HELP! Help! How do I cook a 13lb turkey in the SF?


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Apr 25, 2020
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With Covid lockdown, we've all of a sudden got to host the oldies.
They're bringing a 10-13lb turkey which will get here Xmas Eve night and it's my job to not incinerate the bird o_O
I don't think there'll be enough time to brine but has anyone got any surefire ways to smoke the turkey?
I've only done a beer can chicken before as beef / pork is normally my thing.

Weber's own app suggests putting stuffing inside, trussing the bird and cooking at 350 degrees.
Others say leave cavity open & pull bird apart so air can get in & cook at 225.

I'm not brave enough to spatchcock (& the oldies would have a heart attack at a flat bird anyway) so I'll have to do the whole bird as normally as possible.

Any proven suggestions?

I would spatchcock and inject. So if you don’t want to spatchcock I’d inject with a creole butter injection . It’s not spicy just flavorful . Then stuff the body with onion,lemon , oranges , thyme , . It adds some flavor. But i think it just helps it cook more evenly . I like to do my turkey around 325
Even a twelve hour brine will help, Rinse and dry the bird out of the brine. Add aromatics to the the cavity for the cook. (Microwave the aromatics a couple of minutes to soften and give them head start) Make a "Turkey Triangle" to cover the Breast. Rub the bird down with a light coat of canola oil. Set your grill to 500 degrees. Place the bird on the grill, close the lid, and wait 30 minutes. Pull the bird off the grill, place the turkey triangle over the breast. Turn the grill down to 350, place the thermometer in the turkey breast and cook until it reaches 161-163 degrees. Remove and rest for 30 min. Present and Carve. This is basically Alton Brown's holiday turkey technique, and it has produced wonderful results for me.
I Should have mentioned, There is a great flavor boost from the smoke of Pellet Cooking that certainly adds to the results over what Alton does.
With a bird that size , I would just put some chopped celery, onion, apple and spices in the cavity and smoke at 275F with either Apple of Cherry pellets. No need to “tent” at that temperature.

You could either inject or put butter under the skin, but I would just make up a mixture of melted butter and honey and baste periodically. Don’t forget to put a water/dripping pan with a small amount of water in it under the bird to keep some moisture. If you want to crisp up the skin, you can always increase the temp to 375-400F either for 30 minutes at the start or towards the end. I prefer the latter if I am basting.

Alternatively you can do Alton’s Food Network cook, if you have a time constraint. I have done them both ways.
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Spatchcock is the way to go for sure

I agree with this. It's actually a very easy process; no need for bravery. It will cook more evenly and quickly, which gives you more brine time if you don't want to or aren't able to inject anything. You can either explain that it was the only way to do it with short prep time, or use some butcher's twine and stitch up where you took the backbone out. ;)
Spatchcock and dry brine the bird in fridge for 12-24 hours, cook 425 and youre done in two hours or less. Take bird off at 160 left rest 30-40 minutes.
Hey guys, thanks very much for the ideas and how-to's (y)
I mentioned spatchcocking to my wife & she's threatened to spatchcock me if I do it :LOL:

Yep, I guess some brining is better than none - any ideas though how long I should plan on drying the bird afterwards?
I guess the skin needs to be as dry as possible to make it crisp so a rub down with a towel wouldn't suffice I guess?