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How To Smoke

Get an amazing smoked flavor while leaving your oven free for other dishes. Follow the instructions below for a water or electric smoker and get a taste unlike any other.

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Water Smoker

  1. Prepare the smoker by removing the lid and center ring, opening all vents, and placing 2 layers of briquettes (about 10 lb.) in the charcoal chamber.
  2. Light briquettes and let them burn for 30 minutes, or until they’re covered with gray ash. Start cooking as soon as the coals are ready.
  3. Line the water pan with heavy foil, and place it in the center ring.
  4. Prepare an 8 to 18 lb. thawed or fresh turkey by removing the giblets and neck, draining the juices, and drying with paper towels. The turkey should be completely thawed for even, safe cooking.
  5. Do not stuff your turkey. Brush the skin with vegetable oil and insert an oven-safe meat thermometer deep into lower thigh.
  6. Carefully set the center ring on the bottom section. Fill the water pan with hot water or another liquid to provide humidity during cooking. Add the top cook rack.
  7. Place the turkey breast side up on the top rack. Place an oven thermometer alongside the turkey to monitor its temperature.
  8. Cover the smoker and close the vents 1/3 of the way, being sure to protect your hands with oven mitts.
  9. Soak 5 hardwood chunks (3×2 inches) for about 1 hour. Place the soaked wood on the coals after 1½ hours of cooking to produce smoke.
  10. To maintain the heat around 250° F, add 12 to 14 briquettes through the door every 1½ hours. Replenish the water if necessary.

Smoking Tip

For food safety, your turkey must pass through a critical range of 40° F to 140° F in 4 hours or less. If the internal temperature is low after 3½ hours, take your turkey off the smoker and finish it in the oven.

  1. Check the temperature of your turkey after 3½ hours. Your turkey must pass through a critical range of 40° F to 140° F in 4 hours or less. If the internal temperature is low after 3½ hours, take your turkey off the smoker and finish it in the oven.
  2. Cook the turkey to internal temperatures of 175° F to 180° F in the thigh and 165° F in the breast. Your turkey may take up to 12 hours to cook.
  3. When done, remove the turkey from the smoker, protecting your hands with washable mitts or towels, and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.

Electric Smoker

  1. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for preparing the smoker.
  2. Prepare an 8 to 18 lb. thawed or fresh turkey by removing the giblets and neck draining the juices, and drying with paper towels. The turkey should be completely thawed for even, safe cooking.
  3. Do not stuff your turkey. Brush the skin with vegetable oil and insert an oven-safe meat thermometer deep into lower thigh.
  4. Set the smoker to 225° F. Place the turkey on a cooking rack and cook for 8 to 12 hours or until the inner thigh temperature reaches 180° F.
  5. Check the temperature of your turkey after 3½ hours. Your turkey must pass through a critical range of 40° F to 140° F in 4 hours or less. If the internal temperature is low after 3½ hours, take your turkey off the smoker and finish it in the oven.
  6. Cover the turkey and chill or let stand for 20 minutes before carving.