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20 lb bird
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lintcollector Offline
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Post: #1
20 lb bird
Hello folks,

I haven't been on a while and now I am crawling back for some advice.

My wife bought a 20 lb Turkey. I have it in a brine that smells like Thanksgiving should. I have two questions I would like to pose:

1) If I am brining the bird, do I also do a seasoned rub, or just rosemary, or something else?

2) Is there a way to smoke a 20 lb bird safely? Can I split it in two and smoke both halves at once? Or am I resigned to smoking it for 2-3 hours than placing it into the oven?

Thank you much in advance for sharing your thoughts.

Mike
11-22-2011 12:19 PM
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bud-wie-ser Offline
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Post: #2
RE: 20 lb bird
Kick your smoker temp up to 300-350° and smoke away.

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11-22-2011 01:14 PM
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Phred Offline
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Post: #3
RE: 20 lb bird
http://tipsforbbq.com/Recipes/Poultry/Th...e-Roasting

This web site will give you the details.
11-22-2011 01:52 PM
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lintcollector Offline
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Post: #4
RE: 20 lb bird
Thanks Gent's, but I thought that the higher temp kind of killed the whole 'low & slow' idea. So at the 300-350 range, should it only take 4 hours or so, like a conventional oven?

Phred - I saw your site while poking around earlier. "...you have this line: take 4 sections of tin foil and wrap all the nubbin" What are the 'nubbins'?

Do you tinfoil the joints / ends of the legs & knees, or the entire bird for the first hour?

Thanks folks.
11-22-2011 03:15 PM
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Phred Offline
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Post: #5
RE: 20 lb bird
Mike,

I actually don't add any foil until the last hour. Once the breast looks nice and brown plus the tops of the drumsticks I then will cover them with foil to prevent them from over browning. If you are cooking this on a grill using the indirect method then be more careful as you will have hot spots and may need to foil it more on one side then the other.
11-22-2011 03:26 PM
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lintcollector Offline
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Post: #6
RE: 20 lb bird
Thanks Phred.

Timing at the 325 degree level, 4 hours for a 20 lb bird? I have no idea as I don't frequently cook that high.
got it from your site, never mind. I'm a little slow sometimes.
(This post was last modified: 11-22-2011 03:29 PM by lintcollector.)
11-22-2011 03:28 PM
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smokem Offline
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Post: #7
RE: 20 lb bird
so whats ideal for 13 lb birds?
11-22-2011 10:00 PM
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elkski Offline
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Post: #8
RE: 20 lb bird
(11-22-2011 10:00 PM)smokem Wrote:  so whats ideal for 13 lb birds?

Smokem, a 20 lb bird is different in that it might take to long to cook at 225-250 so some inner meat might stay under 145 degrees in the danger zone for to long to be safe. that is not true for a 13 # bird so go with 250.

Team "Smoke-n-mirrors" its all in the beers.
Life is like the smell of smoking pork. stay in the downdraft and follow the sweet smell., enjoy each bite.
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11-22-2011 10:12 PM
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smokem Offline
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Post: #9
RE: 20 lb bird
so at 250 how long some say a pound an hour is that true?
11-22-2011 10:20 PM
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SoEzzy Offline
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Post: #10
RE: 20 lb bird
(11-22-2011 12:19 PM)lintcollector Wrote:  Hello folks,

I haven't been on a while and now I am crawling back for some advice.

My wife bought a 20 lb Turkey. I have it in a brine that smells like Thanksgiving should. I have two questions I would like to pose:

1) If I am brining the bird, do I also do a seasoned rub, or just rosemary, or something else?

That's just a personal choice, do what feels good, I like to add a seasoned rub, but some others prefer a herd seasoning.

Quote:2) Is there a way to smoke a 20 lb bird safely? Can I split it in two and smoke both halves at once? Or am I resigned to smoking it for 2-3 hours than placing it into the oven?

Thank you much in advance for sharing your thoughts.

Mike

Personally 300 -325° is a good place I like to cook at, but if a cooker of any kind is above 200° it will cook the meat over time. The meat is surrounded by the heat, the "DANGER ZONE" is between 40° and 140° and is cumulative, the suggestion from Health Departments is 4 hours total, but if you really think that at 4:01 it is not edible anymore, you have the wrong idea about how cooking and bacteriological theory work.

If the meat is surrounded by the heat of a cooker, and hasn't been tampered with, the outside, (where the microbes are), should be sterilized by the heat in under an hour of cooking, you need to cook the rest of the meat, but if you can cook Pork or Beef at 225° for 11 hours, why are these cuts not affected by the same worries, mostly it's because they are not cut or full of holes, and there is not a source of bacteria on the inside.

So to me as a general rule, if the meat is whole when you start, there should not be a problem with cooking low and slow even with poultry, the difference is if the meat has been "messed with"!

That said, poultry skin does not do well for me at 225 - 250° so I cook it a little hotter and still get a good smoke flavor!

Respice, adspice, prospice. Latin proverb.
Respice = you didn't use enough spice the first time! adspice = you ought to add spice, you know? prospice = you should be an advocate for spice!
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11-23-2011 09:16 AM
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PackerBacker Offline
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Post: #11
RE: 20 lb bird
(11-23-2011 09:16 AM)SoEzzy Wrote:  
(11-22-2011 12:19 PM)lintcollector Wrote:  Hello folks,

I haven't been on a while and now I am crawling back for some advice.

My wife bought a 20 lb Turkey. I have it in a brine that smells like Thanksgiving should. I have two questions I would like to pose:

1) If I am brining the bird, do I also do a seasoned rub, or just rosemary, or something else?

That's just a personal choice, do what feels good, I like to add a seasoned rub, but some others prefer a herd seasoning.

Quote:2) Is there a way to smoke a 20 lb bird safely? Can I split it in two and smoke both halves at once? Or am I resigned to smoking it for 2-3 hours than placing it into the oven?

Thank you much in advance for sharing your thoughts.

Mike

Personally 300 -325° is a good place I like to cook at, but if a cooker of any kind is above 200° it will cook the meat over time. The meat is surrounded by the heat, the "DANGER ZONE" is between 40° and 140° and is cumulative, the suggestion from Health Departments is 4 hours total, but if you really think that at 4:01 it is not edible anymore, you have the wrong idea about how cooking and bacteriological theory work.

If the meat is surrounded by the heat of a cooker, and hasn't been tampered with, the outside, (where the microbes are), should be sterilized by the heat in under an hour of cooking, you need to cook the rest of the meat, but if you can cook Pork or Beef at 225° for 11 hours, why are these cuts not affected by the same worries, mostly it's because they are not cut or full of holes, and there is not a source of bacteria on the inside.

So to me as a general rule, if the meat is whole when you start, there should not be a problem with cooking low and slow even with poultry, the difference is if the meat has been "messed with"!

That said, poultry skin does not do well for me at 225 - 250° so I cook it a little hotter and still get a good smoke flavor!

Good post Chris!

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11-23-2011 11:39 AM
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lintcollector Offline
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Post: #12
RE: 20 lb bird
I love you all. Last year my smaller bird was a bit 'questionable'. I shoulda been here sooner.....

Thanks again and happy Turkey day folks!
11-23-2011 03:52 PM
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elkski Offline
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Post: #13
RE: 20 lb bird
seems like a turkey is full of interior surface area and the guts were in there and usually some still are! since like 90% of poultry tests positive for salmonella I think the warning is justified. But remember a 20# turkey will be only 18# once you take out the head and insides. Yes I said head. I once had a turkey where I paid for the head. I have a picture of that shocker. Just some jokester on the line.. Cant blame him/her

Team "Smoke-n-mirrors" its all in the beers.
Life is like the smell of smoking pork. stay in the downdraft and follow the sweet smell., enjoy each bite.
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11-23-2011 05:03 PM
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SoEzzy Offline
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Post: #14
RE: 20 lb bird
If you were to add stuffing then I would agree that there is a possible problem...

That said if you are cooking it without anything in the body cavity, does the heat and smoke not sterilize that part of the bird as well?

I suspect it does, so I do hear your warning elkski, and you can stick with your methods, I'll stick with mine... I haven't killed anyone with food born illness yet... (only made them very, very sick) this is a JOKE... for those that don't understand my sense of humor.

If this was such a problem, how could you sanction cooking whole hog, or Duck and Goose. It is more a case of stuffing the bird and then having trouble, because you are making a layer of the bacteria surrounded on both sides by a mass of other food, that additional mass is the same as messing with the bird, and will need cooking quickly to reduce the chance of food born illness.

I do like to cook duck and goose, but I'd think twice about a turducken if it was cooked below 300°, and yet read this page http://whatscookingamerica.net/Poultry/Turducken.htm and die of astonishment!

Respice, adspice, prospice. Latin proverb.
Respice = you didn't use enough spice the first time! adspice = you ought to add spice, you know? prospice = you should be an advocate for spice!
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11-23-2011 05:36 PM
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lintcollector Offline
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Post: #15
RE: 20 lb bird
Bad realization of the day: My electric smoker only goes up to 275. Putting the bird in at 7:15am may have screwed me on timing. Hooray for thermometers, but bummer on lack of fore-thought. Here's to wishing I started it at 2am rather than 7am. Guess it's going into my oven after 2 hours. Sad
11-24-2011 08:48 AM
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SoEzzy Offline
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Post: #16
RE: 20 lb bird
2 hours of good smoke is better than no smoke at all.

Adjust, survive, outwit it's an electric smoke for goodness sake... you have the edge on it! Wink

Respice, adspice, prospice. Latin proverb.
Respice = you didn't use enough spice the first time! adspice = you ought to add spice, you know? prospice = you should be an advocate for spice!
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11-24-2011 12:36 PM
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elkski Offline
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Post: #17
RE: 20 lb bird
keep us updated lint.
I have not been sickened by poultry yet. Cabrito and bad seafood at LaCialle.
Just going off of what you read about 20# turkeys being on the large size for smoking or deep frying. Lint, 275 is not to bad.. remember heat transfer is a function of the temperature difference to the 4th power. 2-3 hours smoke will really make that bird sing you some praises at dinner time. No matter how you get the final temps of what 170??

Team "Smoke-n-mirrors" its all in the beers.
Life is like the smell of smoking pork. stay in the downdraft and follow the sweet smell., enjoy each bite.
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11-24-2011 01:27 PM
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Larry Jacobs Offline
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Post: #18
RE: 20 lb bird
"I have not been sickened by poultry yet. Cabrito and bad seafood at LaCialle."

I shot scouting video at LaCialle for Touched by an Angel. From what I remember about the kitchen, they really needed Chef Ramsey, or at least a good fire.

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11-24-2011 05:29 PM
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Razcals Ribs Offline
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Post: #19
RE: 20 lb bird
first turkey can out great!!!!!!!

if it moves salute it,if it don't paint it, if it is dead BBQ itCool
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11-24-2011 07:24 PM
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