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Smoking a turkey using a turkey cannon

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Post Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:59 pm
SlowSmoken rare
rare

Posts: 10
Going to try to smoke the Christmas turkey this year. There is going to be a lot of people so it will need to be a big bird. I have a turkey cannon and was wondering if anyone has any experience in using one?

What I am trying to figure out is a rule of thumb for about how long it takes to smoke per pound so the rest of the food can get done around the same time.

My fear is I tell the wife it will be done around a certain time to find out I am hours early or late. I know enough to be dangerous and would like to keep it a happy day as all the in-laws will be here.

Thanks

ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7438
Location: Stoughton, WI
I've never used a cannon but I've done beer can turkey and the biggest issue is usually making sure there's enough room for the turkey to sit upright with the lid closed. What will you be cooking on?

Are you thinking of cooking at a low smoking temperature of 225-250 or doing more of a smoke-roast at an oven-like 325-350? I prefer the higher temperature because I like to skin to be more crispy, plus the old rule of thumb of 15 minutes per pound holds pretty true.

You're going to need to let the bird rest for 20-30 minutes anyway so that'll give you some flexibility with time. Are you looking to do a "presentation carve" or is it OK if it just shows up at the table already cut up? If the latter, an electric roaster like a Nesco can be extremely handy!

SlowSmoken rare
rare

Posts: 10
ScreamingChicken wrote:
I've never used a cannon but I've done beer can turkey and the biggest issue is usually making sure there's enough room for the turkey to sit upright with the lid closed. What will you be cooking on?

Are you thinking of cooking at a low smoking temperature of 225-250 or doing more of a smoke-roast at an oven-like 325-350? I prefer the higher temperature because I like to skin to be more crispy, plus the old rule of thumb of 15 minutes per pound holds pretty true.

You're going to need to let the bird rest for 20-30 minutes anyway so that'll give you some flexibility with time. Are you looking to do a "presentation carve" or is it OK if it just shows up at the table already cut up? If the latter, an electric roaster like a Nesco can be extremely handy!



Seeing that I will be sitting out in mid 30's and the patio heater isn't working I like the idea of a smoke-roast 325-350 15 min per pound idea. I have the large Smoker Vault and was going to use crab apple wood. There is a dead tree in the field next to the house. Makes getting wood easy.

I will bring the meat already carved to the table. All the in-laws are coming so the table will be crowded.

ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7438
Location: Stoughton, WI
I can see why you want to make a good impression! :lol:

How big of a turkey are you planning on cooking? One possible approach would be to cook 2 smaller birds instead of one gigantic one; they're easier to control plus you get twice as many legs and wings for those people who prefer them to the breast. And in case some of your guests aren't all that fond of smoked meat you could even do one in the smoker and one in the oven.

SlowSmoken rare
rare

Posts: 10
I was asked to smoke the turkey by them and in fact my father in-law bought me the smoker last year for Christmas because he loved the tri-tips I was doing on a gas grill with just a little wood chips in foil. But I do want to make sure it will come out good.

If I can use the turkey cannon and cook a 20lb bird in 5 hours (15 min per pound) than that is ok with me. Otherwise it is getting 2 16lb birds (smallest I have seen at the store) and just have a lot of left overs. We are having ham as well.

My father in-law sent me the turkey cannon so I am trying to use it showing my appreciation. I feel if I don't use it, it could make him seem like he wasted his money or he got me a bad gift or any other unintentional bad thoughts.

I have the world's greatest in-laws that are all converging for a week. House is going to be packed! Smoking a pork butt Sunday, Tri-tips for Christmas eve, smoking fatties for Christmas morning, and a turkey for Christmas dinner.

It is just this cannon that is throwing a wrench into it. That and my patio heater went out and it is cold.

Post Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:20 pm
d_holck well done
well done

Posts: 839
Location: Illinois
For my money, when it comes to turkey, it's Trash Can Turkey all the way. Learned it from a buddy of mine who learned it in Boy Scouts. I've done 20-22# each year for the last 5 or 6 Thanksgivings, it's done in 2 hours to 2 hours, 15 minutes. Without fail. Here's one of a bunch of sites I found on Google that describes the process pretty well.

http://laurenlavoie.com/food/185

I have no conflict of interest in the website listed, just found that it had a pretty clear description and pictures of the process.

One thing, you've got one shot to get the bird off the stake and onto a platter. This is a 4-hand process. Have good oven mitts and a partner who knows what you're trying to do.
"... mmmmmmm 'bacon'."

CG Outlaw w/SFB
UDS
Old classic Weber Kettle

Post Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:35 am
SlowSmoken rare
rare

Posts: 10
That is wild. I am trying to figure out how it gets a smoky flavor? I just might have to try that one day.

I called Camp Chef and talk to a rep their that said using a turkey cannon run the heat at 225-240 and it cooks 15 min per pound. So I will go with that.

I should end up with a very juicy smoked turkey the whole family will love.

ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7438
Location: Stoughton, WI
SlowSmoken wrote:
I called Camp Chef and talk to a rep their that said using a turkey cannon run the heat at 225-240 and it cooks 15 min per pound. So I will go with that.
Does the cannon heat up and cook the turkey from the inside as well?

SlowSmoken rare
rare

Posts: 10
ScreamingChicken wrote:
SlowSmoken wrote:
I called Camp Chef and talk to a rep their that said using a turkey cannon run the heat at 225-240 and it cooks 15 min per pound. So I will go with that.
Does the cannon heat up and cook the turkey from the inside as well?


Yes, you fill it with seasoning and apple juice and it steams it from the inside like a beer can chicken but on a bigger scale. I got an 18lb turkey and at 225-240 it should cook at 15min per pound. Here's hopping. Glad I am doing a ham as well.


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