Ultimate Turkey Recipe – Frequently Asked Questions

What size turkey can I cook in my 22" kettle with Slow ‘N Sear?

If spatchcocked:

  • 18-20 pounds for a short stubby bird
  • 12-14 pounds for a lanky bird

What size turkey can I cook in my 26" kettle with Slow ‘N Sear XL?

A really, really big one

What should be the cook temperature?

Aim for 340° F, but anywhere 325° F to 350° F is great. Hotter than that, and you may darken the skin a bit more than you want. Cooler, and your skin may not get as crispy as you'd like.

How should I set up my charcoal?

Get a 1/2 chimney of coals fully lit. Add them to a half chimney of unlit coals already in the charcoal basket. Or vice versa. Both ways work. Keep your bottom vents fully open until your pit temp climbs past 275° F. Then adjust as necessary based on ambient conditions.

What kind and how much wood should I use?

Go easy on wood. Poultry with skin absorbs smoke flavor much more readily than other meats. One chunk is plenty and make sure the smoke is thin white, thin blue, or clear. Apple, cherry, and pecan are our favorites!

Should I use water in the water reservoir?

No. Water will make it more difficult to maintain the hot temps you're looking to achieve.

How long will the cook take (approximately)?

  • Spatchcocked bird: 90-120 minutes
  • Large Whole turkey (no filling): 2 - 2 1/2 hours
  • Large Whole turkey (with stuffing): 3+ hours

We HIGHLY discourage stuffing. It prevents even cooking and can make you sick if not cooked thoroughly. If you do use stuffing put a temp probe in it and make sure it is cooked before you take the bird out of the pit.

How should I place the bird on the grill?

Should the breast face away from the charcoal so it doesn't cook too fast? The indirect side cooks fairly evenly, but the area farther away from the Slow ‘N Sear may be 10-15 degrees hotter so we recommend legs away from the Slow ‘N Sear to begin the cook. Check the bird half-way through (when the breast meat reads around 110° F) and rotate if you feel that it’s cooking unevenly.

When is it done?

When the deepest part of the breast is 160° F and dark meat is 180°+ F. Don't worry about overcooking dark meat. Unless you take dark meat well past 200° F, it's going to be delicious.

Do I need to wrap the dark meat to prevent overcooking?

No, but you may want to wrap the end of the drumsticks halfway through the cook to keep them from looking burned.

Everything else is personal preference: injection, butter/rub under the skin, rub/seasoning, breaking the wishbone, etc.


We wish you and yours a very happy and delicious day!

Happy Thanksgiving Ultimate Turkey FAQ | SnS Grills