Author Topic: Whole Turkey Question  (Read 588 times)

nekojita

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Whole Turkey Question
« on: November 30, 2020, 02:55:41 PM »
I'm new to smoking and considering a 2D or 3D wifi, but I'm a little concerned with the ability to smoke a whole Turkey (one of the main reasons for purchasing). 

Am I limited to 1 x 14# bird to reliably get outside the danger zone, or can I go with a bigger bird (if so how big?) or multiple birds given that the AUD's now allow for higher temperatures?

Thanks!
Jake from Seattle
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old sarge

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Re: Whole Turkey Question
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2020, 05:31:56 PM »
For starters, I would get the largest smoker your budget can handle. You will be glad you did even if you don't fill it up all that often.  As for a large turkey, one of our members with the model 4 did 6 turkeys. I believe, from the video, he did them 3 at a time. I cannot tell you how large a bird to go with, or even if 2 smaller birds would be better from a safety point of view.  Or a single large bird spatchcocked.  Best advice I can offer is to give it a shot.  Also, use the search feature for turkey and see what others have done.  Here is the video from TMAN and his 6 turkey challenge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9ri468ZpZg
« Last Edit: November 30, 2020, 05:34:24 PM by old sarge »
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LarryD

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Re: Whole Turkey Question
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2020, 10:52:36 PM »
I'm new to smoking and considering a 2D or 3D wifi, but I'm a little concerned with the ability to smoke a whole Turkey (one of the main reasons for purchasing).

I started with a #2 (analog) and now have the 3DW.  If I were starting over from scratch, I'd get a #3.  Being able to hit 325 is really one of the few selling points for me on the D/DW models.  Both units will easily smoke a large, whole turkey.  Fitting two large birds in a 2 series might be tricky.  Fitting two in a 3 series would be super easy.

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Am I limited to 1 x 14# bird to reliably get outside the danger zone, or can I go with a bigger bird (if so how big?) or multiple birds given that the AUD's now allow for higher temperatures?

I've heard of the danger zone and even parroted it a little bit, but I decided to do some research to better answer your question and to learn more about it myself.

Here is the rule:  "The 40 140 rule is an easy to remember rule for food safety temperatures. 40F is the internal meat temperature when the cooking begins. This is the point where food is removed from the refrigerator at a safe temperature that it was stored at. 140F is the internal temperature that meat must meet within 4 hours. "

I just did a turkey that I'm guessing was 12.5 pounds and it was done in 2 hours to a temp of 163 in the breasts.  I've done 14-15 pound turkeys in the past and they were still done in 2.5-3 hours easy.  With this in mind, I suspect you could put a pretty big turkey in if you're wanting to just do one.  (That would be my preference, as I always brine and only have room to brine one at a time.)

In my case, I never put anything in the turkey cavity.  I also cut the skin away around the neck and the bottom so that the bird is wide open.  This undoubtedly helps with heat reaching the interior and helps explain why my turkeys get done much faster than what is often quoted.

While I've not actually tried such a large bird, I personally wouldn't be afraid of smoking an 18-20 pound turkey at this point.  I know the wisdom of the crowd here is 14 pounds max and/or spatchcock, but I'm not sure of the origin and data behind that.
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nekojita

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Re: Whole Turkey Question
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2020, 12:28:19 PM »
Thanks LarryD! Helpful information.  Since I'm limited on space I've decided to go with the 2D (at best I can hopefully fit two 12-14 birds in it and at worst a bird + a ham, which is plenty as I usually only cook for 2-6 ppl). The wifi option looked intriguing, but I've decided to add a third-party thermometer as there are companies that better specialize in that technology (still deciding between the Thermoworks Smoke or Fireboard).

Looking forward to posting some pics of results down the road!

Jake from Seattle
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LarryD

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Re: Whole Turkey Question
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2020, 01:10:23 PM »
Since I'm limited on space I've decided to go with the 2D (at best I can hopefully fit two 12-14 birds in it and at worst a bird + a ham

I think you'll be able to fit two in there, though they'll probably be touching and maybe positioned diagonally.  :)

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The wifi option looked intriguing, but I've decided to add a third-party thermometer as there are companies that better specialize in that technology (still deciding between the Thermoworks Smoke or Fireboard).

As mentioned, I have the Wi-FI and just use it to set the temperature and otherwise use it much like an analog smoker.  I just bought the Thermoworks Signals and really like it.  It seems to be very well built and high quality.  The support at Thermoworks is perhaps the best I've ever seen.  The Smoke appears to be 20% off today.  Their shipping is also stupid cheap ($10 for 2 day, less for ground), so figure that into your cost calculations.
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nekojita

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Re: Whole Turkey Question
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2020, 04:13:35 PM »
Nice! I looked at the Signal but the reviews were a little mixed. Decided to go with the Fireboard 2 as I found it for a reasonable price on eBay.
Jake from Seattle
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