Smoking Turkey at 350°F (4 Simple Steps to a Perfect Bird)

You’re in charge of turkey dinner and want to cook your turkey at 350°F?

I’ve managed to perfect this method of cooking at 350°F and turning out a super juicy bird!

To find out everything you need to know about smoking the perfect turkey, keep reading.

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Can You Smoke a Turkey at 350°F?

Yes, you can smoke turkey is 350°F. However, not all smokers can reach this temperature.

If you use a gas smoker or electric smoker for your turkey they won’t get hot enough to cook at 350°F.

However, you can start the, in the smoekr then move the turkey to the oven. This also helps to get crisper skin on your turkey.

Note: Looking to cook your turkey even hotter? You can cook the turkey at 375°F however you will need to use the oven.

How Much Time Does It Take to Smoke a Turkey at 350°F?

At 350°F, you should allow a cooking time of 15-20 minutes per pound.

A 15-pound turkey should take about four hours.

Since the cooking time may vary, check the temperature to judge when the turkey is done cooking.

When the turkey reaches an internal temp of 165°F, it is ready.

Can You Speed up the Smoking Time?

Spatchcocking a turkey is the best way to decrease smoking time.

A small amount of preparation can speed up the cooking process.

This method allows the heat to warm up the meat in a more timely manner.

You should avoid cranking up the heat as that may improperly cook the turkey.

How Do You Smoke a Turkey at 350°F?

Thaw the Turkey

The turkey must be completely thawed if you choose to cook it in a smoker.

The best way to defrost a turkey is to put it in the fridge a few days early.

If you’re short on time, you can use the cold water method or the microwave method.

Do not thaw it at room temperature or in hot water.

These methods will result in bacterial growth that may lead to food poisoning.

This is also a good time to remove the neck and giblets.

Brine and Season the Turkey

Brine the turkey if you want a juicy bird. You should brine it for 24 hours before cooking the turkey.

Some people prefer a dry brine while others prefer a wet brine. Choose your preferred method.

Use paper towels to pat the turkey dry after brining it.

Season it with your favorite spices. Rub melted butter on it.

The butter and seasonings will ensure a delicious flavor. You can even make your herb butter or buttery spread.

Kosher salt and black pepper are classic. However, you may want to use garlic salt, brown sugar, or other popular flavors.

Smoke the Turkey

Preheat the smoker to 350°F and place the turkey on the grill grates.

Use a drip pan below the cooking grates to catch any drippings to make a homemade gravy.

Let the turkey cook for about 15-20 minutes per pound.

Open the smoker as few times as possible. Otherwise, you will increase the cooking time.

You should only check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer a few times.

This is helpful to ensure that the turkey is cooking.

You can even insert a temperature probe that you can check without opening the smoker.

Once the turkey reaches 165°F, you can remove the turkey and let it rest.

It should rest for about 30 minutes before carving

Finishing The Turkey in The Oven

If our smoker can’t reach 350°F you can always finish the turkey in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Smoke the turkey until it reaches 145°F. Then remove the turkey from the smoker and place in the oven.

Monitor the temperature and remove when it reaches 165°F

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What Happens if You Smoke a Turkey at a Low Temperature?

If a turkey is at 41°F-135°F for too long, harmful bacteria will grow.

The internal temperature needs to be outside that range to prevent food poisoning.

Not only will the turkey potentially make your guests sick, but it also won’t have a great texture, either.

The skin may be a bit rubbery instead of crispy.

How Big a Turkey to Choose for Smoking?

Smaller turkeys are better for the smoker. A 12-pound turkey is about perfect.

Larger turkeys can take too long to get to a safe temperature on the smoker.

One factor to consider when buying turkey is the number of guests.

A general rule of thumb is 1.5 pounds of turkey per person.

While that sounds like a lot, remember that nobody eats the bones.

After the turkey is cooked and carved, there will be less than 1.5 pounds of meat per person.

You may want to buy multiple small turkeys if you have a lot of guests.

Type of Wood for Smoking a Turkey

Apple and alder wood chips are popular choices for smoking a turkey. Many people also like hickory or mesquite.

However, you can choose your favorite wood pellets to add that delicious smoke flavor.

Avoid soaking your wood chips.

This can slow down the initial cooking time and lead to dangerous temperatures.

Can You Smoke a Turkey in the Winter?

While you can smoke a turkey in the cold, you may face some obstacles.

If you’re smoking a turkey during winter, you may want to create a warmer atmosphere for the smoker.

Maybe create a wind barrier or a partial shelter with insulation.

If you can’t get the turkey to 165°F because it is too cold outside, you can finish it in the oven.

Just roast it at 350°F until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

What Sides Go With Smoked Turkey?

Serve your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes with smoked turkey!

Potatoes, green beans, and stuffing are classics.

Don’t forget noodles, dinner rolls, or gravy!

What to Do With Leftover Turkey?

You can refrigerate it for 3-4 days. Or you can freeze it for 2-6 months.

Reheat the turkey in the oven or the microwave.

If you use the oven, you may want to wrap the turkey in aluminum foil to help retain the juices.

If you don’t want to eat it plain, try some leftover turkey recipes.

Maybe you can do turkey sandwiches, turkey chili, or a breakfast hash.

Now it’s time to go create the perfect smoked turkey! Your guests will remember this meal for years to come.

Whether you have a pellet grill or an electric smoker, you can now cook a turkey filled with a smoky flavor.

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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