Author Topic: 20 lb turkey  (Read 879 times)

Offline 10minhappyhour

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20 lb turkey
« on: October 22, 2017, 12:26:20 pm »
 This is my FIRST experiment with smoking using my smoker with the heat source on the side of the smoker...
I am not rich and turkey was given to me to help me out with food. Ive read 20 lbs to big ? Can I smoke it for a while at low temp then crank heat up? Not brining it. I am injecting it. I have apples and apple cider. Wood is both oak and hickory both small chunks sm sticks and kindling to chips that are soaking.
PLease help me as I want to smoke this big bird. Any info I would be grateful for!
Cheers
oh and trying to guess the letter to verify is nuts for us older people

Offline Kummok

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Re: 20 lb turkey
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2017, 03:12:05 pm »
Two experienced based recommendations:
1. Spatchcock the bird...more even smoke/cook and better smoked flavor throughout
2. Place a shallow pan (like a baking sheet with 1/2" sides) under the bird to catch drippings...the drippings will probably dry to a crust in the pan but adding a cup or so of boiling water will provide enough "juice" to make a delicious gravy...

Offline 10minhappyhour

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Re: 20 lb turkey
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2017, 03:34:42 pm »
Thank you Kummok,  I will give it a go! Apriciate your advice!
Cheers

Offline Ka Honu

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Re: 20 lb turkey
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2017, 09:05:20 pm »
... to chips that are soaking.

Don't mean to yell, but NEVER SMOKE WITH WET WOOD!! I'm burned out on football and still have to grill some chicken for SWMBO tonight so won't get into the explanation but you can find one version of it here.

Now that we understand that part, you never said what type of cooker you're using (but it didn't sound like a Bradley). In any event, there's no problem with smoking for a while and finishing at a higher temp (even in the oven). Allows you to regulate how much smoke taste you get and crisps up the skin (if you care). Only caveats are don't cold-smoke poultry and once you've started, continue till you're done (don't smoke, refrigerate, and finish later).

Also, Kummok was right on with his recommendations.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: 20 lb turkey
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2017, 02:08:16 am »
Kummok has given you good advise.

About the cooking temperature; that depends on the equipment you are going to use to smoke/roast the turkey. It looks like you are using an offset wood/charcoal burner. If so, you can start out at 180°F for the first stage of your cook, then crank it up to around 350°F, to finish. I find that cooking poultry at a high temperature right at the beginning, you still get a nice smoke flavor, and crisp skin.

Cook by internal meat temperature. I measure the meat temperature at the thickest part of the thigh, and take it out when it reaches 165°F, and the carryover during the rest should bring it up to around 170°F.

If you are using the Bradley; set the cooking temperature at the temperature you want to cook at. By the time you reach your cooking temperature, the Bradley cabinet temperature will be low for a while.

If you haven't barbecued poultry, be careful of the amount of wood you use to smoke with. When I use my charcoal cookers, I don't use any more than two fist size chunks of wood - maybe a little less, and my hands are about average.

The below link is a good guideline to use when smoking with a wood/charcoal cooker, and a lot of it can be adopted for the Bradley.

Butterfied (Spatchcock) Turkey


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline 10minhappyhour

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Re: 20 lb turkey
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2017, 06:16:39 am »
Yes I suppose you would call it a offset smoker. And no it is not a Bradley it is made by New Braunsfel.
Ka Honu, I had read to soak the wood so I did. Why do you say that?  Just so I know.  I have plenty of wood so it is not a waste to toss them. Was not planning on charcoal use just the wood.
You guys here are great! Thank you for all the advice

Offline Kummok

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Re: 20 lb turkey
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2017, 06:58:21 am »
For a very good explanation of "why you don't soak wood in water", click on the "here" in Ka Hong's comment...an excellent summary of why not...good stuff

Offline 10minhappyhour

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Re: 20 lb turkey
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2017, 11:55:59 am »
That's Fantastic! would have never known.
Thank you for showing me the "here" above. I wouldn't have known that either. Obviously I am new to smoking food and this web site. Needless to say it is normally my grandkids showing me how to get around the internet stuff...
Thank you everyone!
Here we go!......

Offline Kummok

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Re: 20 lb turkey
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2017, 01:32:01 pm »
67 here...I totally get the "grandkid internet guide" thing!  ;) Smoke on!

Offline 10minhappyhour

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Re: 20 lb turkey
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2017, 08:08:56 pm »
To all who responded to my lack of experience, "Thank You".  I fired up the wood and took the back bone out, I had found a half round sort of apparatus in the pile of parts that came with my smoker and draped the turkey over it. Man did the smoke do it's job. I have to say taking that big back bone out was a new experience for me but it made the cutting of the meat easier and the cooking time was quite quick considering the times I had been reading up on. In approximately three hours I checked on the bird and it was very close to being done. I would say four and half to five hours and I had this twenty pound bird  DONE!
 Holy Crap was it delicious.  I owe the success to this incredible smoked turkey to you folks that took time to help me out. I tossed the soaked wood in the flowers and followed all of the advice here!
 When I can talk my grandkids into getting the pictures from my phone to here I will post to show just how it all played out! I feel ready and confident for Thanksgiving day!
 Thank you again
Cheers!

Offline Ka Honu

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Re: 20 lb turkey
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2017, 12:05:44 am »
Glad it worked out. Don't forget to save the carcass (including the backbone if you still have it) for stock/soup.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: 20 lb turkey
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2017, 02:17:28 am »
Happy to read you had a successful cook.


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  ::)

Offline Kummok

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Re: 20 lb turkey
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2017, 08:05:49 am »
Glad to hear it was a big hit w family...I was there a few years back, starting out with my bird in the Bradley and then putting a "crisp" on it in 'The Big Easy'. My wife, not being that confident with a Thanksgiving Day experiment, also cooked a bird in the oven, "just in case"...that conventional bird barely got touched and now, years later, the family/friends won't accept anything other than the brined/smoked turkey...success!

Also, just in case you might have glossed over Ka Hong's excellent suggestion while doing the 'happy dance', (My Bradley Smokers have me doing that quite a bit!), the carcass makes superb stock/soup. I always add a bit of locally harvested 'Wild Alaskan Silver Sage' and use only 'Real Salt' from Utah, plus other ingredients to make another family/friend hit, 'Smoked Turkey/Barley Soup'...the young grandkids especially,  stuff themselves on this thick, hearty soup, often accompanied with homemade sourdough bread with our locally started sourdough starter...Smoke On!