How Long Does It Take to Smoke a Turkey in a Smoker?

This recipe for smoked turkey consists of coating an entire turkey with a homemade spice rub and slow-smoking it until it is perfectly juicy and tender. A super easy and impressive holiday main course that won’t take up any oven space!.

Looking for something a little different from your typical roasted turkey? This smoked turkey is a one-of-a-kind Thanksgiving dish that looks stunning and is so easy to make even a non-cook can create a beautiful and delectable masterpiece. Serve your turkey with homemade cranberry sauce and watch the rave reviews come in!.

Although I enjoy cooking turkey for the holidays, I dislike how much oven space it takes up on the big day. Now that I’ve started smoking my turkey instead of roasting it, the outcome is simply amazing.

Planning a Thanksgiving feast or just looking for a delicious way to cook a turkey? Smoking a turkey is a great option! But how long does it actually take?

The answer depends on a few factors:

  • The size of the turkey: A general rule of thumb is that it takes about 30 minutes per pound to smoke a turkey at 225 degrees F. So, a 12-pound turkey would take about 6 hours, while a 16-pound turkey would take about 8 hours.
  • The temperature of the smoker: If you’re smoking your turkey at a higher temperature, like 250 degrees F, it will cook faster. At 250 degrees F, you can expect it to take about 25 minutes per pound.
  • The type of smoker you’re using: Different smokers cook at different rates. Some smokers are more efficient than others, so you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Here’s a handy table to help you estimate how long to smoke your turkey:

Turkey Weight Smoking Time at 225°F Smoking Time at 250°F
10-12 lbs 5-6 hours 4-5 hours
12-14 lbs 6-7 hours 5-6 hours
14-16 lbs 7-8 hours 6-7 hours
16-18 lbs 8-9 hours 7-8 hours
18-20 lbs 9-10 hours 8-9 hours

Tips for Smoking a Turkey:

  • Brine the turkey beforehand. This will help to keep the meat moist and flavorful.
  • Use a good quality smoker. A good smoker will help to regulate the temperature and produce consistent results.
  • Use wood chips that complement the flavor of the turkey. Hickory, apple, and pecan are all good choices.
  • Start checking the internal temperature of the turkey after about 4 hours. The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F in the breast and 175 degrees F in the thigh.
  • Let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and make the meat more tender.

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:

How do you smoke a turkey?

If brining, immerse the turkey in the brine mixture two days prior to cooking. Preheat your smoker with the wood of your choice. Place the turkey in a disposable aluminum pan, and tuck the wings under the bird. After adding the onion, lemon, and herbs to the turkey’s cavity, fasten the legs together with twine. Place the BBQ rub all over the outside of the turkey. After moving the pan of turkey to the smoker, cook it, bashing it periodically, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the turkey rest, then carve it and serve.

how long does it take to smoke a turkey in a smoker

Tips for the best smoked turkey

  • I find that leaving the turkey in the disposable pan while it smokes makes cleanup much simpler than moving it straight onto the rack.
  • A probe thermometer is a must-have when making smoked turkey. Always go by the temperature rather than the cooking time because smokers can occasionally have inconsistent temperatures.
  • I usually use an electric smoker because I find they are easy to use, even for complete novices, and they regulate heat well.

how long does it take to smoke a turkey in a smoker

Starting early in the day will ensure that the turkey is finished by dinnertime because smoking a turkey can take a while. Typically, it takes at least 5 hours to smoke an average sized turkey at 250 degrees F. Plan on having your turkey cook for about 25-30 minutes per pound. Depending on the kind of smoker you’re using and how well it maintains a constant temperature, this timing may change. It’s imperative to use a thermometer rather than a clock to gauge when the turkey is ready.

I like to use apple wood to smoke poultry, as it imparts a mild and sweet flavor. Apple wood is readily available in most stores. Other great choices are cherry wood or hickory.

When a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit, the turkey is done. I use a digital thermometer that I leave in the turkey while it smokes so that I can use a temperature remote from inside the house to keep an eye on its progress.

Since nobody likes a dry turkey, I prefer to baste my smoked turkey, sometimes adding a little chicken broth while it cooks to keep the turkey moist. If you’ve brined your turkey before hand, you can skip the basting step.

Assuming one pound of turkey per person will help you determine the approximate size of turkey you will need. If you want a lot of turkey left over, plan on 1 1/2 pounds of turkey per person.

how long does it take to smoke a turkey in a smoker

This recipe is delicious as-is, but you can also customize the flavors to your tastes if you prefer.

  • Spice Rub: If you’re not in the mood for barbecue, this recipe also tastes great with blackened, Creole, or Cajun seasoning.
  • Brine: You can vary the taste of the brine by adding different fruits, like pears or apples, or utilizing different herbs and honey as a sweetener.
  • Stuffing: You can try other ingredients like apples, a halved head of garlic, carrots, orange slices, or leeks instead of stuffing the bird with onion and lemon.

The end result is a beautifully browned turkey that’s tender, juicy and full of flavor. A smoked turkey is always a good choice, and I appreciate that it clears up some oven space so I can bake the sides and desserts for the big feast.

AWESOME Smoked Turkey Recipe For Beginners!


How long does it take to smoke a 12 lb turkey?

That means a 12-pound turkey should take at least six hours to cook in a smoker. To smoke your turkey faster, increase the smoker’s temperature to 250°F to 275°F. At 250°F, it can take about 25 minutes to cook one pound of turkey, meaning you will need about five hours to smoke a 12-pound turkey.

Can you smoke a turkey in 4 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. Cook the turkey to internal temperatures of 175° F to 180° F in the thigh and 170° F in the breast.

How long to smoke a 20lb turkey at 300 degrees?

When I Googled how long to smoke a 20lb turkey at 300 degrees, it says approximately 20 minutes per pound. For a 20 lb turkey that would be 6.6 hours. That is a big difference from 3-4 hours. I plan on smoking it for Thanksgiving, but want to be sure to time it right.

When smoking a turkey do you cover it?

If your turkey’s wings are baking too quickly, you can cover them with foil, but otherwise, there’s no need. While you’re letting it rest, you can tent your turkey in foil for about 15 minutes, but smoking it the whole time in foil is unnecessary and could lead to soggy skin. 5.

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