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Philly-QueMaster
10-19-2010, 09:00 AM
I was thinking about selling some smoked turkeys for the holidays this year to try and make some extra money. Thanksgiving and Christmas seem like the perfect time to sell some smoked turkey. I'm just wondering if anyone has done this or is doing it this year? How would you go about figuring out what to charge? Price per pound? Would you only sell whole turkeys? Would you slice them and sell them by the pound that way?

I was thinking mainly smoking them and selling them whole, and pricing them by the pound. People could pick up the day of. Would it be possible to cook and have them pickup the day before the holiday? I would be concerned about reheating and it drying out. Sorry for all the questions, just trying to get a good plan together and see if its even worth my time.

Thanks

2 Butts BBQ
10-19-2010, 12:07 PM
I am planning the same thing, hope you don't mind if I piggyback on your post.

Philly-QueMaster
10-19-2010, 12:30 PM
Not at all. I would love some answers and advice from the pros.

Ashmont
10-19-2010, 12:48 PM
"HINT" Also you can smoke pull vac sac pulled pork and freeze. Cook whenever you want I sell usually $30-35 dollars a roast. Hit your customers up the weekend before Super bowl. They thaw crock potted and serve. A hit with my customers. As a matter of fact I have several that have standing orders every year. Good luck!

3 Rivers BBQ
10-19-2010, 01:33 PM
I did smoked Turkeys last year for Thanksgiving, and it was a hit. I sold 16 of the birds, and I set it up that the turkeys were ready for pickup at my house between 9am and noon. All were nice and hot, ready to slice and enjoy. Have already been approached for this year, but this is the first Thanksgiving I dont have to work in 8 years, so the wife and I are traveling.

Philly-QueMaster
10-19-2010, 03:38 PM
So whats the advice on how to price your turkeys? What did you charge per pound?

Ashmont I thought about the pulled pork as well. So you charge $30-35 per butt? And you vac seal them and freeze them for your customers??

Alan in Ga
10-19-2010, 06:44 PM
We did turkeys last year as well and did them for the day before and soldthem for $30 or $35 depending on the size..

Philly-QueMaster
10-19-2010, 07:13 PM
We did turkeys last year as well and did them for the day before and soldthem for $30 or $35 depending on the size..

Whole Turkeys for $30-35? That seems pretty cheap. How much does a turkey cost from the store?

big brother smoke
10-20-2010, 08:56 AM
Back in the day , I did turkeys for around $50 bucks for a 12-15lb bird.

Philly-QueMaster
10-20-2010, 09:24 AM
Back in the day , I did turkeys for around $50 bucks for a 12-15lb bird.

Thanks BBS. $50 sounds more reasonable. I was kind of thinking cost times 3 to figure out what to charge. Did you have people pickup the day of, or vac seal them and have them pickup in advance?

Thanks,
Patrick

Ford
10-20-2010, 10:02 AM
OK - as a licensed vendor cooling is without a doubt the biggest challenge. With turkeys it's a huge hassle. I would strongly recommend selling them off the smoker the day of (pre ordered of course). And remember somebody picking up a turkey at 9 am and not eating it until 2 pm is likely to get a little sick or they put it in a turkey roaster for 4 hours and it dries out and is a mess.

Every year people see this as a money maker for a little extra holiday cash but the risk is huge. Cooking a couple for neighbors and delivering them at noon-2 for immediate consumption is great but anything else - well it's your risk.

2 Butts BBQ
10-20-2010, 10:15 AM
Thanks for the advice.

Ashmont
10-20-2010, 10:33 AM
So whats the advice on how to price your turkeys? What did you charge per pound?

Ashmont I thought about the pulled pork as well. So you charge $30-35 per butt? And you vac seal them and freeze them for your customers??

Just remember I dont sell to everyone in Joe Publix. It has taken me a long time to build up my rep. Yes I know alot of people and they know me. All of my customers know my cooking by going to a church function where I cooked ect. They know my product! I sell turkeys for $45.00 smoked or deep fried. My suggestion is frozen pulled pork or STL Ribs for New years or superbowl. I also follow up with a quality check either phone call or in person on how they enjoyed the product. Do the KISS method and you will be fine. Like FORD its is a risk and you need to know your customers. Ask when they are going to serve and adjust accordingly.

big brother smoke
10-20-2010, 11:34 AM
Since becoming legit several years ago, I really do not do turkeys unless it is for friends, based on the concerns Ford stated.

Plus the profit margin at this stage of the game is too small for me. My free time is worth a lot more than a few bucks profit.

Philly-QueMaster
10-20-2010, 04:11 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice. I think I'm going to pass on this idea. Maybe I'll take Ashmonts advice and try selling pre-cooked/frozen pulled pork or ribs. Sounds like a much better plan.

TN_BBQ
10-21-2010, 06:30 AM
Sounds like you might have made up your mind, but I still wanted to keep the thread going.

I have smoked/fried turkeys for folks for the past few years (Thanksgiving and Christmas).

Usually it is for neighbors, friends and co-workers. I don't have a commercial kitchen and my smoker isn't huge so I don't want to cook dozens and dozens.

I typically get the cheap, frozen birds and thaw them in an old fridge and/or ice chest.

Most of the birds are delivered or picked up on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. I give folks instructions on how to re-heat the birds and always get compliments. Never been an issue with cooking them on Wednesday and eating on Thursday.

FWIW...I spatchcock my birds in the smoker.

Philly-QueMaster
10-22-2010, 07:52 AM
TN what kind of reheating in instructions did you provide? Did you slice it up for them?

RedPig
10-22-2010, 08:04 AM
Yeah, I'd be very careful with this. Awhile back I was practicing on my rib method and asked a few freinds at work if they wanted to buy a slab. I ended up smoking 16 racks of spares that I also had to trim/remove membrane. All this done on a weeknight! I pulled it off, delivering to the guys at work the next morning right out of the smoker. Learned my lesson for sure. If I want to make some extra money I'll stick to pulled pork by the pound. It's by far, IMO, the easiest and most profitable.

RedPig
10-22-2010, 08:06 AM
Sounds like you might have made up your mind, but I still wanted to keep the thread going.

I have smoked/fried turkeys for folks for the past few years (Thanksgiving and Christmas).

Usually it is for neighbors, friends and co-workers. I don't have a commercial kitchen and my smoker isn't huge so I don't want to cook dozens and dozens.

I typically get the cheap, frozen birds and thaw them in an old fridge and/or ice chest.

Most of the birds are delivered or picked up on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. I give folks instructions on how to re-heat the birds and always get compliments. Never been an issue with cooking them on Wednesday and eating on Thursday.

FWIW...I spatchcock my birds in the smoker.
Never spatched a turkey. How is it?

KnucklHed BBQ
10-22-2010, 10:05 AM
I haven't done turkeys for sale, seems like it could be a lot of stress, I can't imagine having a whole bunch of birds in the cooker and possibly screwing up so many meals at once!

That said, I know that most smoked turkeys from the store or from local processors are cured in a TQ type brine and then smoked, cooled and vac'd - while the turkey comes out more hammy, moisture for reheats is not really an issue...

DerrickG
10-22-2010, 11:33 AM
Never spatched a turkey. How is it?

That's how I do mine and have always come out better. No cavity to worry about, the bird has an even thickness to it so I think it cooks more even.:thumb:

txschutte
10-22-2010, 04:40 PM
Wanna make real money during the holidays? Prime Rib. With a proven recipe, you can corner your local market. Try and get $200 for a turkey.

RedPig
10-22-2010, 05:23 PM
That must be a dam tasty turkey. Wow/

bam
10-22-2010, 09:40 PM
We do turkeys 40 plus the price of the turkey.Got a few customers who want free range 45 dollars for the bird. So for a 15 lb bird we get 60 free range 85.

Jeff Selle
10-29-2010, 12:04 PM
I am going to do some smoked turkeys this weekend and experiment with cooling and reheating ... I have a few ideas... I'll post my research when I am finished.

TN_BBQ
10-29-2010, 01:37 PM
TN what kind of reheating in instructions did you provide? Did you slice it up for them?

They get the birds intact. I do not slice em.

The idea with reheating a bird is to keep it moist. I tell them to either
1. cover w foil n put in a low oven with a little liquid
2. cover with a damp towel n microwave (my preferred method)

Lots of folks are reluctant to try the microwave method. The key is to wrap/cover in a damp towel. Works really well.

If I had a steam pan, that'd probably be even better.



Never spatched a turkey. How is it?

Great

I haven't done turkeys for sale, seems like it could be a lot of stress, I can't imagine having a whole bunch of birds in the cooker and possibly screwing up so many meals at once!

Yes. That would suck. Just pay attention (good news is turkeys don't take but a couple (2-3) hours in the smoker). Brining helps flavor the bird and helps keep it moist (larger margin of error). Besides that, just like with REAL BBQ...most folks are so used to eating bad bird that when they get one that's halfway good they rant n rave (ain't saying I'm the stud of turkeys anymore than I'd claim to be the kind of BBQ, but I think most folks have grown accustomed to poorly prepared BBQ n turkeys and it doesn't usually take much to impress them)

quarters69
10-29-2010, 04:22 PM
TN bbq what temp do u smoke at, seems fast to get a 12 pound bird done in 2-3 hours. I was told to smoke at 220 for 1 hour a pound? Let me know what you think :thumb:

RedPig
10-29-2010, 06:21 PM
I haven't done turkeys for sale, seems like it could be a lot of stress, I can't imagine having a whole bunch of birds in the cooker and possibly screwing up so many meals at once!

That said, I know that most smoked turkeys from the store or from local processors are cured in a TQ type brine and then smoked, cooled and vac'd - while the turkey comes out more hammy, moisture for reheats is not really an issue...

I agree. I'm not going to put myself under that pressure for such a small profit, especially rousting up early and having to work on Thanksgiving. Just not worth it to me.:blabla:

Ken V
11-14-2010, 07:35 PM
I smoke mine at 275 and normally take 3 1/2 to 4 1/2hours to reach temp. depending on size.