I do mine at 225 -240 in my vertical smoker. Figure maybe 12 hours for a bird that size. If you use a butterball turkey, you do not need to brine. They always turn out fantastic.
Dr. Trout Bum
06-25-2013 04:06 PM
I have not yet smoked a turkey, but I've read that you should not brine birds that are labelled as "self-basting"...it will be too salty.
Others can validate or tell me I'm wrong.
06-25-2013 04:15 PM
I have brined Many enhanced birds. Just cut back on the salt if ya want but you can still do it to change the flavor profile to your choice.
06-25-2013 04:29 PM
I've smoked two turkeys. Practice on a whole chicken to get it right. I bought a turkey holder that holds a turkey in the same position as a beer can chicken. I like it and bought it at Cabelas.
I like the hotter cooks, 325F-350F, as it crisps the skin better (I don't lke rubbery skin). Never cooked one as large as yours.....mine have been around 15lb birds. The breast cooks faster so if you cook in the normal position (breast down) then you may want to ice down the breast before putting it on the smoker so it gets done around the same time as the thigh.
Do a search and there are a lot of good suggestons for brining, rubs, etc. Just pull when the thigh is around 160F-165F as you don't want to dry the meat out. It will be good!
06-25-2013 04:33 PM
Brine it overnight, and smoke it at 300 - 325. Use an thermometer probe, definitely don't rely on the pop-up thingy it comes with. I put the probe in the same place the pop-up was. After about 45 min to an hour, foil the legs and wings so the meat there doesn't pull back from the bone too much.
You want to use Pecan Wood. Trust me, pecan is magic on turkey for both color and taste.
PatioDaddio's brine is excellent. Just reduce the salt by 1/3 if the bird is already "enhanced or self-basting". Oh yeah, and post pr0n!
06-25-2013 05:54 PM
If you use an enhanced turkey like a butterball you could just butterfly it and get up under the skin with an oil/rub mixture to put more flavor on the meat. I start low and slow (225-250) for two or three hours to get more smoke into the breast meat, then crank it up to about 300 to finish it and crisp the skin.
Big George's BBQ
06-25-2013 06:44 PM
It is definately worth doing a brine I like to cook mine at 325 indirect You have to be careful Pultry takes in smoke flavor quickly and will be bitter. I also like to ice down the breast for an hour before the cook- ziplock bags with ice. This allows the white meat to be done at the same time as dark meat. Go to the naked wiz site. look at ceramic cooking and chjeck recipes Mad max has a great way to do a turkey PattioDaddio has a great brine Google Turkey brine 101 that is really good too
06-25-2013 10:22 PM
Looks of good suggestions here...will keep an eye on this as Thanksgiving is at my house this year!
06-25-2013 10:31 PM
Instead of brining may I suggest you inject it with some creole butter?