I’ve previously produced my article on how to smoke a turkey on a pellet grill/smoker. This article is going to be more specific about smoking/roasting a turkey on a Louisiana Grill and their recommended methods. However, some Louisiana Grills out of the box will smoke/roast a more consistent turkey in a colder climate around the holidays (Thanksgiving/Christmas). Therefore, we’ll discuss how to address this potential issue to get the best end result.
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- Cooking Time: Typically 4 hours (18-20 lb turkey)
- Louisiana Grill Temp: 225 to 300 F
- Turkey Internal Temp When Done: 165 F (we’ll discuss this)
- Best Louisiana Grills Pellets For Turkey: Apple, Cherry, or Competition Blend
I’m no BBQ expert. My expertise is how pellet grills/smokers work and the range of makes/models on the market. When it comes to how to cook on a pellet grill/smoker, I’ll be referring to the professionals.
Therefore, first off, with all raw poultry, turkey included, food safety is very important with regards to salmonela/e-coli etc. Therefore, please follow the CDC’s advice on handling/storing turkey meat.
While the video I’ve included below on smoking a turkey is a whole turkey, the general principles/process are the same for when you’re just cooking turkey thighs etc, with the cooking time being shorter.
How To Smoke/Roast A Turkey On A Louisiana Grill
If you want to learn all the details about wet brining a turkey and smoking/roasting a whole intact bird, I’ll direct you to my main article on how to smoke/roast a turkey.
Below, I thought I would actually share something different, a video of smoking/roasting a spatchcocked turkey on a Louisiana Grill pellet grill/smoker.
If you’re not aware, the spatchcocked method involves removing the spine of the turkey and then cracking the breast bone to flatten the bird out before its cooked.
This makes a big difference to the cooking process and can significantly reduce the cooking time to potentially half the time of cooking a whole intact bird.
Is the process of spatchcocking the turkey (removing the spine etc) tricky to do? Potentially, but as discussed in the video above, I think that’s only really the case if you don’t have sharp tools.
In the video above, CJ uses a pellet smoking tube to add additional smoke flavor to his turkey, which, as I discuss in my linked article, comes with its own pros and cons.
As most Louisiaian Grills pellet grills don’t have a dedicated Smoke Setting, I can see the appeal of adding a pellet smoking tube into the cooking chamber.
Another reason CJ won’t be getting much smoke from his pellet grill in this example is due to the temperature setting of close to 400 degrees.
The higher the temperature setting on a pellet grill, the less smoke it will produce due to the more efficient pellet fire at higher temperatures.
When cooking a whole intact turkey at a lower temperature setting of say 225 F, more smoke will be produced due to the less stable pellet fire, but the cooking time is obviously significantly longer.
So, smoking/roasting your turkey as a whole intact bird or spatchcocked each has its own pros and cons, and I’ll leave you to decide which particular method you wish to follow.
Best Louisiana Grills Pellets For Roasting/Smoking A Turkey
When it comes to choosing pellets for specific meats, there are general recommendations that I provide, and many others do as well. However, pellet choice is always subjective.
The flavor I prefer for certain meat may be very different from your own preferences etc. However, as a starting point, I’ll suggest the following.
For poultry, including turkey, its generally recommended to go with a light/sweet smoke flavor as poultry meat emphasizes smoke flavor. Therefore, a strong smoke flavor from Hickory/Mesquite can potentially be overpowering to poultry meat.
As a Louisiana Grills owner, I understand your first inclination will be to purchase Louisiana Grills pellets. However, it is possible to get a better deal by looking into other brands.
For instance, the sibling brand to Louisiana Grills is Pit Boss, and if you check out my article on how Pit Boss pellets are made, you will see that Louisiana Grills and Pit Boss pellets are the same pellets made in the same factory.
However, if you compare the prices of Louisiana Grills pellets and Pit Boss pellets, you will get much better value purchasing a bag of Pit Boss pellets on a $ per lb basis.
The links below for the various pellet flavors I recommend for turkey go to my articles, where I’ve researched which brands are offering the best bang for your buck.
|Pellet Flavors For Turkey||Smoke Flavor|
Does Your Louisiana Grill Need A Blanket To Cook Good Turkey?
While I hope you don’t eat turkey at just one time of the year, the reality is many people do. Therefore most people will be reading this article in the run-up to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
As a result, that will involve using your Louisiana Grill pellet grill/smoker in potentially some pretty cold weather, at least in the northern US states, that is.
While it is indeed possible to use a pellet grill in the winter months, its not without its challenges. Beyond increased pellet consumption, there is the issue of cooking chamber temperature differentials to think about.
In other words, as the ambient air temperature around the pellet grill’s cooking chamber can be very cold, that can create some very erratic temperature differences within the cooking chamber.
While there are a couple of Louisiana Grills pellet grills that have twin-wall construction to keep more heat in and the cold out. The reality is, most Louisiana Grills need an insulated blanket to cook good turkey around Thanksgiving/Christmas.
With an insulated blanket in colder climates, your Louisiana Grill will be able to hold and maintain a more consistent temperature across the entire cooking chamber.
That’s very important when you’re cooking a whole turkey which can take up much of the space within the cooking chamber.
Therefore, I would very much encourage you to get an insulated blanket for your Louisiana Grills pellet grill/smoker to cook the best turkey possible.
Final Thoughts On Roasting A Turkey On A Louisiana Grill
The decision of whether to cook your turkey as a whole bird or spatchcocked can be a tricky decision to make. Do you want the traditional presentation of the whole intact bird, or is the fast cook time of a spatchcocked turkey more appealing?
What I remind you of is the fact that cooking your turkey at a higher temperature for a shorter cook time will reduce the amount of smoke flavor you are able to get into the turkey meat.
In terms of pellet flavor choice, personally and generally for turkey, I like to go with Apple or Cherry, but there are many whiskey/liquor pellets based on Maple pellets which can also be very nice.
Finally, seriously consider getting an insulated blanket for your pellet grill/smoker if you don’t already have one to help roast your turkey as evenly as possible.
That’s it! Thanks for reading. I hope the above information/videos have guided you on your path to smoking an excellent turkey.
As always, please check out my Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide to learn more about all the different makes/models of Pellet BBQs now on the market. 🙂
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