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FAQ Subject: Smoking a turkey in cold weather
Just found your website, very good with a lot of information. I am smoking a turkey with a Brinkmann Smoker (charcoal), in Colorado, and due to time restraints, it looks like I will be smoking it though the night to have it ready for next day's dinner. The bird is 17.4 lbs. I figure that normally (weather wise), it would take around 10 to 12 hours to cook. But since the outside temperature will probably be around mid 30's, more time will be needed. I will be using a meat thermometer to test the bird. And also following your ideas on keeping another fire burning to have heat ready charcoal to add when the smoker's supply gets low. I even thought of cutting the bird in half, and since my smoker has two grills on it, put each half on a grill. This would also cut down cooking time, right? Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Cutting the bird in half would give you a little better control, but not speed up the process very much. Personally, I would smoke the joker at around 190°F for a couple of hours then kick the temperature up to 350° to finish it out in much less time. Just take it up when the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 160°F.