How Long Does It Take to Smoke a Turkey

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There are numerous exceptional ways to prepare a turkey, but it is better to smoke it.

The first and perhaps most important criteria are time. 

Smoking is a cooking process slower than the usual cooking, so read through the whole process before you start and do the math to get the right time.

It's a good idea to have everything planned. The results will be worth it. But first,


Do You Have to Smoke a Turkey?

Before entering the smoke and heat, we will first explain why smoking a turkey is as simple as cooking another bird or red meat.

Eating well-prepared beef is one of the simplest pleasures of life.

It's a delicious meal, and it helps you relax outside while receiving natural air. What's more impressive than that?

Maybe you are an old professional and have several years of smoking under your belt. If you are fine. We have some tricks and tips that might be new to you.

If you have never smoked meat before, we want you to know it is a fun way to cook and it is delicious.

Although the question of how long you can smoke a turkey can be a mystery, even for the most experienced chefs.

How Lengthy Does It Take to Smoke a Turkey?

how long to smoke a turkey at 225

A smoked turkey is always a delicious alternative to chicken, regardless of the season. You could think of what to cut to choose!

Well, you can go with any cut. Seriously!

There should be no difficulty with the type of cuts. Indeed, because the internal temperature of the turkey or pieces is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, you can be sure that the turkey is cooked to make your belly happy!

To make sure your turkey is at the right temperature, you can use a device's built-in digital sensor or a digital meat thermometer.

It is advisable to remove the turkey from the smoker's grill when the temperature of your turkey is about 160°F.

This is because the turkey will continue to cook during the rest once the internal temperature has reached the safe limit, which means that at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It's time to get ready for the meal.

Different factors have to be taken into consideration when smoking a turkey. The weight of the bird and the climate are two of the most important. The type of meat you work with determines the time required for smoking.

Red meat, like brisket and pork, will take longer to smoke and will need this constant heat of about 225°F. Low temperatures and longer duration will allow the rubs or marinades to penetrate the meat.

Things to Note About How Long Does It Take to Smoke a Turkey

1. Lean Meats Does Not Have a High-fat Substance

Poultry, like turkey, can be cooked at a higher temperature and shorter cooking time. It means less time on the fire.

While smoking your turkey, you can shave off about half the time. Allow about 30-40 minutes per kilogram at about 240°F. Even if you reach 270°F, well, we do not suggest going much higher.

However, it is always good to have your food thermometer on hand. Check the internal temperature of your turkey for about 2 to 3 hours while cooking. It is advisable to get to the desired 165°F.

We have also prepared below a rundown containing smoking turkey tips to help a person prepare the perfect turkey.

You'll find everything you need to know, turkey types, how to soften turkey safely, forage, recommended internal temperatures, cooking time, and leftover safety.

2. Cooking Time

Cooking time may vary depending on what you cook and the type of cooking appliance you use.

Let me give you some educational calculations on cooking time based on different cuts and cuisines.

Smoking – in a Smoker

The use of a cooking tool is quite simple. All you need to know is the cooking recipe, the cooking method, and the time indicated for each cooking mode.

If you use a smoker to prepare your turkey, the calculations below are for you.

  • Turkey Legs: In this case, set the smoker to 225°F. You must cook the turkey legs for about 4 hours.
  • Turkey Wings: For turkey wings, as before, place the smoker at 225°F and cook for about 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • Turkey Breast: Set the temperature of the smoker to 240°F. You must cook 30 to 40 minutes per kilogram. On average, a turkey breast is about 6 kilos. You must cook for 4 hours.
  • A Complete Turkey: Set the temperature of the smoker to 240°F. You must cook for approximately 30 to 40 minutes per kilogram. If you have a smaller turkey or 8 pounds, it will take you about 4 hours to cook properly. For this calculation to be precise, it takes about 6 hours to prepare a more massive turkey to say about 12 pounds.
how long to smoke a turkey in electric smoker

Smoking – On a Grill

On the other hand, the temperature settings and the cooking process are slightly different.

If you intend to use a barbecue to prepare your turkey, read the following.

  • Turkey Legs: Be sure to preheat the grill over medium heat, about 325°F, and allow it to cook indirectly. Let the turkey feet burn direct heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Finally, invest 45 to 60 minutes in cooking your feet indirectly.
  • Turkey Wings: While preparing the smoked turkey wings, preheat the grill to an average temperature of about 325°F and cook for about 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Turkey Breasts: It is necessary to preheat the barbecue on high and cook indirectly. And then cook the turkey breast for 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • A Complete Turkey: Make sure to preheat the grill to about 325°F (medium temperature). Note that you must adjust the grill so that you can cook with indirect heat. Then cook the whole turkey for about 3 hours. Here, the calculation of the cooking time is 15 minutes per kilogram.
how long to smoke a turkey at 300 degrees


Even if you find many methods to cook a turkey, I think you will get better results with the smoking method.

So, how long will it take to smoke a turkey?

Ample time to reach the recommended cooking temperature. It is about 30-40 minutes per pound, and the internal temperature is completed at 165°F.

Allow about 6 hours with a turkey of 12 pounds.

You can also remove the turkey from the smoker when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

1 thought on “How Long Does It Take to Smoke a Turkey”

  1. I want to smoke a Turkey but I want it to be like fall off the bone so I can shred it and make like a pulled (pork) Turkey. How long will it take me to cook it and will I be able to achieve this results?


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