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How Many Minutes Per Pound Do You Smoke A Turkey?

    How Many Minutes Per Pound Do You Smoke A Turkey?

    There are many excellent methods to cook a turkey, but smoking is the best. Time is the most important resource you will need. Smoking is a slower cooking method than roasting, so be sure to peruse the entire procedure before beginning and do the math to determine the timing. It is prudent to have everything planned out in advance. The outcomes will be worthwhile.

    This smoked turkey is a unique and impressive Thanksgiving dish, but it is simple enough that any new chef can produce an attractive and flavorful dish. So, How Many Minutes Per Pound Do You Smoke A Turkey?

    Should You Smoke A Turkey?

    Before diving into the smoking times and temperatures, let’s explain why smoking a turkey is as simple as smoking any other type of poultry or red meat.

    Smoking meat is one of life’s simple delights. It involves delicious cuisine, a fire, and being outside. What could be more impressive than that?

    You may have used smoker grills for years and are a seasoned veteran. If you fit this description, you’re in for a delight. We have some tips and techniques that may be novel to you.

    It’s acceptable if you’ve never smoked meat before. We do not pass judgment.

    Turkey is one of the finest meats for smoking and an excellent starting point. Although the exact answer to how long it takes to smoke a turkey can be a problem to even the most seasoned backyard pit masters, the process is forgiving and quick.

    How Many Minutes Per Pound Do You Smoke A Turkey?

    Everyone has heard the ancient adage, “Slow and low.” The general rule of thumb for smoking most meats is 1-1.5 hours per pound at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also true for poultry.


    Your turkey smoking time will depend on numerous factors. The bird’s mass and the weather are two of the most significant factors. The type of meat you are preparing will also dictate smoking time.

    Red meats, such as pork and brisket, require an extended smoking time and a constant temperature of 225°F. You desire for this to take time. The ample time and moderate temperature permit the fat to permeate the meat.

    Lean meats contain little to no fat.

    You can cook poultry like your poultry at a higher temperature and in less time. It means less grilling time.

    When smoking a turkey, you can trim off roughly half the time. Plan for 30 to 40 minutes per pound at 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Even 275° is acceptable, but we wouldn’t recommend going much higher.

    Nonetheless, it would help if you always had your food thermometer. Check the temperature of the poultry after two to three hours of cooking. It should be approaching the desired 165°F temperature.

    Also, I have prepared an infographic with turkey cooking techniques to assist anyone in crafting the perfect turkey. You will find information on the varieties of turkeys, how to safely thaw one, brining, recommended internal temperatures, cooking times, and how to store leftovers safely.

    Cooking Times for Smoked Turkey Using a Smoker

    Here are some points to explain cooking times for smoked turkey using a smoker:

    Whole Turkey

    To smoke a whole turkey, preheat the smoker to 240°F. The recommended cooking time is 30 to 40 minutes per pound. A turkey weighing 8 pounds will take approximately 4 hours, while a turkey weighing 12 pounds will take around 6 hours.

    Turkey Breast

    Preheat the smoker to 240°F for only the turkey breast and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes per pound. The average turkey breast weighs six pounds, so it will take approximately three hours to prepare.

    Turkey Legs

    Set the smoker temp to 225°F and simmer the turkey legs for four hours.

    Turkey Wings

    Set the smoker to 225 °F and smoke the turkey wings for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

    Cooking Times for Smoked Turkey Using a Grill

    Here are some points to explain cooking times for smoked turkey using a grill:

    Whole Turkey

    To grill a whole turkey, preheat the grill to medium-high heat (about 325°F) and arrange it for indirect cooking. The recommended cooking time for a turkey is 15 minutes per pound or three hours.

    Turkey Breast

    Preheat the grill to high heat (approximately 350 °F) and set up indirect heat to grill turkey breast. You should cook it for 1 to 2 hours.

    Turkey Legs

    Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (approximately 325°F) and prepare for indirect cooking. Only sear over direct fire for three to four minutes per side, then roast over indirect heat for 45 to 60 minutes.

    Turkey Wings

    Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (approximately 325°F) and cook the turkey wings for 30 to 40 minutes.

    How to Smoke a Turkey in Cold Weather?

    Depending on your location:

    At the close of November, you should anticipate a cold spell. An abrupt November freeze can derail your turkey smoking plans like nothing else.

    A water smoker and a cold forecast are not compatible. Colder air outside the grill will make it more challenging to regulate the temperature inside. However, you can still accomplish optimal heat with a few smoking tricks and tips.

    Take precautions to insulate your smoker beforehand. There are several ways to accomplish this:

    • Protect your smoker with a cardboard enclosure.
    • Utilize a welding blanket within the culinary chamber.
    • Construct a plywood perimeter surrounded by flexible insulation.

    The central idea is that you should shield your grill from the elements. The wind and the cold are your adversaries. Anything preventing these natural forces from invading your culinary space will suffice.

    Additionally, additional fuel will be required when competing with the weather. Increase the number of coals you would generally use by twofold.

    If you are using a battery or gas-powered smoker, you can relax. In contrast to a charcoal arrangement, the outside air temperature will have no effect.

    Additionally, please never bring your grill indoors. We cannot emphasize this enough.

    How to Speed Up the Cooking Time?

    If you are in haste and can’t devote an entire day to cooking the turkey, there is one cooking method that will speed up the process.

    Spatchcocking your turkey is the finest method for accelerating its cooking time. Spatchcock is a cooking method in which the turkey is butterfly-shaped by removing the backbone; as a result, the cooking time reduces.

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