click for larg­er image

Well, the Smoked Turkey exper­i­ment is almost done.  We are ful­ly smoked, and the pic­ture to the left is the turkey as I unplugged the smok­er.  I took the tem­per­a­ture, and it seemed good to me by stick­ing the ther­mome­ter in the thigh of the turkey.  The turkey is rest­ing in the smok­er right now off heat as we speak and in about 15 more min­utes I am going to take it out of the smok­er, and slice into her to see how she looks.  Then I will deter­mine whether or not it is edi­ble or not.   Now, for the nuances of the smok­ing…  All my research told me the smok­er should have been above 250 degrees.  My smok­er, the Big Chief, again with all my research, told me it will not get above 160 degrees… I was a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ed at that, so I start­ed schem­ing about how I can get the tem­per­a­ture up above 200 degrees, and if I could do that and sus­tain it, I know that I would be hap­py, and .  I need­ed to at least have an inter­nal tem­per­a­ture for the bird of 175 degrees (accord­ing to every­thing I have read every­one said 175 — 185 degrees). That said, I put my head to work think­ing about how to raise the tem­per­a­ture… So, I took the drip tray out of the Big Chief, and  moved it above where the turkey was.  This allowed me to have a low­er ceil­ing and open­ing the below burn­er to make a hot­ter box in a small­er box, essen­tial­ly half the size of the exist­ing smok­er to heat.  In addi­tion, the sun (and it is an August day) beats down on my deck and I know, because this is an alu­minum box, that it should help to increase the heat while the sun is shin­ing on it.  And, it did. So I could mon­i­tor the tem­per­a­ture, I went out and bought a meat ther­mome­ter.  I then drilled a small hole in the front of my smok­er, and slid the meat ther­mome­ter into the hole to watch the tem­per­a­ture all day. Once I fired up the smok­er this morn­ing to get it up to tem­per­a­ture.  I also slid a jar of water in to help keep the air moist.  I placed the turkey in the smok­er after it was up to temp.  Hon­est­ly, I was imme­di­ate­ly bummed.  The tem­per­a­ture was not going back up, and then I real­ized, I put a cold turkey that I just drained the brine off of in the smok­er and that it would prob­a­bly take some time to get back up to tem­per­a­ture.  Soon, the tem­per­a­ture was up above 165, slow­ly moved to 180 where it hov­ered for a while, and soon, with the sun beat­ing down we were at 202 degrees.  I added wood chips every 45 — 60 min­utes all day.  The process actu­al­ly start­ed at 7:30 a.m. this morn­ing, and I unplugged it at 5:00 p.m. this after­noon.  It’s now 6:10 p.m., and and I am about to go out to the smok­er (in the next 20 min­utes) to take the bird out, and slice into her in a cou­ple of places to be sure she is com­plete­ly cooked through.  I am not to wor­ried about that, what I am wor­ried about is hav­ing a bite. As an FYI, I used cher­ry wood to smoke the turkey, and the cher­ry wood chips came from Gan­der Moun­tain about a month ago. Stats:

  • Cook time:  7:30 a.m. — 6:30 p.m. (includes 90 min­utes of rest­ing in the smok­er)
  • Tech­ni­cal Smoke/Cook­ing time: 8:30/9:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.
  • Turkey weight: 12lbs
  • Brin­ing peri­od: 36 hours
  • Aver­age tem­per­a­ture: 185 degrees
  • High­est temp: 202 degrees
Print Friendly, PDF & Email