Cook Your Best Holiday Turkey: Supplies and Equipment Guide

Posted on Leave a comment

Are you getting ready to cook your first turkey? Or looking for ways to improve your smoked turkey technique? Here is a list of all the supplies and equipment we use to cook a turkey so you can get up and running quickly.

Do you need help cooking your holiday turkey? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Visit our store for everything you need to cook outdoors, including free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

Purchase the Turkey

If you're cooking turkey only once a year, it only makes sense to invest a bit of extra effort into making it the best you can! The first step in cooking an incredible holiday turkey is by choosing a Nicholas turkey from Fossil Farms.

  • These turkeys are raised humanely in free-roaming environment. 
  • They are 100% natural and were fed a vegetarian diet of farm-local corn, rye, oats, alfalfa and soybean meal.
  • They are raised to the specifications of the “Never Ever Program”, where antibiotics, hormones and steroids are never used. 
  • They are minimally processed, which means they are perfect for brining, putting you in control of how salty you make them.

In summary, these turkeys are not only exceptionally tender and juicy, but also clean, so you can be confident about the meat you serve around your holiday table. Our customers have shared rave reviews about these turkeys, and I'm confident you'll be blown away by the quality of these if you follow the method below.

We carry these whole turkeys from Fossil Farms over the Thanksgiving holiday and are taking orders now. The price is $3.99/pound for fresh turkeys. Choose between 12-14 pound or 16-18 pound whole turkeys.

Step 1: Order a Nicholas Turkey

To place an order for Nicholas turkeys, email Matt at matt2122@meadowcreekbbqsupply.com, call us at (717) 355-0779, or visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

Brine the Turkey

Brining is the best way to uniformly pull salt into the meat and tenderize the meat, which makes it easier to fully cook the turkey without making parts of it too dry. The easiest way to do a wet-brine is with the Briner Bucket. The dandy gadget has a height-adjustable lid for keeping the turkey submerged and the liquid contained.

We recommend the Oakridge Game Changer Brine mix.

  • Turkey Tom Briner Bucket

    $22.25$38.95
  • Oakridge Game Changer Brine and Injection

    $12.95

Or Inject the Turkey

If you don't have time to brine or just prefer injecting, this is a good method for pumping flavor and moisture into the meat.

Butcher BBQ Bird Booster makes a delicious injection! Mix it according to the directions on the container and inject the meat with an injector such as the one listed below.

  • Butcher BBQ Bird Booster Honey Injection

    $18.99
  • Big Green Egg – Stainless Steel Injector

  • Butcher BBQ Bird Booster Chipotle Injection

    $18.99

Season the Turkey

We recommend one of these three barbecue seasonings on turkey. Dizzy Pig's Mad Max is excellent, and Meadow Creek Gourmet Seasoning is a great choice too. If you want a little bit of kick in the seasoning, use Kosmos Dirty Bird.

Season the entire surface of the turkey and the cavity. Loosen the skin between the legs and work some seasoning into the thigh area under the skin.

  • Meadow Creek Gourmet Barbecue Seasoning

    $6.45$27.95
  • Oakridge Secret Weapon Pork and Chicken Rub

    $8.95$15.95
  • Kosmos Q Dirty Bird Rub

    $10.95
  • Dizzy Pig Mad Max Turkey Rub

    $12.75

Do you need help cooking your holiday turkey? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Visit our store for everything you need to cook outdoors, including free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

Got a Smoker?

There are many types of smokers that work for cooking a turkey, including Big Green Eggs, offset smokers, pellet grills, drum smokers, electric smokers, and even gas grills. In case you don't already have a smoker, here are a few great choices. Visit our showroom for a wide selection of smokers on display.

  • Meadow Creek SQ36 Barbeque Smoker

    $1,645.00 (add-ons in photos not included)
  • Daniel Boone Choice With Wifi

    $499.00
  • YS640s Pellet Grill

  • Large Big Green Egg

Fire the Smoker

We recommend smoking turkeys with pecan wood.

  • Offset smokers: log splits. Pecan log splits are hard to find around here so we often don't have it in stock, but we carry cherry and apple splits, which are both good choices for poultry.
  • Pellet smokers: 20-pound bags of BBQr's Delight pellets.
  • Kamado style cookers, such as Big Green Egg, or small charcoal smokers: wood chunks.
  • Gas or electric smokers: wood chips or the A-MAZE-N Cold Smoker (see below) and pellets (we also carry 1-pound bags).
  • Gas grills: A-MAZE-N Cold Smoker (see below) with BBQr's Delight pellets.

We also carry both briquettes and lump charcoal for you who own a charcoal smoker.

Smoke Generators

If you are smoking your turkey on a gas grill, use one of these. Or if you have a gas or electric smoker and want more smoke flavor than what the smoker produces, this is a great solution too.

  • A-maze-n 12-18″ Expanding Tube Smoker

    $36.99
  • A-maze-n 5×8 Maze Smoker

    $31.99

Do you need help cooking your holiday turkey? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Visit our store for everything you need to cook outdoors, including free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

Temperature Controllers

Are you running a charcoal smoker? These handy gadgets automate temperature control in the pit.

The Flame Boss has a probe for monitoring three meats and can be connected to Wifi for recording and monitoring the cook. It gives you temperature alerts and graphs of past cooking logs. 

The Genius is a Big Green Egg controller that connects wirelessly to a mobile app. It has similar functionality as the Flame Boss FB500 (in fact it uses the Flame Boss server), but is controlled completely from a mobile app or computer.

  • Flame Boss FB500 Wifi Kit

    $349.00
  • Big Green Egg – Genius

Thermometers

One of the keys to cooking your best turkey is to fully cook it without overcooking it. To read the internal temperature of the meat, you can either use a hand-held instant read thermometer (the Thermapen is an excellent choice) or a leave-in probe, such as the Thermoworks DOT or Smoke.

  • ThermoWorks Dot

  • ThermoWorks ThermoPop

  • ThermoWorks Smoke

  • ThermoWorks Classic Thermapen

  • ThermoWorks Thermapen MK4

Frying Your Turkey

If you prefer your turkey fried, we've got you covered too!


  • Backyard Pro – Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer Kit

    $134.99

Rotisserie Grilling

Do you love the magic of meat turning on a spit? Try the JoeTisserie on your Big Green Egg!

Making Gravy

Don't forget the gravy. This gadget makes it easy to remove the fat from the drippings.

  • Fox Run – Gravy and Fat Separator

    $29.99

Do you need help cooking your holiday turkey? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Visit our store for everything you need to cook outdoors, including free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

Official Method: How to Smoke a Turkey in the Big Green Egg

Posted on Leave a comment

In this guide, I will show you how to wet brine and smoke a holiday turkey worth remembering in a Big Green Egg using the "Official MCBBQS Turkey Method."

Download the recipe in PDF format for easy reference here:

Whether you are new to smoking turkeys or wishing to improve your technique, this smoked turkey recipe will give you some proven tips and tricks for smoking a turkey that your guests will love!

So if you are ready to say goodbye to dry and boring turkey, let's dive in!

Do you need help cooking your holiday turkey? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Visit our store for everything you need to cook outdoors, including free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

In this story, I am cooking a 16-pound heritage breed turkey from Fossil Farms. I am using my XL Big Green Egg fired with Rockwood lump charcoal. I wet brined and seasoned the turkey, then smoked it until it reached my target temperature.

I didn't make any gravy, but if you want to step things up a notch, you can collect the drippings in a pan during the cook, then strain the drippings and use what's left for a delicious gravy on mashed potatoes and turkey.

Buy a Heritage Breed Turkey

If you're cooking turkey only once a year, it only makes sense to invest a bit of extra effort into making it the best you can! The first step in cooking an incredible holiday turkey is by choosing a Nicholas turkey from Fossil Farms.

  • These turkeys are raised humanely in free-roaming environment. 
  • They are 100% natural and were fed a vegetarian diet of farm-local corn, rye, oats, alfalfa and soybean meal.
  • They are raised to the specifications of the “Never Ever Program”, where antibiotics, hormones and steroids are never used. 
  • They are minimally processed, which means they are perfect for brining, putting you in control of how salty you make them.

In summary, these turkeys are not only exceptionally tender and juicy, but also clean, so you can be confident about the meat you serve around your holiday table. Our customers have shared rave reviews about these turkeys, and I'm confident you'll be blown away by the quality of these if you follow the method below.

We carry these whole turkeys from Fossil Farms over the Thanksgiving holiday and are taking orders now. The price is $3.99/pound for fresh turkeys. Choose between 12-14 pound or 16-18 pound whole turkeys.

Step 1: Order a Nicholas Turkey

To place an order for Nicholas turkeys, email Matt at matt2122@meadowcreekbbqsupply.com, call us at (717) 355-0779, or visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

What size turkey should I cook? I prefer turkeys in the 12-18 pound range for smoking. If you need more meat, cook multiple turkeys instead of getting a bigger one. Figure roughly 1-1/4 pounds of raw weight per person unless you want leftovers or are feeding big eaters.

If you buy a frozen turkey, plan ahead so you won’t be stressed over thawing and prepping it in time. It takes approximately 24 hours for every 5 pounds to thaw a turkey in the fridge.

Here is the 16-pound heritage breed turkey I am cooking for this recipe.

Trim the Turkey

Remove any packaging, including a pop-up thermometer or tie on the legs, and the giblet bag. 

Cut off the wing tips.

Trim the neck skin back, being careful to leave enough there to cover the meat. Turn the breast side up for trimming because this posture pulls the skin back.

Trim the flaps of skin and fat by the rear cavity and remove the tail.

Brine the Turkey

When cooking a turkey that is minimally processed, such as from Fossil Farms, brining makes a huge difference in how juicy and tender the meat is.

For this recipe I am showing you how to wet brine a turkey. The challenge of wet brining is 1) keeping the meat submerged in the liquid and 2) finding a container big enough to hold a turkey without taking too much room in the fridge. The Briner Bucket makes it easy.

The first step is to mix the brine. Our top recommendation is Oakridge Game Changer Brine and Injection.

We recommend using a 1-pound package of Game Changer per turkey. The directions on the package make 4 quarts of brine, which should be enough for a 12-pound turkey.

For a larger turkeys, you can simply add more water and ice to cover the turkey. Here are the ratios I used for the 16-pound turkey to make 6 quarts of brine:

  • 1 package of Oakridge Game Changer
  • 4.5 quarts water
  • 3 pounds of ice (each pound adds about 1 pint of water)

Mix the brine with 1 quart of water in a small pot and heat it enough to dissolve the mix. Pour the brine, remaining water, and ice into the Briner Bucket and mix it thoroughly to cool the water. Add more cold water as needed to cover the turkey.

Put the turkey into the brine and set the bucket into the fridge for one hour per pound of turkey.

Remove the turkey from the brine and carefully loosen the skin covering the breast and between the rear cavity opening and the legs so that you can season the meat directly later. Take your time to avoid tearing the skin.

Set the turkey in the fridge on a pan uncovered for 10–12 hours to draw some of the moisture out of the skin to help it get more crispy.

Season the Turkey

Our top seasoning recommendation for turkey is Dizzy Pig Mad Max Turkey Seasoning, and that's what I'm using for this turkey. If you haven't tried it yet, you need to... It will give your holiday meals the kick they need, jazz up your gravy and stuffing, and help you celebrate in style!

Season the entire bird with a moderate layer of the rub.

Shake some seasoning into the opening under the skin against the legs. Be careful not to add an excessive amount and use your fingers to spread the seasoning around.

Gently pull back the skin covering the breast and sprinkle the meat with seasoning, then work some seasoning further underneath the skin with your fingers.

This is what the turkey should look like at this point:

Cook the Turkey

Fire your smoker at 325 degrees F. Turkey doesn’t benefit from low and slow cooking, and the higher temperature will give you a more crispy skin and cook the turkey faster, which results in a juicier turkey.

In this cook I’m using my XL Big Green Egg and have it fired with Rockwood Lump Charcoal. I set up the grill with the convEGGtor for cooking with indirect heat.

This is what the charcoal looked like when I opened the bag. Notice the large pieces at the top of the bag!

To fire the Egg I dumped in enough charcoal to fill the Kick Ash Basket and lit two wax fire starter squares. The fire was ready to go in around 30 minutes without using a BBQ Dragon. Then I threw in 3 chunks of pecan wood for some flavor.

Next, I set in the convEGGtor and the cooking grate as shown here:

Start with both vents wide open. Use the screen vent in the bottom to keep embers from dropping out the bottom of the grill.

Once the temperature is within 50 degrees of your target temperature (275 degrees), slide both vents to 3/4" open and then adjust the top vent as needed to stabilize it at 325 degrees.

It will take some time to master temperature control, but it works on this principle: Give the grill more air to raise the temperature and give it less air to lower the temperature. This is done by adjusting both the top and bottom vents.

If you understand this principle, you can figure out how to make it work in any scenario. For example, depending on how you fired the grill, you may need to adjust the vents outside the range I suggested above. Keep in mind a higher cooking temperature requires more air than a lower one. For most cooks, you'll be running with the vents between 1/4" (a pencil thickness) and 1-1/2".

Set the turkey on the grate breast side up.

Now we're cooking...

He's gonna be tasty!

How to Know When Turkey Is Done

The USDA minimum recommended temperature for turkey and chicken is 165 degrees F. You can safely cook the turkey breast until it reaches 160 degrees and let carryover cooking take it up the rest of the way. Breast meat is very lean, so if you take the breast meat higher than that, it will not become better, but start drying out instead.

We prefer cooking the dark meat (legs and thighs) to at least 180 degrees for a better texture and appearance. It’s okay to remove it from the smoker once the thickest part of the thigh reaches the recommended temperature, but you’ll find that, while the meat is safe to eat, it will usually still be clinging tightly to the bone.

One of the keys to cooking the ultimate turkey is to not overcook it. Yet, the white and dark meat are two different types of meat and they often don’t both reach our target temperature at the same time. So how can we hope to cook the perfect turkey?

Most articles on smoking a turkey don't address this issue, but here are some tips and tricks to help you overcome it:

  • Brining widens the window of perfection, so the meat is more forgiving, whether you are cooking the turkey whole or in parts.
  • To give the legs a head-start during the cook, you can take the bird out of the fridge one hour before cooking and put a bag of ice over the breast. The thighs will start warming up a bit, and the breasts will stay cold. This sounds odd, but it works!

In this recipe we've brined the meat, so we're aiming to get the whole thing done without overcooking any part of it. If part of the bird gets a bit higher than we wish, the brine will help keep the turkey juicy.

How long does it take to smoke a turkey? Cooking at 325 degrees F, it will take around 10 minutes per pound. My 16-pound turkey took 2 hours and 45 minutes, almost exactly 10 minutes per pound. This time estimate should hold out for different size turkeys, but remember it could take longer, so try to keep the serving time a bit flexible.

If you are cooking an unbrined turkey, add 1 or 2 minutes per pound to the cooking time.

I use my instant-read Thermapen MK4 for checking the internal temperature of the meat.

In this cook, the dark meat rose above the temperature I was looking for, but the brine helped to keep everything juicy. I could have watched it more closely and moved the upper part of the turkey toward the edge of the grill partway through the cook, but I just left it in one place and it was awesome, even though the dark meat got hotter than I was shooting for.

Serve the Turkey

Once the turkey reached the right temperature, I transferred it to a platter for carving.

Now for the best part... the finished product. The meat was tender, juicy, and flavorful!

The back (side toward the fire) looked incredible.

Slice the breast lobes off the carcass:

Slice the breast against the grain:

Carve and serve the legs and wings whole or pull the meat. If the skin is crispy enough to your liking, you can chop some of it and mix it with the pulled meat.

Are you looking forward to cooking a turkey that will get raving reviews from all around your holiday table? It’s not rocket science, and if you put some effort into planning your cook, it just could be the best turkey you've ever cooked!

Did you know we are much more than a BBQ store?

One reason we open our doors each morning is to help ordinary people discover how to cook amazing barbecue! Feel free to call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, Pennsylvania to talk with one of our knowledgeable staff who will be happy to help you with your outdoor cooking questions.

Shopping List for Cooking This Turkey Recipe:

  1. Nicholas Turkey
  2. The Briner Bucket
  3. Dizzy Pig Mad Max Seasoning
  4. Oakridge Game Changer Brine

Download our printable turkey recipe in PDF format and keep it handy while you're cooking...

Also, if you haven’t yet, check out our more in-depth supplies and equipment guide for cooking a turkey here.

About the author: Lavern Gingerich is a writer and the digital marketing manager for Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply.

How to Smoke a Turkey Spatchcock Style

Posted on Leave a comment

If you’re getting ready to smoke your first Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, this turkey smoking guide will walk you through the steps for cooking a turkey with confidence, even if this is your first try.

Or if you have already smoked a few turkeys, but are struggling to perfect your technique, we’d be happy to help you gear up for smoking a turkey that your guests will still be talking about in a year from now!

Did you know we are much more than a BBQ store? One reason we open our doors each day is to help ordinary people cook the best barbecue they've ever tasted! Feel free to call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, Pennsylvania to talk with one of our knowledgeable staff who will be happy to help you with your outdoor cooking questions.

Do you need help cooking your holiday turkey? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Visit our store for everything you need to cook outdoors, including free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

In this cook I am cooking a 16-pound heritage breed turkey from Fossil Farms. I am using my Yoder YS640s pellet smoker fired with pecan pellets. I spatchcocked, dry brined, and seasoned the turkey, then smoked it until it reached my target temperature. It’s too bad it wasn’t Thanksgiving day with the whole family gathered around, because it was certainly a wonderful-tasting turkey.

Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to help you smoke a turkey just like this.

Buy the Turkey

Around Thanksgiving, some stores price turkey below their cost to get people into their stores. You can smoke an excellent turkey from Butterball or Honeysuckle, but there’s also a lot of value in going with a heritage breed or minimally-processed turkey. One of the advantages of cooking a turkey that hasn’t been injected with a solution is that you have more control over the level of saltiness in the meat. ​

Because many of our customers appreciate quality equipment and meats, we decided to bring in something special for you this year—we are taking orders for heritage breed turkeys from Fossil Farms!

These turkeys are exceptionally tender and 100% all-natural. The birds were raised humanely and free-roaming, only fed a vegetarian diet of farm-local corn, rye, oats, alfalfa, and soybean meal, and were never given antibiotics, hormones, or steroids. Because they have not been pre-brined, they are perfect for dry brining, the method I’m using in this story.

Call us at (717) 355-0779 or stop in at our store to place a turkey order.

What size turkey should I cook? I prefer turkeys in the 12-16 pound range for smoking. If you need more meat, cook multiple turkeys instead of getting a bigger one. Figure roughly one pound of raw weight per person unless you want leftovers or are feeding big eaters.

If you buy a frozen turkey, plan ahead so you won’t be stressed over thawing and prepping it in time. It takes approximately 24 hours for every 5 pounds to thaw a turkey in the fridge.

Here is the 16-pound heritage breed turkey I am cooking.

Trim the Turkey

Remove any packaging, including any pop-up thermometer, leg tie, or giblet bag. 

Cut off the wing tips. ​

Trim the neck skin back, being careful to leave enough skin to cover the meat. Turn the breast up for trimming, because this posture pulls the skin back.

Trim the flaps of skin and fat by the rear cavity and remove the tail.

Spatchcock the Turkey

I like to cook turkeys spatchcocked. This simply means you remove the backbone with shears and flatten the entire bird into a flat surface.

This method is supposed to cut down on the cooking time, making the meat more juicy. I am not quite sure what I think about that claim myself. I cooked another turkey whole at the same time on a different grill and it took the same amount of time, but I haven't done enough testing to know for sure.

However, I like having all the skin on one side and the turkey spread out more uniformly. You might also use this method if the spacing between your smoker shelves is too tight for an entire turkey or you want to split it in half to cook it on two different racks.

Side benefit to spatchcocking: This method also makes it easy to remove the leg quarters from the breast if one part gets done before the other, since it’s mostly skin that holds the two together once the backbone is removed. I will explain more about finishing temperatures below.

Set the turkey on a pan or cutting board with the spine facing up. Using a kitchen shears, cut the entire length of the backbone on both sides. I like to start it with a meat knife, but part of it will require a meat cutting shears.

Cut through the breast bone an inch or two until you can push the sides of the turkey into a flattened shape.

Brine the Turkey

Most turkeys from the grocery store have already been injected with a salt solution, so we don’t recommend brining those. If you are cooking one that is minimally processed, such as from Fossil Farms, a local butcher or a specialty grocery store (Whole Foods), brining is a real game changer. I won’t attempt to explain the science behind it, but it does tenderize the meat and make it more juicy.

You can either inject your turkey or brine it, and there are two methods of brining—wet brining and dry brining. As I said above, in this story, I’m dry brining the turkey.

For dry brining, sprinkle the entire surface of the turkey with kosher salt. It takes about 1 teaspoon per pound, but the amount is not critical if you make sure you have a decent coating over the skin. Don’t worry about working it under the skin the salt will pull through the skin without a problem.

Set the turkey in the fridge on a large pizza pan or anything with an edge to hold the liquid for 12 to 24 hours. If you are running out of time, you can shorten this step, but be aware that it might have less effect on the meat.

Season the Turkey

I am using Kosmos Q Dirty Bird to season this turkey. This is a delicious rub on turkey and any poultry. 

Season the entire bird with a moderate layer of the rub.

Carefully loosen some of the skin over the breast and uniformly work some of the seasoning directly onto the meat, being careful not to tear the skin.

Flip the turkey over and do the same on the inside of the legs. Carefully loosen the skin between the edge of the rear cavity and the leg, then shake a little bit of seasoning into the cavity you just opened. Be careful not to add too much and use your fingers to spread the seasoning around.

This is what the turkey should look like at this point:

Cook the Turkey

Fire your smoker at 325 degrees F. Turkey doesn’t benefit from low and slow cooking, and the higher temperature will give you a more crispy skin.

In this cook I’m using my Yoder YS640s Pellet Smoker and have it fired with BBQr’s Delight Pecan Pellets. I also inserted one of the food temperature probes from the control panel into the thickest part of the breast so I could monitor it on my phone.

The USDA minimum recommended temperature for turkey and chicken is 165 degrees F. You can safely cook the turkey breast until it reaches 160 degrees and let carryover cooking take it up the rest of the way. Breast meat is very lean, so if you take the breast meat higher than that, it will not become better, but start drying out instead.

We prefer cooking the dark meat (legs and thighs) to at least 180 degrees for a better texture and appearance. It’s okay to remove it from the smoker once the thickest part of the thigh reaches the recommended temperature, but you’ll find that, while the meat is safe to eat, it will usually still be clinging tightly to the bone.

One of the keys to cooking the ultimate turkey is to not overcook it. Yet, the white and dark meat are two different types of meat and they probably won’t both reach their ideal temperature at the same time. So how can we hope to cook the perfect turkey?

Most articles on smoking a turkey don't address this problem, but here are some tips and tricks to help you overcome it:

  • The easiest way to cook a turkey with perfectly predictable results is to separate the two meats and cook them independently to the ideal target temperature.
  • Brining widens the window of perfection, so the meat is more forgiving, whether you are cooking the turkey whole or in parts.
  • To give the legs a head-start during the cook, you can take the bird out of the fridge one hour before cooking and put a bag of ice over the breast. The thighs will start warming up a bit, and the breasts will stay cold. This sounds odd, but it works!

In this recipe we are cooking it all together, but we've brined the meat, so we're aiming to get the whole thing done without overcooking any part of it.

Here is an example of how you can use a hot spot in your smoker to your advantage—turn the legs toward the hottest part of the smoker. In my pellet smoker, the hottest area is directly over the burner so I positioned the turkey with the breast facing the opposite side of the smoker. 

How long does it take to smoke a turkey? Cooking at 325 degrees F, it will take around 10 minutes per pound. My 16-pound turkey took 2 hours and 45 minutes, almost exactly 10 minutes per pound. This time estimate should hold out for different size turkeys, but remember that it could take longer, so try to keep the serving time a bit flexible.

In this cook, the dark meat rose above the temperature I was looking for, but the brine helped to keep everything juicy. I could have 1) rotated it partway through the cook to help balance it out or 2) removed the leg quarters at a lower temp, but sometimes it’s better not to overthink stuff and just have fun, so that's what I did, and it was awesome, even though the dark meat got hotter than it should have.

Serve the Turkey

As soon as the turkey was transferred to a platter, I had to sample it—pitmaster privilege, you know. 

The skin was crispy, and the meat was tender, juicy, and flavorful — in other words, it was fabulously amazing!

Are you looking forward to cooking a turkey that will get great reviews from everyone around your holiday table? It’s not rocket science, and if you put some effort into planning your cook, it just could be the best turkey you've ever cooked!

Did you know we are much more than a BBQ store?

One reason we open our doors in the morning is to help ordinary people discover how to cook amazing barbecue! Feel free to call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, Pennsylvania to talk with one of our knowledgeable staff who will be happy to help you with your outdoor cooking questions.

Also, if you haven’t yet, make sure you check out our supplies and equipment guide for cooking a turkey here.

Turkey Tools

Here is a list of products we recommend for cooking your turkey:

  • Meadow Creek Gourmet Barbecue Seasoning

    $6.45$27.95
  • Royal Oak – Chef’s Select Charcoal Briquettes

    $23.49$557.00
  • Meadow Creek SQ36 Barbeque Smoker

    $1,645.00 (add-ons in photos not included)
  • Nature-Glo Lump Charcoal

    $18.99
  • Turkey Tom Briner Bucket

    $22.25$38.95
  • Oakridge Secret Weapon Pork and Chicken Rub

    $8.95$15.95
  • Kosmos Q Dirty Bird Rub

    $10.95
  • Oakridge Game Changer Brine and Injection

    $12.95
  • Dizzy Pig Mad Max Turkey Rub

    $12.75
  • BBQer’s Delight – Pecan Pellet Grill Fuel

    $4.99$17.49
  • Smoking Wood

    $20.00$185.00
  • A-maze-n 12-18″ Expanding Tube Smoker

    $36.99
  • Daniel Boone Choice With Wifi

    $499.00
  • Flame Boss FB500 Wifi Kit

    $349.00
  • YS640s Pellet Grill

  • Butcher BBQ Bird Booster Honey Injection

    $18.99
  • A-maze-n 5×8 Maze Smoker

    $31.99
  • Large Big Green Egg

  • Fox Run – Gravy and Fat Separator

    $29.99
  • Kamado Joe – JoeTisserie

    $249.99$299.99
  • Backyard Pro – Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer Kit

    $134.99
  • Big Green Egg – Genius

  • Big Green Egg – Stainless Steel Injector

  • ThermoWorks Dot

  • Butcher BBQ Bird Booster Chipotle Injection

    $18.99
  • Rockwood – Lump Charcoal

    $27.95
  • ThermoWorks ThermoPop

  • ThermoWorks Smoke

  • ThermoWorks Classic Thermapen

  • ThermoWorks Thermapen MK4

Do you need help cooking your holiday turkey? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Visit our store for everything you need to cook outdoors, including free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

​About the author: Lavern Gingerich is a writer and the digital marketing manager for Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply​.