Turkey Too Big?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by dougk55, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. dougk55

    dougk55 Newbie

    I know the "boss" says to stick with turkeys around 12 pounds. Somebody gave us a frozen one that weighs in at 18-19 pounds. Is there any way I can safely do it in my smoker? I just bought an vertical LP gas smoker from Sears, replacing the old electric Brinkman. I'd like to do it, but I don't want to risk getting sick.
     
  2. davenh

    davenh Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    If you can get the smoker to maintain 300°+ then I wouldn't think there will be a problem. I do 15 lb'ers in less than 4 hrs at 325° . Low and slow is not better for poultry. Good luck with the bird [​IMG].

    As long as you get the bird above 140° within 4 hrs your ok, measured in the thickest part of the breast or thigh. Done when it reaches 165°. You might already know this, but don't stuff it [​IMG].
     
  3. tn_bbq

    tn_bbq Smoking Fanatic

    Don't sweat it.
    You'll be just fine so long as you cook it to the proper temperature.
     
  4. I did a 31 pounder Memorial Day weekend. Brined and rubbed and cooked in about 12 hours at 250 to 275 degrees. It came out great! IMHO there is more concern in how long it sits out in the preparation as opposed to the cooking time as long as your temps are steady and in the 250 to 300 degree range. I'll definitely do it again!
     
  5. eaglewing

    eaglewing Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    OK guys, well, Im gona do my first Turkey, just under 10#...

    Told my Mother about the Brining, so the bird will have brined about 24 hrs....(she's bringing it over in the morn)

    I'm ready to go with plenty of charcoal/chunk Mesquite for main fire and apple, hickory, beechwood for smoke.

    I saw that RUBs are not that popular if you brined....ALSO, I saw one guy tied his up with string...good idea?...or it doesn't matter?

    I'm shooting for 300* till it reads 165* internally...allowing about 4 hrs...

    I will have plenty of PICS.
     
  6. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Couldn't have said it better myself! [​IMG]

    Not knockin ya but i would have not have eaten that bird...
    Richtee has the particulars on the danger zone, hopefully will chime in!Between 40 and 140 over 4 hrs and your asking for trouble.
     
  7. sumosmoke

    sumosmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here's a link to a thread by Walking Dude: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...ad.php?t=16396

    He smoked a 19# whole bird for his Mom's birthday and is complete with qvue and all the good stuff needed to smoke that bird on a vertical smoker (he has one as well).

    Good luck!
     
  8. I'll agree with Bubba. I wouldn't low and slow any bird over 14lbs. Anything over that weight, I'm cooking it a 325+. There's just too much that can go wrong with'em.
     
  9. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    thankx laurel..............

    i did that 18 lber low and slow..........and am alive to tell about it...........250 is what i averaged..........so take that for what it is werth........but with a brine with salt, i think the danger zone may be extended abit............i have another 19 lber i plan on doing low and slow.......but you get that big, i mite brine for abit longer than 24 hours......not for health issues........just to make sure the goodies get pulled in DEEP into the bird.............

    btw........my "DANZER ZONED" bird was fed to over 15 people.........and they are ALL still alive and kicking........its was my family so i would know........LOLOLOL............*sigh*
     
  10. I understand Dude...I'm just a little cautious with any birds, I just don't trust them......they scare me. Probably because I've seen where most of these birds come from. If I raised my own to cook, I'd have a different opinion on how to cook them.
     
  11. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    it just seems to me..........if ANYONE is dying of poultry too long in the danger zone.........while smoking............there wuld be some evidence of it.........in one forum or the other..........like i said.........i have a even BIGGER turkey i am going to do for turkey day............same way............and both were store bought turkeys........d88de shrugs
     
  12. pitrow

    pitrow Smoking Fanatic

    like others have said, you should be fine.

    I did a 23 pounder over the weekend. Sat in the brine in a cooler with ice for about 10 hours before it went in the smoker at 250 for 3 hours I think it turned out. No one has died from it yet.

    I've done 'em both strung up and just thrown on the grate, it doesn't really seem to make much of a difference. Just depends on how it fits in your smoker.
     
  13. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    tho since it was store bought, i soaked first to remove the factory brine..........2 days..........then brined for 24 hours, but i cut the salt in half............
     
  14. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nobody ever said your bird was in the danger zone....
    I mentioned this because his bird cooked for 12 hrs!
     
  15. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You de-brined so you could re-brine??
    Was that to change the flavor with your brine?
     
  16. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    yeah basically.............and reduce the salt..............but wanted to add MY flavors..........
     
  17. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    yeah.....just checked my log..........mine only took about 5.5 hours at 250
     
  18. Checked your log......awesome. Glad to know I'm not the only one that takes notes.

    So how was the skin?

    So I have heard of some that smoke the bird and then fry it for a few minutes to crisp the skin. Ever done that? I'm going to do my next one that way. Skin is the best part of the bird.
     
  19. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    yeah don't have a grill to crisp it up............and its a bit of a waste to heat up all that peanut oil just to crisp up the skin..........but when i get the drum up and going......won't be a problem
     
  20. Well, I never just cook one. I always do several when I do turkeys. They freeze real well. I shred them and then we use them in casseroles, etc, in place of chicken.

    So if I do 4 of them, it's not that big a deal to to fire up the fryer. But you're right, kind of hard to justify with just one though.

    But I love fried turkey, nothing better than fried turkey skin.
     

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