1. Jarven Warren says

    Planning on smoking two 13lb birds on the big green egg at 300 using my smoke thermometer to moniter temps. Thinking one bird will take approximately four hours. Any idea how much longer the cook will take with two?

    • Martin says


      I’m honestly not sure. That will be a thermal mass taking up thermal space in the smoker, but I don’t know how that’ll affect the whole thing. I’d plan on at least an extra hour.

  2. Ron says

    I would NEVER depend on a clock to tell me when my turkey is done, however it is good to know an approximate time so you can plan when dinner will be served.

    • Martin says


      That is a good point. Cooking-time tables can be useful for estimating cooking times, but you are right that they cannot tell you everything you need to know!

  3. Lisa says

    So would a 9-10 # turkey not rise to 165 degrees if removed from oven @ 157 degrees since it was stated that the smaller the bird the less the rise in temp at rest? Or should oven temp be raised to insure carryover rise?

    • Martin says

      A 9-10# turkey will still mostly likely hit165°F. But remember, even if it doesn’t get all the way there, as long as it spends more than 50 seconds above 157°F it’s completely safe to eat.

    • Martin says

      If it’s still at a food-safe temperature, you can eat it (157°, for instance). It will be rubberier, but edible. If you have the time, I’d cut the breasts off and keep cooking the rest of the carcass until you get tot he right temperature. Keep the breasts warm in a cooler.

  4. Charlie says

    I’ve been using this method for several years now since I first read it. I use the ice on the breast. I also put it on a rotisserie and position the breast to get less heat. Unfortunately I can’t use my Smoke to monitor the temperature. One additional thing I add is baking soda on the skin the night before to help dry it out and achieve crisp skin. This method works for chicken as well.

    • Avi says

      I was thinking of using my rotisserie this year as well, do you use offset heat? Looking for any tips that might help. Thank you!

      • Martin says

        For a rotisserie, I’d use direct heat for the first 10–20 minutes to get the rendering process moving, then move to indirect heat for the majority of the cook. If you want to blast it at the end a little to crisp the skin, it’s not a bad idea. Good luck!

    • Martin says

      Yes, but you have to take the temp in the center of the stuffing as well as in the meat. The stuffing will absorb uncooked turkey juices during the cook, and those will need to be cooked. The best thing to do is to cook your stuffing separately and insert it into the bird before taking it to the table. Or, just serve it on the side.

  5. Willie says

    A great resource on cooking turkeys can be found at the Serious Eats website. J. Kenji López-Alt pulls his turkey at 150 degrees and 165 in the thigh but makes sure it rests for a long time to properly pasteurize it. He also spatchcocks it — something that is a great idea.

    • Martin says

      Leaving the legs open allows more heat to get to the dark meat of the thighs where it needs to be. I recommend against trussing the bird in the oven.

  6. William Lenoir says

    Great article! Thank you for not making fun of my ignorance and teaching me how to do Turkey properly! Wish I’d read this years ago!

  7. Scott Caley says

    I used this recipe to roast a15 lb. turkey today with my new ThermoWorks Signals. The turkey turned out PERFECT!

    Used a highly abbreviated version of the dry brining (2 hours instead of 8).

    Iced the breasts exactly as described. Used the pizza stone directions verbatim (used large rectangular stone).

    The breast reached the pull temperature of 157 F in the same minute the thigh reached the temperature of 175 F… 1 hour, 44 minutes into the cook! This is a testament to using the icing/pizza stone technique to balancing the unique cooking needs of these very different meats.

    The breast meat was clearly the BEST turkey I’ve ever eaten! It was so tender and juicy. The aromatics (onion, carrot, celery, thyme) really lent to a very tasty turkey! I’m not normally a fan of dark turkey meat, but I must admit it was tender, juicy, and flavorful.

    I couldn’t have been happier with my ThermoWorks Signals system. I learned that I’ve been over cooking turkey for decades!

    • Martin says

      This is so great to hear! I’m happy you’ve craked the code for delicious turkey, and I wish you many tasty birds to come.

  8. Jill Weisbrod says

    I followed these instructions for a brined 17 lb turkey and it was the best turkey I’ve every made. Zero leftovers! The breast was so tender and was the best part. Usually I prefer the dark meat but not this time. Thanks so much for sharing such detailed knowledge.

  9. Charles Leikam says

    Love my Thermoworks thermometers. Just bought some for my oldest son as he’s moving out and I have always intended my boys learn the importance of a good thermometer in cooking. Cooked this years turkey and never have I cooked to 157F. I saw your guide and decided to give it a shot. Hands down the best turkey I have ever made. Moist breasts and so awesome!! Everyone agreed it was the best turkey they’ve ever had. I am so thankful I found your guide suggesting to cook to 157F instead of the typical 170F for the breast. The breast was definitely done and the best ever. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

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