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Is 21lbs. turkey too large to smoke?

 
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ceeyahd1
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Joined: 02 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Feb 05 2014    Post subject: Is 21lbs. turkey too large to smoke? Reply with quote

I have a couple 21 lbs turkeys i would like to smoke this weekend, are they too large to smoke? will the breast dry up because they re so big?
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
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Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Feb 05 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

While that is not my favorite size to smoke I have cooked them that large. I use Smokin' Okie's Holiday brine for about 30 hours then cook them. These birds only had about a 8% solution they were not butterballs. Run the cooker at least 300° to 325° and cook the birds in a pan. Once the color you like is achieved tent them with foil and finish them.
I hope this helps. Very Happy
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ceeyahd1
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PostPosted: Feb 05 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it OK to smoke them at 250 since i will also have brisket and pork shoulders in the cooker?
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Wreckless
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Joined: 15 May 2009
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PostPosted: Feb 05 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not too worried about a large brisket stalling, a bird I am. I believe the suggested Smokin' Okies brine includes the option for Tenderquick. I would use some.
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ceeyahd1
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PostPosted: Feb 05 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it OK to smoke them at 250 since i will also have brisket and pork shoulders in the cooker?
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Feb 05 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I would not cook those birds at that temp. They may stay below 140° for quite some time.
You could spatchcock them that will speed up your cook time.
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ceeyahd1
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PostPosted: Feb 05 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

WHATS SPATCHCOCK?
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animal
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PostPosted: Feb 05 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to say splatchcock also, cut out the backbone on both sides and spread it open and lay flat

https://sites.google.com/site/boiselocals/grillin/turkey-spatchcock-november-2011

Otherwise a bird that big will be in the danger zone bacteria wise for too long
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phil c
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PostPosted: Feb 05 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many years ago I did a 23+ lb.er on an ECB.(it just fit) out camping for the weekend. Started it very early on morning and pulled it around 6 or so that night. Never heard of temping back then, just went off the time/lb. chart in the brinkman book.
Bird was delicious! fed a bunch of friends. no one got sick, good times had by all!

Yes it can be done!

I don't think I'd do it that way now. I think 15-17 lb.ers are a better bet for the smoke.
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ceeyahd1
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PostPosted: Feb 05 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I better off just cutting off the breast and legs and smoking them this way?
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SoEzzy
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Feb 05 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

What sized pit are you cooking on?

If you have room for the birds spatchcocked, take out the back bone and spread the rest of the birds it out flat bones down!

It will cook fine and present well.

But it's your cook on your cooker, if you want to take of the back ends off and just cook the breasts, and rear quarters separately that's OK too!
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ceeyahd1
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PostPosted: Feb 06 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your help, I decided to put the 2 large turkeys back in the freezer and bought 2 14 lb. turkeys this morning.
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Workaholic
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Joined: 27 Nov 2008
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Location: Kansas

PostPosted: Feb 07 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like I'm a bit late to the party, since you have bought 2 14# turkeys. However, here's my 2 cents:

My experience was with an unmodded offset. I've done 2 24lbs. turkeys and a 21 lbs. all at about 225-250. plan for the 45 minutes per pound, and have everything ready just it finishes up early (temp spikes had one of mine finish 6 hours early). i followed the advice about sticking it in the pan (really really good idea), and foiling, once the skin gets the color you want. Mine also stalled for a couple hours around 140ish, if memory serves. Once they came out of the stall, they finished quick, though. I believe i took them to an internal temp of 180.
The next ones I do will be more in the range of 15-17#, like Phil said. I think they would be a more managable size for smoking.
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BUGSnBBQ
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PostPosted: Feb 07 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

I for one want to hear back how your cook goes (with pics, of course Laughing ). I'm doing a 14# this weekend. Not sure about brine or rub yet, but I've been craving a smoked bird. I fried our T-Day turkeys.
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Pinkelephant
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PostPosted: Feb 09 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

If a 19 pounder fits in my Brinkmann Gourmet, anything can happen. You got to keep the temps up like KAM said.
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