind of a different environment than the oven. Maybe not..
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017

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