Author Topic: can i smoke a turkey for few hours then finish in oven?  (Read 48343 times)

Offline pedro99

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can i smoke a turkey for few hours then finish in oven?
« on: November 18, 2013, 07:04:39 AM »
I plan to cook a 16lb turkey but I don't have the time to monitor and adjust the smoker temp.  Was wondering if I could smoke it for 2-3 hours then finish it in the oven.  I have done this with pork butts with no problem.  Has anyone on this blog done this?  If so... how long should I keep in the smoker and a what temp?  Then how long in the oven and at what temp? 

Offline PapaC

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Re: can i smoke a turkey for few hours then finish in oven?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2013, 07:27:58 AM »
Absolutely. 3 hrs of smoke at 200-220 if your outside temps can hold that, then finish in oven at oh, say about 250 till internal temp is 150, then take it out and "tent" it (cover with foil), for half to one hour and internal temp should come up to safe level. If you don't have a meat probe thermometer, get one. Well worth it.  Probably get some more info from those more experienced than me, but that should work, and welcome to the forum Pedro, it's a great place to learn, and share.
I'm just a social smoker, I can quit any time I want.

Offline tskeeter

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Re: can i smoke a turkey for few hours then finish in oven?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2013, 08:59:02 AM »
I did exactly with a couple of turkey breasts for a neighborhood get together last weekend.  Three hours of apple smoke, then into the oven at 325 to an IT of 170.  Then FTC until carving time.  The neighbor who is my sausage making partner said it was the best smoked turkey I'd done yet.

Timing wise, for a 9 pound breast done completely in the smoker at about 250, I plan on five hours.  In the oven, and at a higher temp, it would take less time.  If you FTC, your timing is less critical, as you can hold a turkey at serving temp for a couple of hours if you need to.  Although, if you want crispy skin, you might need to give it about 15 minutes in a hot oven before you carve it.  If you're going to crisp the skin, you might want to "under cook" it by a few degrees to allow for the heat you're going to add in the last step of your prepration. 

 

Offline pedro99

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Re: can i smoke a turkey for few hours then finish in oven?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 02:18:03 PM »
Please excuse the Newbie but I need help with the acronyms... IT I assume in Internal Temp of the meat.  But what is FTC? 

pedro

Offline tailfeathers

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Re: can i smoke a turkey for few hours then finish in oven?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 02:46:47 PM »
Foil towel cooler. Wrap your brisket/turkey/butt/whatever tightly in foil, then an old towel then into a cooler. You can hold meat for hours using this method.


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Offline pedro99

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Re: can i smoke a turkey for few hours then finish in oven?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2013, 02:51:00 PM »
Got it!  Yes I know of this temp holding method.... now I know the name and acronym.  I'll post back to this string after I smoke/roast the bird and let folks know how it turned out.  Thanks to those who responded!

Offline crapshooter

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Re: can i smoke a turkey for few hours then finish in oven?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2013, 04:46:22 AM »
I did exactly with a couple of turkey breasts for a neighborhood get together last weekend.  Three hours of apple smoke, then into the oven at 325 to an IT of 170.  Then FTC until carving time.  The neighbor who is my sausage making partner said it was the best smoked turkey I'd done yet.

Timing wise, for a 9 pound breast done completely in the smoker at about 250, I plan on five hours.  In the oven, and at a higher temp, it would take less time.  If you FTC, your timing is less critical, as you can hold a turkey at serving temp for a couple of hours if you need to.  Although, if you want crispy skin, you might need to give it about 15 minutes in a hot oven before you carve it.  If you're going to crisp the skin, you might want to "under cook" it by a few degrees to allow for the heat you're going to add in the last step of your prepration. 
How long is it safe to FTC the turkey breast? If I finish cooking Wednesday night would it be safe to FTC until around 11 Thursday morning?
 

Offline tskeeter

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Re: can i smoke a turkey for few hours then finish in oven?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2013, 08:53:23 AM »
I did exactly with a couple of turkey breasts for a neighborhood get together last weekend.  Three hours of apple smoke, then into the oven at 325 to an IT of 170.  Then FTC until carving time.  The neighbor who is my sausage making partner said it was the best smoked turkey I'd done yet.

Timing wise, for a 9 pound breast done completely in the smoker at about 250, I plan on five hours.  In the oven, and at a higher temp, it would take less time.  If you FTC, your timing is less critical, as you can hold a turkey at serving temp for a couple of hours if you need to.  Although, if you want crispy skin, you might need to give it about 15 minutes in a hot oven before you carve it.  If you're going to crisp the skin, you might want to "under cook" it by a few degrees to allow for the heat you're going to add in the last step of your prepration. 
How long is it safe to FTC the turkey breast? If I finish cooking Wednesday night would it be safe to FTC until around 11 Thursday morning?
 

I'd probably only FTC the turkey for a few hours.  I've only done about two hours with turkey and about three to four hours with pork. 

The cause for my concern is to keep the turkey out of the "danger zone" as much as possible.  The rule of thumb used by most forum members is to have food in the 40F to 140F temperature range for no more than four hours.  This minimizes the growth of harmful bacteria, which thrive in this temperature range.

My observation has been that poultry does not tend to hold heat as well as pork.  Whether it was a difference in the quantity of meat, a difference in the cooler I used, a difference in the way I prepared the turkey for FTC, or just that it was poultry, I can't be sure.  But my gut reaction is to think that an FTC in excess of 12 hours would be too long to keep the temperature of the turkey high enough to avoid risking problems.  The last thing any of us want is to be forever remembered as the person who used smoked turkey to give the family food poisoning.  (My family can be a tough crowd, I still get reminded about things I did 30 years ago.)

Offline pedro99

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Offline Snoopy

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Re: can i smoke a turkey for few hours then finish in oven?
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2013, 09:47:15 AM »
"old towel" is the key, SWMBO hates it when i use the nice ones lol. oh and another acronym for ya, She Who Must Be Obeyed

Offline pedro99

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Re: can i smoke a turkey for few hours then finish in oven?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2013, 08:55:15 AM »
I just wanted to post this reply with the results of my effort... I smoked the 14.5lb bird for 3 hours at ~225 degrees using mix of apple and cherry wood and Kingsford charcoal on a Weber Smokey Mountain (22.5').  Then roasted in 350 degree oven with a foil tent for another 3 hours or so.  It was a thing of beauty and everyone raved about it.  Thanks to all who contributed to the discussion.

pedro

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: can i smoke a turkey for few hours then finish in oven?
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2013, 01:28:49 PM »
Glad to read about your success.

If you don't have oven space I fully cook my turkeys in the WSM at 350°F. Just remove the water pan and place a disposable pan on the bottom rack to catch any drippings, and cook the turkey on the top rack. Use a full load of charcoal for this. :) I will have to say, I do use a temperature controller, so it is easy for me to maintain that temperature.


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  ::)

Offline pedro99

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Re: can i smoke a turkey for few hours then finish in oven?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2013, 01:59:16 PM »
Do you leave exposed to the smoke the whole time?  Two reasons I did not want to leave in the WSM the whole time... 1) the time and monitoring investment and 2) I did not want overpowering smoke.  But good idea to remove the water component to gain a higher temp... I never thought of that.  I am pretty new to this smoking thing but learning a lot as I go. 

Offline tskeeter

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Re: can i smoke a turkey for few hours then finish in oven?
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2013, 02:38:18 PM »
Do you leave exposed to the smoke the whole time?  Two reasons I did not want to leave in the WSM the whole time... 1) the time and monitoring investment and 2) I did not want overpowering smoke.  But good idea to remove the water component to gain a higher temp... I never thought of that.  I am pretty new to this smoking thing but learning a lot as I go.

Let me add my congratulations on your first successful turkey smoke.  That's the really nice thing about this forum.  Great, very specific advice that improves the chances that your first try at something will be a success.  And Habs is truly one of the most expert sources of advice you could find.


Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: can i smoke a turkey for few hours then finish in oven?
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2013, 01:51:33 AM »
The smoke flavor was just about right for me, and I left the turkey fully exposed. I don't like a strong smoke flavor either, and it comes out really good. I used about 4 - 5 chunks of 2"x3" pieces of apple wood at the beginning of the cook and didn't add any more during the cook.

A good place to go to learn about the WSM is The Virtual Weber Bullet


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)