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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This morning I butchered what is probably our largest Tom. The dressed weight came out to 48.4lbs.
The plan is to smoke it in my homemade smoker. The smoke chamber has a volume of 24"x24"x48" (wxdxh). Assuming light wind I can get it up to and hold 350 degrees relatively well, I'd say that is probably the max sustainable temperature.

The smoker's interior is tongue and groove pine with a small firebox style charcoal grill on the floor (sits in the floor which isn't included in the smoke chamber dims).

Anyone have a good guess on the cook temp/time? I've been trying to find a temp/time / pound chart but haven't had any luck.
Currently I'm guessing 12hr smoke time?
 

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ok whats the secret to making them so huge? my bigest the year was 20.5 lbs. how did you do it?


oh yeah :ttiwwp:
 

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20 minutes per pound at 350 degrees according to this article (How to Cook a Turkey).
Looks like you are more like 16 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ok whats the secret to making them so huge? my bigest the year was 20.5 lbs. how did you do it?


oh yeah :ttiwwp:
They were broad breasted bronze and have been alive since mid March. By the time you consider all of the feed we've put into them I'd expect the price per pound to be pretty ridiculous... but they were fun to have around. They followed us all over the property, like really stupid and less interactive dogs.

I believe the turkey feed is 28% protein and we mix cracked/whole corn in at a 1/4~1/5 ratio.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
20 minutes per pound at 350 degrees according to this article (How to Cook a Turkey).
Looks like you are more like 16 hours.
20 minutes is for frozen (defrosted).. mine was alive 12hrs ago so I guess I'll go with 12 minutes/#? Fresh range is (10-15 minutes /#)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I'm curious, what wood will you be using to smoke with?
I have a big bag of hickory charcoal and many types of wood chips.. will probably use hickory all the way around.
 

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20 minutes per pound at 350 degrees according to this article (How to Cook a Turkey).
Looks like you are more like 16 hours.
Randy nailed it!

25min per lb at 250F is my roundabout standard for time guessing.

The thing is, the the 40 degrees to 140 rule, still shouldn't exceed 4 hours, to keep bacterial growth in check.
On a big bird or slab of critter, the exposed surfaces, not internal, is what the concern is.
The internal tissues will be no issue. I just use a lolly pop thermometer, and punch in 1/4" at 3 hours, to make sure it's gotten to 140.

THAT is a big bird!!
I would be leery of running too heavy on the smoke, because of the total time, and lean towards just 2-3 hours of smoke up front, and then the last couple.

Should be a fun, and Tasty challenge!!:bigthumb:

PICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Randy nailed it!

25min per lb at 250F is my roundabout standard for time guessing.

The thing is, the the 40 degrees to 140 rule, still shouldn't exceed 4 hours, to keep bacterial growth in check.
On a big bird or slab of critter, the exposed surfaces, not internal, is what the concern is.
The internal tissues will be no issue. I just use a lolly pop thermometer, and punch in 1/4" at 3 hours, to make sure it's gotten to 140.

THAT is a big bird!!
I would be leery of running too heavy on the smoke, because of the total time, and lean towards just 2-3 hours of smoke up front, and then the last couple.

Should be a fun, and Tasty challenge!!:bigthumb:

PICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is that 25 min / pound for fresh meat or for one that's been thawed? I've read that fresh meat is approximately 2/3 the time of thawed.

I think we're going to end up cutting the bird in half so we can season it two different ways. Pretty sure 50lbs of the same seasoning would get old. Any idea what the cooking time would look like with 2 halves going at the same time?
 

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Is that 25 min / pound for fresh meat or for one that's been thawed? I've read that fresh meat is approximately 2/3 the time of thawed.

I think we're going to end up cutting the bird in half so we can season it two different ways. Pretty sure 50lbs of the same seasoning would get old. Any idea what the cooking time would look like with 2 halves going at the same time?
I have found that my most useful tool is the digital thermometer. Cooking times for me, are iffy at best, unless it's something like ribs that I cook all of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have found that my most useful tool is the digital thermometer. Cooking times for me, are iffy at best, unless it's something like ribs that I cook all of the time.
Ah.. I do have a wireless digital thermometer. Hopefully it'll have signal from the beer fridge.
 

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Is that 25 min / pound for fresh meat or for one that's been thawed? I've read that fresh meat is approximately 2/3 the time of thawed.

I think we're going to end up cutting the bird in half so we can season it two different ways. Pretty sure 50lbs of the same seasoning would get old. Any idea what the cooking time would look like with 2 halves going at the same time?
jklaus,

I apologize for the delay..the wife had me Bootshod in the kitchen(I drop knives too often to go barefoot :dunno:), and slaving over a Hot stove/Oven, and has been keeping the Chianti flowing, so I was helpless to leave the cutting board.:lol:

Fresh and thawed Birds doesn't matter. The Temperature of the bird when it hits the smoker, is what matters.
Most assume 40F, right from the fridge.

Mine is in the crawfish pot, on the porch, in a 2% brine, with enough Vinegar, to inhibit any bacterial growth and at 48F, at least until it gets colder this evening.




Assuming you are brining your bird at 40F, the rate of temp. after soak/brine, will be uniform, whether fresh, or frozen and thawed.

The temp. of the smoker being consistent, the mass of the bird/hunk of critter, will determine the time until internal temp hits the target.

If you are splitting the bird(Awesomely good call BTW!!) treat each half as unique. One will get done before the other, no matter how perfectly it's split, due to the voodoo of thermodynamics in the smoker. Hot and cool spots in the smoker are normal, and there is no accounting for wind, and all that.

You mentioned a remote probe.
USE IT!!!!

Target 165F, for the thickest point, and middle, of the thickest point, on the breast on each half.
Pull the half, and wrap in foil, for at least 30-45Min. as it will continue to cook somewhat, and break down tissues, and then relax, drawing the tasty juices, back into the fibers as it cools slowly. Avoid the quick and harsh cooling, because it will result in the juices trapped just under the skin.

If the meat is a bit pink, but the temp hit 165F at the center, of the thickest point of the Breast, relax. The chemical process of smoking does that.
Once off the heat, and wrapped in foil, the internal temps will keep rising past 165F, as the higher temps of the external tissues bleed heat to the denser middle. Give it 10 Min. off the smoker, and check again through the foil.

Time as a guideline, is a SWAG. Use the remote probe. In the future, snag a good instant read thermometer, and wear it out.

The temp is the target, not the time.

My dear, loving, Redneck with pig poo between her toes, former Model, and current egghead Nuclear Mechanic wife, gifted me with a high end digital meat thermometer years ago, but it lasted 2-3 months and crapped out.
I replaced it with a panic buy 10 dollar Weber cheapie from Menards(Had a big cook out in the afternoon.), and the thing is faster/More accurate/better, than the $90 Thermopop. :banghead:

Amazon.com : Weber 6492 Original Instant-Read Thermometer : Meat Thermometers : Home & Kitchen

Thinking of your situation..

Most of the smoke flavor, will get imparted in the first 2-3 hours on the smoker.
If time runs short, due to too much Mass in the smoker, don't be afraid to yank one of the halves, and toss it in the oven to finish it off.

Semper Gumby!!!!!!:bigthumb:

I'll be up and tending the smoker at around 0700, and will check in to compare notes.
A 50 lb Bird is like a Triathalon, and a quick trip to the peak of Everest, before winning the world series....I'm pulling for ya, and am wanting to bask in the glory vicariously. LOL!!!

My Bud on the other side of the county, raised Turkeys for 34 years, before having to quit(Doctors are Nazi's!!), and never got a bird above 40lb's between May and November. It's killing me to know how yours turns out.

I hope it goes good, and you have a good slicer to make cold cuts with!!!:bigbeer:
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Dingeryote,
Thanks for all the intel. After discussing it with the Mrs we opted to only smoke half of the bird (so probably 25lbs) and keep the other half for Christmas. We'll probably end up cutting the meat off the bone so we can get it to fit in vacuum bags.

As for this half, I've got my remote probe set in the middle of the thickest portion and a small shallow probe in ~1/2" in to check for 140 by 4. Started the smoker out at 170 for the first 2 hrs and now have it raised up to 200. Will probably step up to ~225 by the 3 hr mark. I ended up using this guy's injection recipe, figured with the age of this bird doing something to make it more tender wouldn't hurt. I'll let you know how it tastes.


Update:
Just went out and checked the remote probe.. internal temp is now at 64, started at 32.
 

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Good stuff!

I have a cheapo old Brinkman, that runs around 240F when the wind isn't blowing.:banghead:
One of these days, I'll snag something better...call me jealous over heat control.:laugh:

If you can get internal temp to 140 in 4, there should be no worries.

With the wind here this morning, I'm getting concerned with mine..:banghead::banghead::banghead:
 

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My smoked turkey story

Several Thanksgivings ago at my brothers cottage we smoked 25# turkey in Weber kettle sort of
We were way off on time to cook SO the bird was chopped in half with a hatchet to pieces small enough to fit the rather small microwave oven Where the cooking was finished in short order It was felt to be one of the best ever eaten

Need picture of your smoker unit with its wood walls
 
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