How Long to Smoke a 20lb Turkey? Useful Tips and Tricks!

Smoking your turkey is a delicious way to put a fun spin on a familiar dish. Read our article to learn how to do it properly!
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Last updatedLast updated: August 29, 2021
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Turkeys are commonly spotted across the U.S. but are more common on the east coast Trusted Source Harvard’s thriving wild turkey population – Harvard Gazette Like many communities around the state, Harvard has a burgeoning wild turkey population. news.harvard.edu . With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many of us already have turkey on the brain. No one will argue that one of the best parts of the holiday is the delicious turkey dinner. What’s even better, though, is how many different ways you can cook your turkey.

While some people like to stick to tradition and eat the same meal year after year (who can blame ‘em?!), others may be ready to try a totally new method for preparing their delicious turkey.

Smoking turkey is an amazing way to prepare a delicious bird Trusted Source A fail-safe Christmas turkey recipe: barbecue your bird | Turkey (popular Christmas and Thanksgiving dish) | The Guardian Smoking a whole turkey low and slow means it cooks gently and doesn’t dry out. www.theguardian.com , but many people aren’t sure how long to smoke a 20lb turkey (the standard size) whether you’re looking to prepare the turkey for Thanksgiving or just because this guide will help you smoke it to perfection.

Is it safe to smoke a 20-pound turkey?

How Long to Smoke a 20lb Turkey? Useful Tips and Tricks!

Poultry is easy to contaminate, and therefore it may be dangerous to attempt to smoke a 20-pound turkey. This is because the bird is so large that it won’t cook quickly enough and eliminate bacteria. Instead, you should cook it at a higher temperature and then add a smoky flavor to it at the end of the cooking process.

How long does it take to smoke a 20 lbs. turkey at 300 degrees?

When smoking your 20-pound turkey at 300 degrees, you’ll need to allocate 15-20 minutes per pound. It should take you about 4 hours to properly smoke your turkey under these conditions.

It’s best not to use an oven for smoking meat and instead use a specific meat smoker to do the job right. This is a great cost-effective option with a nearly perfect 5-star review. If you’re looking for something a bit pricier, we love this charcoal smoker, too. If you have a smaller space and need a compact smoker, this list has great options. Alternatively, if you’ve got the space and plan to smoke a lot of meats or larger cuts, this list has options for larger smokers.

Don’t underestimate the power of the right wood chips, either. Using different kinds can greatly enhance the flavor of your smoked meats and will make all the difference in flavor. Check out this list for our favorite wood chips for meat smoking. Another great method for adding flavor is cold smoking. If you want to learn more or need suggestions on cold smokers, check here.

What temperature should you smoke it at?

How Long to Smoke a 20lb Turkey? Useful Tips and Tricks!

Meats smoked at higher temperatures will take less time than at lower temperatures. You should allocate 35 minutes/pound at 235 degrees, 30 minutes/pound at 250 degrees, and 25 minutes at 275 degrees.

Do you need to wrap it?

Just like cooking a Thanksgiving turkey, you should wrap your turkey in foil if you notice parts of it getting too dark during the cooking process.

Final thoughts

Smoking meats is a delicious way to prepare them that adds a lot of flavors. If you’re looking for a new way to prepare your Thanksgiving dinner this year, or maybe you just want to try a new recipe, you should absolutely look into smoking your turkey. If you’re new to smoking meats, this guide will help you figure out how long to smoke your 20-pound turkey.

References

1.
Harvard’s thriving wild turkey population – Harvard Gazette
Like many communities around the state, Harvard has a burgeoning wild turkey population.
2.
A fail-safe Christmas turkey recipe: barbecue your bird | Turkey (popular Christmas and Thanksgiving dish) | The Guardian
Smoking a whole turkey low and slow means it cooks gently and doesn’t dry out.
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