This is a membership forum. As a guest, you can click around a bit. View 5 pages for free. If you would like to participate, please join.

[ Pitmaster Club Information | Join Now | Login | Contact Us ]

There are 4 page views remaining.


No announcement yet.

1st Turkey for Thanksgiving

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    1st Turkey for Thanksgiving

    I know I'm tardy for this question, but I'm hoping to avoid the problem next time! We hosted Thanksgiving for the first time and I dry rubbed and injected a 18lb turkey and put on my MAK pellet. My grill temp maxed out at 275 degrees (wanted 325) and after 2.5 hours my dot thermometer was going off. I double checked the breast with a thermopen and it was reading 180 and the thigh was @ 150. I left it on for about 30 longer to get the thigh temp up. When I finally did pull it (and let it rest for 45 min) the breasts were dry and the thighs were undercooked. Could I have been getting false temp readings because of the butter injection? I'm really confused on how this bird turned out Thoughts?

    I have this problem too with the thighs taking longer than the breast when cooking a turkey whole.
    Watched a couple of You Tube vids where Malcom Reed addressed this, his fix was to cover the breast with tin foil to keep the heat off them to let the thighs catch up.
    Its not a pure fix, the breasts are still going to take in heat but it does slow it down.
    Worked pretty good for me, the thighs still weren't where I wanted them but a few mins in the micro wave solved that.
    I've never injected a bird so can't say that was the problem, I wet brine over night when doing turkey.
    Last edited by smokin fool; December 4, 2021, 10:32 AM.


      Use a butterball, part it out, spatchcock the beast, cook breast to 155 and hold it there for 15 minutes, legs and thighs to 175. Perfect everytime.


        Did you cook it whole? Stuffed? Inside a roasting pan with liquid? Is it possible the breast was in a much higher temp zone than the thighs?


        • LateNightBBQ
          LateNightBBQ commented
          Editing a comment
          I cooked it whole on a grate above a drip pan with Amazing Rib recipe for gravy. I assume the breasts were in a higher temp zone but it was quite a difference. I guess I will have to spatchcock or at least cook breast faced down first next time?!?

        Was the bird in a pan? If you used a pan with sides, the sides shielded the thighs and drummers from the heat too much. If you must use a pan, put enough veggies in it to keep the whole bird above the sides, but spatchcocking or cutting up the bird will give you better results although the presentation might not be as nice. I pull chickens at 158°. It takes less than 30 seconds at that temp to kill all the nasties, and the temp will rise a bit anyway. Any higher than 165° greatly increases the chance of dry breasts and I suspect that 180° or higher will result in meat with the moisture content of talcum powder.


        • RonB
          RonB commented
          Editing a comment
          Stupid vbullitin won't let me edit...

          Try cooking a chicken either spatchcocked or pieced out and pull the breast at 158°.

        • LateNightBBQ
          LateNightBBQ commented
          Editing a comment
          I cooked it whole on a grate above a drip pan with Amazing Rib recipe for gravy. I guess I will have to spatchcock or at least cook breast faced down first next time. I just wanted to do whole bird for the parents who are used to traditional. Not cooking the bird in the oven was hard enough for them!!

        Looks like you overcooked the breast and the breast area was in a hotter part of the grill. I inject all my turkeys, take the breasts to 160 internal running 350, and the dark meat is 175-ish and just right. I haven't spatchcocked in years. I need the extra room.


        • Rattlesnake
          Rattlesnake commented
          Editing a comment
          What’s the recipe for your injection? I just purchased a spitfire injector and anxious to try it out.

        One other question beside those about pans and other influences: the MAK should have easily been able to make 325 and hold it. We’re you relying on the controller to report the grill temp or did you have an independent temp probe? I’ll assume the fire pot was clear before you started and that the thermocouple had been cleaned. If not, that could produce unwanted temps and control problems.


        • LateNightBBQ
          LateNightBBQ commented
          Editing a comment
          Bird was on a grate above a drip pan. I was relying on the controller to report. I assumed that was accurate?!? I did clean the entire grill including the thermocouple the day before I cooked. I was thinking that it might've needed to change pellets?
          Last edited by LateNightBBQ; December 4, 2021, 02:17 PM.

        • GolfGeezer
          GolfGeezer commented
          Editing a comment
          LateNightBBQ Then I can only suggest using an independent ambient temp probe to see if there is a controller issue. I doubt pellets are the issue as the pellet Boss should feed or reduce pellets as needed to get to 325*. If you were trying for really high temps or a different smoke profile, then maybe pellets could be an issue. 325* should have been easy to get to. 275* is pretty low for poultry - 350*-375* would be a better target to get even results.

        The only way the breast on an 18 pound bird could get to 180 in 2.5 hours, is if the cooker temp was well above 275. I think the drip/gravy pan probably threw off the ambient sensor and kept the temp at the thighs much lower. Next time leave out the gravy pan. Make the gravy the same as Meathead recommends, just without the drippings. The gravy will still be great.



        No announcement yet.
        Rubs Promo


        These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

        These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

        Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

        A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

        Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet’s Dual Tube Burners

        3 burner gas grill

        The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

        Click here to read ourcompletereview

        Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

        The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
        Click here for our review of this superb smoker

        Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

        Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts

        The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

        The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.

        Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them

        Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

        This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp’s dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’.

        Click here to read our detailed review

        Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

        The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.

        Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

        Click here to order directly and get an exclusive AmazingRibs.com deal

        Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

        We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
        Click here for our review on this unique smoker