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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-07-2017, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Smoked Wild Turkey Help

I got a nice gobbler yesterday and I would like to cook it in my vertical propane smoker. I plucked the bird and the dressed weight is 15 lbs. Does anyone have recommendations or experience with smoking a wild turkey? Would it be best to do the hole bird or cut it up?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-07-2017, 10:43 AM
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Congrats on your bird. I would recommend looking at this website Barbecue Turkey And Grilled Turkey: The Ultimate Smoked Turkey Recipe. I have smoked a good many birds using this sight. I have done just breasts and spatchcoking. I would recommend just doing the breasts but at the very least split it in two (spatchcock).

Last edited by jkhunter; 05-07-2017 at 10:53 AM.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 01:34 PM
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Cut it up. White and dark meat are finished cooking at different temps. 165 for white meat and 180 for dark. If you cook the breast to 180 like you would a piece of dark meat it will be overcooked and tough. Portioning it into breasts, thighs and drumsticks allows you to take the pieces off when they reach their ideal temp. I skin my birds that I smoke. You don't have to, but I do. I find that the skin gets rubbery when being smoked. Portioning the bird also reduces the cooking time and eliminated the need for plucking!! Most importantly brine the bird in ice cold water for 12-18 hours prior to smoking!!! I use a cylindrical cooler to brine it in and that keeps the bird at a safe temp while brining. You can use a rectangular one though. I just find the cylinder style makes it easier to cover all the portions with the brine. Brining introduces fluid and flavor into the flesh through osmosis. That keeps the bird moist during the cooking process. do an online search for turkey brine recipes. there's a ton of them! try different ones and then stick with the ones you like. Technically a brine is a saltwater solution so be sure to rinse well with fresh water after brining. Use a digital meat thermometer and take the breasts off when they reach 165 degrees and the dark meat at 180.


Do not discard the carcass!! Put that onto the smoker as well. It's mostly dark meat so take it off when the thighs are done. Use this to make stock (or put into collard greens like you would a ham hock). Use the stock to make soups or stews with. You cant buy that kind of goodness in a store!!


My family loves smoked wild turkey more than anything. White meat gets eaten plain, in sandwiches, and in other dishes. Dark meat, well that's the kicker. It tastes so much like smoked pork (ham) that it's used as a ham substitute. I recommend using it in recopied such as home made ham and bean soup, pork and beans, ham and green beans etc. it's amazing! I made the mistake of bringing smoked breast meat into work and had it devoured. Comments from non hunters were that it was the most tender and flavorful turkey they've ever tasted. I still get asked to bring some in around turkey season lol. (I tell them I didn't get one lol)
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