Thanksgiving Smoked Turkey Service Help

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by bigsyd, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. I'm planning to smoke turkeys for a fee this coming Thanksgiving. However, I have no clue how to price this service. I guess I could try to figure my cost of materials and determine what my time is worth. I want to give them the option to supply the turkey or I supply the turkey.

    Has anyone been down this path before? A lot of people offer to fry turkeys. However, I want to show how juicy and tender a smoked turkey can be.

    I'll brine them for about 24 hours and I estimate about 3-4 hours of smoke time per turkey (depending on cook temp). I just purchased a Horizon 16 Smoker. I hope I can do about 2-3 turkeys at a time (9-12 lbs/each).

    Any tip, tricks, comments, suggestions, etc.? How about pricing? This will be my first time offering this service and I plan to some test turkeys soon.

    Thanks in advance for your replies.
  2. crazzycajun

    crazzycajun Meat Mopper

    Around here it’s 30 to 40 for 10 to 20# turkeys you supply the bird
  3. uncle eddie

    uncle eddie Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    When we used to live in Texas and would buy a whole packer brisket at the grocery store, the guys outside with the huge smoker would look at the weight and charge like $0.50 per pound...but this was like 1995. It was sooo worth every penny too. Best mesquite smoked brisket ever...just SP mesquite smoke and time.
  4. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    Turkey prices you supplying turkey, you could also do turkey breasts if you can find them reasonable.
    12-15lb $65.00
    18-20 $85.00
    22-25 $100.00
  5. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow, digging back in my memory. Last time I bought a commercial smokehouse smoked turkey was at least ten years ago, but I do remember I paid around $3/lb, maybe 10 or 15 cents a pound less.

    I remember Costco carried smokehouse smoked turkeys for a couple years before that, and the price was $2/lb. Biggest they had was 12 lbs though.

    I just checked the local butcher. He was smoking turkeys for a while, but it appears he's no longer offering them. His price on uncooked, natural turkeys run $2.69 to $4.29/lb.

    If you were here in California, I'd say $5/lb. Since you're in Washington DC, that probably still works.
  6. That's close to what I was thinking. $50 is what I had in mind. I'm going to write out my costs and try to zero in on a good price. Thanks
  7. thatcho

    thatcho Meat Mopper

    So they would be ready to pick up on Turkey day? So u would smoke day prior? Asking cause i was asked to do some
  8. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    I would smoke it that day. Fresh is better...
    bigsyd likes this.
  9. Do you mean I supply the bird or the customer supplies the bird?
  10. That's my dilemma. I want them to be fresh and Juicy but depending on the number of orders I may need to start the day before. If so, how would I keep the fresh and Juicy?
  11. crazzycajun

    crazzycajun Meat Mopper

    I think the vendors supply the bird for the fact the want proper food handling to be practiced and they don’t have to keep track of people’s bird jusT MY THOUGHTS
  12. That makes good sense. Thanks m
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Food cost times 3 is common in most areas. You can go higher in metro areas. Cook to an IT of 165 in the thigh. This is technically ready to eat but since most will reheat, 2 hours at 325, the final bird will still be juicy. MAKE SURE you explain that Smoked Turkey may have a Pink color from a reaction with the smoke, especially if using cure...JJ
  14. 165 in the thigh or the breast? I thought it was 165 in the breast and the thigh being higher.
  15. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    165 in the thigh. The breast will be closer to 155. Both temps will have killed bacteria but are still slightly underdone by USDA standards and what most shoot for, 165 breast and 175 thigh. This way you can re-heat to 165/175 and have very near fresh roasted results...JJ
  16. Makes sense to me. I was thinking about the usda standards.
  17. This raises another question. How should I instruct them to reheat without drying out the bird (both unrefrigerated and after it has been refrigerated)?Some are picking up the day before the holiday and some the day of.

    Also, is it ok to smoke the birds in aluminum pans? Will that slow the cook? I'm guessing it prevents the smoke and some heat from penetrating the bottom.

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