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 Weber SmokeFire pellet grill. While all SmokeFire pellet BBQs are excellent grills when it comes to direct heat, their indirect/smoking performance needs more attention/awareness. For instance, when smoking a turkey on a Weber, I would strongly recommend a water pan to catch excess grease/fat.
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- Cooking Time: Typically 4 hours (18-20 lb turkey)
- Weber SmokeFire Temp: 225 to 350 F
- Turkey Internal Temp When Done: 165 F (we’ll discuss this)
- Best Weber Pellets For Turkey: Apple, Cherry, or GrillMaster 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 videos 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 Weber SmokeFire
As I’ve stated in the intro, Weber currently provides very little specific advice to owners of their SmokeFire pellet grills on how to smoke/roast a turkey. There is currently just one very limited article (see here).
That article very briefly touches on brining the turkey and its benefits. Furthermore, their recommended temperature setting of 400 F is not suitable for a whole turkey by any means.
As such, please check out my main article on how to smoke/roast a turkey on a pellet grill/smoker, where I provide much more detail on the pros/cons of the wet brine, dry brine, and injection methods.
While not using a Weber SmokeFire, the best single resource I can direct you on how to smoke/roast a turkey to is the video below by Malcolm from How To BBQ Right.
So the video above, no matter which SmokeFire EX4/EX6 version you own, whether its a Gen 1, Gen 2, or one of the Sear+ models (ELX4 & ELX6), can lead you on the path to a great smoked/roast turkey.
However, I also want to provide some specific advice to you as SmokeFire owners to get the best result possible and also to avoid a potential disaster/grease fire.
You May Want To Use SmokeBoost Mode
So first off, as I’ve stated above, in the Weber smoked turkey recipe/advice, they state a temperature setting of 400 F. I do not recommend this for a couple of reasons for a whole turkey.
First off, with a temperature setting that high, its highly likely you’ll burn the outer extremist of the bird (wings/legs) before the center of the bird has reached the all-important/safe 165 F.
But furthermore, for a pellet grill/smoker to produce more smoke flavor, you need to use lower temperature settings to get the most smoke possible.
A lower temperature setting means a smaller/less efficient pellet fire. As a result, more smoke is produced. You can take this a step further, though, and use the SmokeBoost function.
I’m sure at least one of the reasons you’re cooking your turkey in your pellet grill/smoker as opposed to the cooker in your kitchen is that you’re after some smoke flavor?
Well, if that is the case using the SmokeBoost function on your Weber SmokeFire and then completing the cook with a temperature between 200 and 300 F will get the best result.
So that’s the smoke flavor side of things sorted. We now just need to discuss a potential issue that may arise and how to avoid it in the first place.
Use The Weber ‘Wet Smoke Kit’/Water Pan Under Your Turkey
The lack of a traditional grease tray that’s found in most pellet grills/smokers is what makes the Weber SmokeFire such a great pellet grill with excellent direct grilling performance.
However, when it comes to indirect cooking performance, that’s where that missing grease tray is a bit of a problem in some instances, as it can lead to grease fires in some instances.
Granted, if you clean your Weber SmokeFire religiously after each use, the grease fire risk is very minimal. However, for most people, I’m going to strongly encourage the Wet Smoke Kit.
Now, the Wet Smoke Kit is essentially just a means to support a water pan that can be positioned directly under the turkey to capture dripping grease/fat from dropping into the base of the grill.
A turkey is not a particularly fatty bird, especially compared to cooking a duck or goose, for instance. However, I would still recommend catching as much of that grease as possible in a water pan.
Best Weber Pellets For Roasting/Smoking A Turkey
It can be tricky knowing what pellets to choose, especially if you have not used your Weber SmokeFire that much before attempting to smoke/roast your first turkey.
Ideally, before cooking a turkey for the big day, whether its Thanksgiving or Christmas, you will have done a trial run which will give you the best idea of which pellets are going to work best.
As a general guide, I can tell you that many people, including myself, believe that poultry and turkey, as a prime example, comes out best with light/sweet/subtle smoke flavor.
As a result, as a very general recommendation, for smoking/roasting turkey, I would recommend either Apple or Cherry blend pellets, but the Weber GrillMaster blend is also a good all-rounder.
Now, in my research on the best-value pellets, Weber comes out in the middle of the pack. They are neither the most expensive pellets per lb nor one of the cheapest options.
I would encourage you to explore more of your options outside of using purely Weber pellets not only to get the best deal possible but also for the more unique/niche flavors available too.
|Pellet Flavors For Turkey||Smoke Flavor|
Does Your Weber Need A Blanket To Cook Good Turkey?
When it comes to using your Weber SmokeFire during the months of November/December for cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving/Christmas, it usually gets a bit chilly in the northern US states.
Therefore, in my articles on cooking a turkey on other brands of pellet grills from Traeger, Pit Boss, Camp Chef, and Z Grills, I’ve discussed the topic of insulated blankets.
An insulated blanket on a pellet grill/smoker can not only reduce pellet usage, it can produce better BBQ due to more stable/consistent temperatures across the entire cooking chamber.
Therefore the obvious question becomes, then does your Weber SmokeFire pellet grill/smoker need an insulated blanket? Well, its not essential, but also its also not currently possible to get one either.
All Weber SmokeFire pellet grills feature twin-wall insulated construction on the sides of the cooking chamber, which is a good feature to have to keep heat in.
However, the lid and lower half of the cooking chamber are not twin-wall construction. Hence its those areas of the grill which are prone to heat loss.
Though as of yet, Weber does not offer insulated blankets for the Weber SmokeFire EX4 or EX6, and I’ve not heard any rumors/industry rumblings that they will be offering them any time soon.
Final Thoughts On Roasting/Smoking A Turkey On A Weber
While any version of the Weber SmokeFire can smoke/roast an excellent turkey, I would strongly encourage you to use a water pan/Wet Smoke Kit to catch the grease to avoid a potential grease fire.
To get the best smoke flavor possible, I would also encourage you to use the SmokeBoost function. Keeping in mind the impact on the extension of cooking time.
For instance, at between 225 and 300 F, a typical 18 to 20 lb turkey will take around 4 hours to hit a consistent internal temperature of 165 F. However, on SmokeBoost, the temp is between 165 to 200 F.
Hence, the lower temperature of the SmokeBoost function could add an hour, maybe more, to the cooking time. Therefore, just keep that in mind so you have enough time to get the bird to the table on time.
With pellet choice, its really up to you. If you are really not sure, there is nothing wrong with just keeping things simple and using the Weber GrillMaster blend.
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. 🙂