What temp does turkey stop taking smoke

Last Updated on: 29th May 2023, 05:49 am

With the least effort, turkey is one of the finest types of meat that can give you mouth-watering smoked flavor.

But there is a lot of misinformation related to this on the internet. One of these controversial topics is at what temperature does a turkey stop smoking?

it is a confusing question , because not much information is available online on it. in addition , their are no authorized platform where one can go and verify what is the accurate temperature when turkey stop taking smoke.

so the only way to find it out is by testing it yourself. to your surprise, i have done the part and experiment it myself. today i m going to share with you the findings of my experiment

key takeaway: turkey will stop absorbing smoke after its internal temperature reaches 160 °F. but smoke will continue to deposit on its surface after that. so the its smoky flavor will still keep increasing after 160 °F

This will be simply explained in this blog article, and after reading it, you will be better equipped to smoke turkey.

The simplest answer is that turkeys will absorb a low level of smoke once they have reached around 160 °F.

However, smoke will continue to accumulate on the bark of turkeys.As a result, the turkey will continue to take smoke throughout the smoking process.

Only when the turkey is wrapped in foil does it stop absorbing smoke while inside the smoker.

In this case, the turkey will only be cooked by heat and will not come into contact with smoke.

Many misunderstandings regarding smoking’s principles contribute to these smoke absorption problems.

turkey leg

one of the most common misconception that is found among the pitmasters, especially the beginners is that smoke ring is a determinant of smoked turkey flavor.

But when we dig deeper , smoke ring was really way off than the flavor of turkey. a turkey can have intense smoky flavor without having smoke ring. here is why.

smoke ring develops on the surface of turkey due the reaction of myoglobin and the gases present inside the moke. so the intensity and the size of smoke ring can vary depending on the amount of myoglobin and gases.

Does cooking method affect smoke absorption?

The way a turkey is smoked may undoubtedly alter how much smoke it absorbs.

There are two types of heat cooking techniques: low and slow (smoking) and high or direct heat (grilling). To differing degrees, they both absorb smoke.

While cooking the turkey slowly, it will take longer for the smoker to achieve 76 °C and cease the production of a smoke ring.

The component elements of the rub will then begin to heat up, causing bark to develop.

After the turkey has formed bark, the smoke will collect on the bark rather than the fowl.

Low and slow cooking will allow meat, such as turkey or brisket, to absorb more than enough smoke to create a wonderful smoky flavor before the formation of bark.

In contrast, while cooked at a high temperature, the rub will quickly heat up and form a crispy structure on the skin of the turkey.

As a consequence, the turkey’s inside will be less flavorfully smoked and less able to absorb smoke.

Even while low and slow cooking allows us to smoke turkey for a longer amount of time, you must be conscious of this to avoid oversmoking it.

Over-smoking turkey is as dangerous as under-smoking it. Over-smoking can usually result in the bitter flavor of the turkey.

The turkey will continue to absorb smoke as long as it is within the smoker. However, you should consider being careful about the length of time you allow for smoking and the sort of smoke you allow.

To give a good smokey taste, half of the smoking time is frequently allocated for smoke absorption.

smoked turkey in tray

In our opinion, there are two primary categories for smoke absorption by a turkey put inside a smoker.

The smoke absorbed by the turkey when it was inside the smoker and the smoke absorbed by the bird’s exterior surface.

How long will the turkey’s exterior take to absorb smoke?

When we talk of the turkey’s exterior, we mean the bark, not the surface.

The bark may cling to the turkey while it is being smoked as long as it is within the smoker. However, you should be careful not to smoke it excessively.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the smoke particles will stick to the surface of the bark rather than being absorbed by it.

As a result, they will not probe deeper and will stay on the top of the bark.

The center of the turkey can only be smoked for a short time, however the exterior of the bird may be smoked for a longer time to produce the desired taste.

You should avoid smoking it excessively or for an extended period of time.

How long does smoked turkey absorb?

The simple answer to this question is that the turkey may inhale smoke while inside the smoker during the smoking process.

Even if it does not penetrate any deeper, it will continue to deposit on Turkey’s surface.

However, you should consider smoking the turkey for the necessary amount of time to ensure that it is cooked exactly without being over- or under-smoked.

Does a Turkey Stop Absorbing Smoke Flavor

The smoke absorption period may normally vary from 6 to 8 hours, depending on the texture of the turkey.

The popular belief is that turkeys stop absorbing smoke at roughly 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

It’s incorrect because the turkey will continue to absorb smoke after the smoke ring has stopped growing at 170°F, not 140°F.

Smoke absorption typically consumes half of the smoking process time in order to get the desired smoky taste.

To avoid over-smoking, the turkey is often roasted by heat after being covered in foil.

The time required for the smoke to soak may vary depending on the texture of the turkey.

Lean and soft turkey may be smoked for 2 to 8 hours, while hard turkey, such as brisket, can take up to 20 hours.

Effect of cooking method on smoke absorption

Smoke absorption of any meat let be turkey or any other meat depends on the cooking method. some method allow turkey to absorb more smoke while other decrease the smoke absorption after some time.

one of the common thing that affects the smoke absorption of turkey is wrapping it during stall. usually , turkey doesn’t have a stall , but if smoked ineffectively , then it can also hit stall . you can read our guide on Does a turkey stall when smoking? for more information.

so if turkey is wrapped during the stall , then it will stop absorbing smoke. although smoke can seep inside if you using butcher paper, it will be in much lesser quantity than being directly exposed to the smoke.

on the other hand,on the flip side if you force through the stall without wrapping the brisket by increasing the temperature , then it will absorb more smoke than being wrapped, no matter what the internal temperature is.

Can you pull turkey off smoker at 160?

yes,you can pull off your turkey at 160°F and it is completely safe to eat. according to usda , it is essential for turkey to reach the temperature of 160°F to be considered safe for eating.

it is because of the bacteria and other pathogens that might be present on turkey. once the temperature of turkey exceeds 160°F, then almost all of the pathogens are killed and it becomes safe to eat.

but if you want it to become more tender so that it should fall off the bones,then you can smoke t for some time to increase its flavor and tenderness

Can you smoke a turkey too long?

No, you should avoid smoking for too long . as they say, excess of anything is bad.you can only smoke turkey for a set period of time until it becomes tender and its temperature exceeds 160 °F, then you should pull it off the smoker.

smoking for too long usually does more harm than good. it can make the flavor of turkey intense and bitter. moreover, it can also result in charring which is often related with stomach cancer.

What is the Danger Zone for smoking turkey?

Danger zone is temperature range between 40°F and 140°F when smoking turkey. it is known as danger zone because it is favorable for the growth of bacteria and other pathogens.
if Turkey is left to smoke in this temperature range for longer time , then it can be contaminated with pathogens and will not be safe to eat.so it is advised to not smoke turkey in this temperature range for longer time.

what causes
 smoke ring in turkey

smoke ring is a ping colored ring on the surface which is caused by the reaction between the smoke gases and meat proteins. it is generally considered as an indicator of the quality of the smoked meat.

The Final Verdict

Throughout the smoking process, the turkey keeps taking in smoke. Although after it reaches a temperature of 160°F, it will absorb less smoke.

Additionally, the smoke ring stops forming after the turkey’s internal temperature hits 76°C. The only way to prevent a turkey from collecting smoke is to cover it with aluminum foil.

Typically, the turkey is smoked for 50 percent of the whole smoking time. Depending on the texture of the turkey, the smoking time may vary from turkey to turkey.

This blog post should assist you dispel any misunderstandings you may have about the temperature at which turkeys quit consuming smoke.

if you are interested in learning more,than make sure to read our guide on What temp does chicken stop taking smoke

Jakob miller