Are you wondering how to smoke two turkeys at once? If you cooking for a large crowd you might need to cook more than one bird. As it’s not recommended to cook turkey over a certain size.
This guide will show you exactly how to cook juicy turkeys at once!
Table of contents
Can You Smoke 2 Turkeys At The Same Time?
You can smoke two turkeys at one time.You just need to make sure you have enough room in your smoker, grill, or oven!
One bonus of cooking two turkeys at once is it also decreases the cooking time.
Should You Smoke Two Turkeys Instead Of One?
Most experts agree you should smoke two turkeys instead of one huge bird.
Since it can take so long to smoke a larger bird, you’re increasing the risk for bacterial growth. The quicker you can get the smoked turkey to a safe internal temperature, the better.
Two smaller turkeys will reach an internal temperature of 165°F more quickly. This is especially helpful when using low cooking temperatures and long smoking times.
How Long Should You Smoke A Turkey?
If you smoke a turkey at 275°F, it should take about 23 minutes per pound. You can estimate between 20-25 minutes per pound.
This can take quite a while if you have a big turkey.
A 10-pound turkey would take less than 4 hours to cook thoroughly. A 15-pound turkey would take closer to 6 hours.
We suggest using a digital probe meat thermometer to monitor the turkey temperature. If you open the lid to check the temp, you’ll let in cold air and increase the cooking time.
What Temperature For Smoking Turkey?
We recommend smoking a turkey at 275°F until the meat reaches a temperature of 165°F.
The dark meat (thighs and legs) can cook until it reaches 180°F. Don’t cook the breast meat past 165°F because it will become too dry.
Some people will remove the smoked turkey before it reaches 165°F. As the smoked turkey rests, the temperature will still increase.
If you do this, be sure to monitor the turkey with a probe thermometer. Make sure the turkey temperature reaches 165°F. This will ensure that any salmonella will die before you eat it.
What If Turkey Is Pink?
You can eat pink turkey meat as long as it reaches a temperature of 165°F.
Turkey has a protein that maintains the pink hue even when it is fully cooked.
How Much Turkey Per Person?
Estimate 1-1.5 pounds of turkey per person. This is the most common rule of thumb.
You’ll lose some of that weight when it’s time to serve the smoked turkey. So even if you don’t expect anyone to eat a pound of smoked turkey, you should still buy that much turkey.
If you’re serving kids or vegetarians, you can estimate even less. If you want leftovers, estimate higher.
For 15 people, you’d want about 20 pounds of turkey. Instead of buying one large turkey, buy two smaller turkeys.
Where Do They Sell Small Turkeys?
You can buy small turkeys at most major grocery stores and local meat shops.
The frozen turkeys at the grocery store are usually 12-14 pound turkeys. You may want to opt for a fresh turkey from a local farm.
As smaller turkeys are becoming more popular, they are also becoming easier to find. However, if you can’t find one at your favorite grocery store, you may want to source locally.
How Do You Smoke A Turkey?
Prepare The Turkey
Completely thaw the turkey. The best way to do this is to refrigerate it for a few days beforehand.
If you’re short on time, you can use the cold water method or defrost it in the microwave. Never thaw it at room temperature or in hot water.
Now you can brine the turkey or season it. Some people use a dry brine while others may brine it in a gallon of water with some apple juice to add flavor.
We recommend keeping it simple with kosher salt turkey brine. A lot of people use brown sugar and garlic powder.
Prepare The Smoker
If your smoker is big enough to accommodate two turkeys, it should be easy to prep it. Check the layout of the grill to know where you’ll need to place the turkeys.
Each type of smoker is different. Maybe you have an electric smoker or a pellet grill. You’ll want to consider that when preparing the turkey.
In most smokers, you’ll place the turkeys on each of the separate racks. The bottom grill grates will receive more heat, so you may need to swap the turkeys halfway through.
Make sure you have enough fuel so that you don’t run out before the turkey is ready. If using wood chips, pecan, maple, and apple wood chips are the most popular for turkey.
Smoking The Turkey
Smoke the turkey for about 20 minutes per pound. Use a probe thermometer to monitor the turkey temperature.
You may need to swap the turkeys around halfway through.
If you’re using a digital probe meat thermometer, watch the turkey temperature reading. When it reaches a safe internal meat temperature, you can remove the smoked turkey.
If you don’t have a temperature probe, become comfortable with the smoking times. You don’t want to lift the lid until it is almost ready.
Remember that dark meat can get hotter than breast meat. You should position the breast meat away from the direct heat source.
Finishing The Turkey
Measure the turkey temperature at the thickest portion of the bird. When it reaches a safe temperature, it is ready.
Some people will remove the smoked turkey early and finish it in the oven. Roasting it at a high temperature of 425°F is how to get crispy skin after smoking the turkey when finishing in the oven.
Some people may want less smoky flavor and only smoke it for half the time. This is all personal preference.
If you smoke it the entire time, be sure to let it rest. You can cover the smoked turkey with foil while it rests.
Resting the smoked turkey will allow the juices to be redistributed. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.
If the smoked turkey finishes too quickly, store it in an insulated cooler until it is time to eat.
Carve, serve, and enjoy! Everyone will be impressed with this smoked turkey!
Can You Smoke Turkey And Other Meat At The Same Time?
You can smoke turkey at the same time you smoke other meats.
The biggest thing to consider is the time and temp to smoke the other meat. You may want to put the meats in the smoker at different times so they will finish at the same time.
If you have one cut of meat that is juicier than turkey, place that on the grill grates above the turkey in the smoker. This will allow the drippings to add optimal flavor to the smoked turkey.
Even if you don’t have a pellet smoker or charcoal smoker, you could use a gas grill or a digital electric smoker. Use whatever equipment you have for a delicious finished turkey.
When holiday meal time arrives, you’ll have deliciously cooked meat everyone will love.
Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).
I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.
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 recipes with you!
You can read more about me on our About Us page.
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