Smoked Turkey on a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES).

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by tonio88, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. tonio88

    tonio88 Newbie

    Hello everyone, I'm new here and needed some tips for turkey day smoking this year. I browsed quite a few forums here before joining. We have quite a few electricity powered devices to user. We have the above mentioned smoker: 

    It doesn't hit over 300 degrees temperature set wise.

    A grill:  which apparently hits 500 degrees

    and a first version NuWave oven which gets up to about.....345 degrees I think. Luckily we have this because our wall oven is toast this year. We also have a turkey fryer....

    OK, with all that said I will get to the meat of my post. I smoked two chickens in the smoker earlier this year, but the skin came out tough, like leather. It was slice-able but not easily, meat was juicy but I can't remember if I rubbed the skin with oil but I think I did. I did lift the skin to season under the skin as well. I did put water in the pan. My question is, what should I do on turkey day to get the skin crispy ? I did see some tips on other sites saying use cheesecloth soaked in butter, some tips on here saying peel the skin back some, dry the skin and don't add any liquid, or even cook it to 140 degrees then put it in a deep fryer or oven...

    So in your opinion, what should I do ?
  2. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Tonio , we enjoyed your discussion , however , you need to go to our Roll Call and post your hello there . . . you' get a rousing :welcome

    Have fun and . . .
  3. tonio88

    tonio88 Newbie

    So I should just copy my post and put it in the roll call section ? The reason I put the topic here was because of the question at the bottom of my post.
  4. ats32

    ats32 Smoking Fanatic

    Smoke the turkey at 300F (or how high your MES goes) with high smoke until internal temp 160F-165F. At about 140F brush with veg oil mixed with your favorite rub. That should create a good crispy skin. 

    If you do want to go the smoker then oven route you will likely get a better skin because your oven is much hotter than your MES.. 
  5. ats32

    ats32 Smoking Fanatic

    BTW I prefer to spatchcook the turkey on the smoker and finish for 15-20 min over hot charcoal. Mmmmm...
  6. Hi ATS32

    why do you have the MES so high?   I'm going to do my first turkey in an MES, about 19 lbs.   I had assumed to use about 225 degrees...

    have you tried turning up the heat for the last hour or so?

    Also do you try to get your turkey to room temp before smoking?



    Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 
  7. Have you tried to fit the 19 lb bird in the smoker. I am curious if it fit. I looked at the rack dimentions on line and measured turkeys at the store. ( i work in the meat dept) I don't think it will fit without touching the walls. Even tho I measured, I'd still like to see it for myself. You best find out now, while you can still opt for a smaller bird or 2 smaller birds.

     I think the high temp was to insure you get the internal temp above 140* inside the prescribed 4 hr window of the danger zone of 40*- 140* for no more than 4 hrs. Bacteria grows exponentially fast in this temp range.
  8. First turkey in MES 30.

    I just did a sixteen pounder.   I put it on a vertical beer-can style rack with some aluminum foil around the bottom of it to make sure it did not tip over.  [You can see the foil in pic 1]  It fit easily and fine in an MES 30.   I am sure I could easily fit a 18 pounder also, maybe more.  

    In the first pic you can see it twined the wings to keep them in and improve balance.  I did not truss the feet.

    I smoked on the bottom rack.  It was VERY cold outside.  I tried to use 250 but the MES would just not get there because it was so cold outside, so I settled on 230.   It took about 5 hours to come up to a 160 reading in the thigh.  At that point the breast was PERFECT but the thigh and legs a bit underdone so I tossed them in the oven while carving.   They came up quickly.

    All in all great flavor and a real crowd-pleaser.   I was not at home and the house had very few spices so I used a steak rub.   The skin was not crisp, so I put pieces of skin in the broiler for those who wanted skin.

    Pix are only two and not great because I was busy with other things.

    Bottom line:   a large turkey fits FINE in an MES 30 on a vertical roaster.


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