Roast turkey with rosemary, red onions, figs and red berries
How Long You Really Need To Smoke A Whole Turkey
Smoking turkey gives it great flavor, but cooking it evenly can be difficult. If you’re planning on smoking a whole bird, you should set aside at least five hours for cooking.
You need to bring the turkey's thighs up to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and the breasts up to 150. You don’t want your temperature to be too high, or the meat will overcook.
A 10 to 12 pound turkey can take four-and-a-half to five hours to cook in a smoker. This time depends on your recipe, and a turkey any heavier could take an extra hour or two.
If you stuff your turkey, it will also add to the time. Unstuffed turkey will need about 30 minutes per pound to cook at temperatures around 225 F, and 25 minutes at 250 F.
A digital thermometer is a great way to check the turkey. To speed it up, cutting out the backbone and spatchcocking 10-pound turkey can bring the cooking time down to three hours.