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 REC TEQ and their recommended methods. Something to bear in mind though is no current REC TEQ is twin-wall insulated. Therefore, trying to use a REC TEQ to cook a whole turkey in a cold northern climate during Thanksgiving/Christmas may be a bit of a challenge. We’ll discuss this below.
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- Cooking Time: Typically 4 hours (18-20 lb turkey)
- REC TEQ Temp: 225 to 300 F
- Turkey Internal Temp When Done: 165 F (we’ll discuss this)
- Best REC TEQ Pellets For Turkey: Apple, Cherry, or Ultimate 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 REC TEQ
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.
The video below from REC TEQ is about smoking/roasting just a turkey breast as opposed to the whole bird, hence minus the legs and wings.
Also, while the method below is a butter rub process, my personal favorite to produce nice tasty/moist turkey meat; the topic of brining is not touched up. So check out my link above to learn more about that.
Some people, not me personally, but I do know that some people only really like to eat white turkey breast meat and are not that interested in the darker leg meat of a turkey.
Hence, if that’s the case for you and your family, then going with just a turkey breast as opposed to a whole turkey may be how you want to go.
As you can see in the video above, the general preparation process of the butter rub and filling the cavity with aromatics of fruits and vegetables is generally the same as for a whole intact bird.
The only real difference is the cooking will be reduced slightly, and you may have to come up with a method to support the breast during the cook to stop it from toppling over to the side.
Best REC TEQ Pellets For Roasting/Smoking A Turkey
When it comes to choosing pellets for specific meats, there are general recommendations. Such as, poultry in general, including turkey, comes out best when lighter smoke profile pellets are used.
These include examples such as Apple or Cherry blend pellets which provide a lighter/sweeter smoke profile as opposed to going with Mesquite pellets, for instance, which REC TEQ also sells.
However, there is nothing wrong with using the good all-rounder that is REC TEQ’s Ultimate Blend which is a mixture of white and red Oak with some Hickory added in there too.
The reason turkey is generally regarded to taste better with Apple/Cherry pellets is that turkey and poultry meat, in general, will emphasize the flavor of the smoke.
Therefore, stronger smoke flavors such as Mesquite, in particular, can come out a bit too strong in turkey meat for many people’s preference, including my own.
The links below to my recommended pellet flavors for turkey go to my best value articles, where I researched which brands offer the best value in terms of $ per lb.
|Pellet Flavors For Turkey||Smoke Flavor|
Does Your REC TEQ Need A Blanket To Cook Good Turkey?
The reason is most people reading this article will be doing so in the run-up to Thanksgiving/Christmas, for many people, its the only time of year they will cook a whole turkey.
Well, in the northern US states, in particular, in November/December, there is a significant drop in ambient air temperatures compared to the spring, summer, or autumn months.
This significant drop in temperature can not only significantly increase pellet usage, but it can also give the pellet grill/smoker a harder job at keeping the cooking chamber at a consistent temperature.
Other pellet brands either make their pellet grills from twin-wall construction to address this issue, or they offer insulated blankets that can be fitted to their pellet grills/smokers.
While REC TEQ uses stainless steel in the construction of their pellet grills/smokers, they are yet to offer twin-wall insulated construction. However, they also don’t offer insulated blankets!?
Therefore, using a REC TEQ in the colder winter months can be more of a challenge than with many other pellet grill brands, so is there anything I can recommend?
Well, you might be able to find a generic insulated blanket on Amazon etc. Other than that, I would strongly encourage you to protect your REC TEQ from strong winds, which can draw significant heat from the cooking chamber.
However, as I discuss in my article on how to use a pellet grill safely, please, under no circumstances, be tempted to use your REC TEQ in your garage. The risks are just too great.
Final Thoughts On Roasting A Turkey On A REC TEQ
While any REC TEQ pellet grill/smoker can smoke/roast an excellent turkey in the spring, summer, or autumn months of years, the facts are that winter is going to be more of a challenge.
I’ve dropped REC TEQ an email to ask them about insulated blankets and if they have any intention of offering them at any point soon.
In terms of pellet flavor choice, personally, I’d go with either the Apple or Cherry blend if I was sticking to using REC TEQ pellets. However, as I’ve stated above, you have many other brands to choose from.
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. 🙂
Research/compare over 240 pellet grills/smokers on sale today