One of the most important tips for smoking a whole turkey is to have a decent thermometer. You’ll need an instant read meat thermometer that can read the temperature internally. This will help you monitor the internal temperature without having to cut into your bird, which can release all those delicious juices.
There are a few tips to ensure that your turkey will be cooked all the way through. You’ll want to make sure that you’re smoking your bird in a smoker or grill with plenty of space for lots of smoke. And finally, make sure you leave room in the smoker or grill for at least an inch and a half around the turkey. That will help give your bird enough space to cook without being too close to the heat source.
You can also add flavor to your turkey by using wood chips, like applewood or hickory, in combination with fruits and vegetables, which will add extra flavor to your bird when it’s smoked. Older birds tend to dry out easier, so you might want to skew more towards fruitwoods like peach or apricot woodchips rather than heavy woods like cedar or cherrywood.
When you’re cooking your turkey, it’s important to remember that you don’t want to cook it too quickly after adding it to the smoker. It’s best if you let it sit for 30 minutes before checking its temperature and get started cooking from all angles. If you start with cold meat, it will take longer to come up in temperature and be fully cooked through. If your smoker is preheated properly, you should be able to smoke a whole turkey without any problems – but if not, just add more coals or wood chips.
Once your cooking reaches 165°F (74°C), your turkey is ready for serving.