Planning on smoking a turkey this Thanksgiving?
There are many variables that enter the picture when smoking a turkey low and slow on a smoker cooker.
Some people put their turkey in an a disposable pan, some wrap their turkeys in foil, while others place the turkey on the grill and wrap the wings and legs.
Low & Slow Time and Temps
Temperature variations can make a difference, too. Some cook at 225 (generally recommended) which means that 35-40 minutes per pound will do the trick. Others use up to 300 degrees when cooking their turkey, which could shorten cooking time.
- Turkey (Whole 10-12 lbs): Target temperature of 275° – 350°F. Smoke for 2 ½ – 3 hours. Minimum Internal Temperature: 170°F
- Turkey Legs: Target temperature of 275° – 350°F. Smoke for 2-3 hours. Minimum Internal Temperature: 170°F
Flavored Wood for a Smoked Turkey
You pretty much need to use hard wood local to you. However, if you can add some great flavors to smoked turkey with:
- Citrus woods: Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Limes
- Fruit woods: peach, pecan, cherry and sugar maple
- Grape Vines provide an aromatic flavor similar to fruit woods
- Other favorites are pecan and sugar maple
If you have a favorite wood you like to use, let us know in the comments!
Getting the Best Results when Smoking Turkey
Kelley Parkes shared this with us on Facebook:
“With the skin it is all about drying the bird off after you wash it. pressing paper towels all over the shin until it is completely dry is an absolute must. Once you’ve done that, come behind it with a light coating of vegetable, olive, or tea seed oil. That oil will crisp the skin perfectly while it is cooking. When water is left on (or inside) the bird it will steam and steam makes skin chewy. If you want to keep the bird moist, soak it or brine it for 12 to 15 hours before cooking. Don’t baste during the cooking process.”
Did you stuff your turkey? If so, you might need additional time to complete the cooking cycle. Always use a meat thermometer (temp must reach 165) and always let your bird rest for at least a half hour to 45 minutes before carving. This assures that the juices are retained guaranteeing you a moist, tender result.
Happy Smoking Turkey Time from all of us at Lang BBQ Smokers!