A guide to smoking a Thanksgiving turkey: Part 2

The bird has been purchased, brined and brushed with olive oil. It has a healthy coat of rub. (If you need advice on any of these steps, see yesterday’s Part One). You are finally ready to smoke your Thanksgiving turkey.

The traditional axiom of cooking something slow and low can go out the window when it comes to smoking your Thanksgiving turkey. Bob Denner of Boondoggle BBQ recommends heating up the smoker to 325 degrees, much higher than you might want for brisket or pork butt.

“Don’t be afraid to get the temperature up high. Otherwise, you’ll have a dark bird with skin that is all rubbery,” says Denner.

A turkey will take about 25 minutes per pound (if you’re cooking at 325 degrees), so a 10-pound bird would take approximately 4 hours and 10 minutes. When it comes to monitoring the temperature of the turkey, you want to make sure the thickest part of the thigh is between 170 and 175 degrees and the breast is at least 165 degrees. These temperatures, Denner says, will leave you with a tender bird that isn’t dried out.

Here’s where you might want to consider investing in a digital probe, which lets you monitor the turkey’s temperature without opening your smoker, since you’ll lose heat and moisture each time you peek inside.

Categories: Dining, Food & Drink