Any other east coasters worried about wind tomorrow?

John Charles

New member
Hi all,
First post! I got my 18" WSM a week ago, and I'm doing a 11.5 lb turkey tomorrow. It's brining as I type :cool: The forecast is calling for ~20 mph winds, and I'm wondering if there are any tips to mitigate the impact to the vent flow.

One more question while I'm at it... I've read that a 11 lb turkey should take about 3 hrs at 325. But I did a 6 lb chicken last week as my maiden voyage, and it took 2.5 hrs w/ avg dome temp ~315. So I'm scratching my head trying to reconcile how a 2x heavier bird would take only ~30 min longer... Any ideas and/or rules of thumb when it comes to cook time?

Thanks everyone. Glad to be a card-carrying WSM'er.
 

Matthew Appler

TVWBB Super Fan
I have three recommendations for you:

1) If you have any way to construct a wind break, do it. I often use my pickup truck and smoke on the driveway.
2) If the finishing time is important to you, plan for it taking longer. Particularly with wind involved, I rarely have a turkey finish sooner than I expect.
3) Don't open three bottles of wine for four people before you have a good sense of the finishing time. This makes it extremely difficult to finish the other dishes and carve the turkey.

-Matt
 

LarryA

New member
3) Don't open three bottles of wine for four people before you have a good sense of the finishing time. This makes it extremely difficult to finish the other dishes and carve the turkey.
On the other hand, three bottles for four people might mean that "finishing the other dishes" and "carving the turkey" don't affect whether T-day is fun and a big success! ;)

For me, high winds tend to mean greater air flow, so I keep an eye on temp and expect that it might go higher than otherwise normal. As long as I keep it where I want it to be, there's not any real difference. If I let it run like I have a hair dryer blowing full-blast on the coals, then it'll run hot and exhaust the coals faster than normal.

To the OP: relax. Have a beverage. Enjoy the cook. Happy Thanksgiving!
 

timothy

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I did a burnoff on my 22.5" WSM today in some pretty scary wind gusts (60 mph+)
Tree limbs were flying all around the crib, but easily maintained 300-350 - 400 on an empty smoker.
It was somewhat sheltered, out of the wind, and I set the top vent down wind.
Great advice from the other members, and welcome to the forum!

Tim
 

John Charles

New member
Update! Thursday AM I did 2 hours of leaf-raking and used the bags as a wall. It worked out great. Turkey turned out well. 2:25 at ~315 avg, but probably should've been more like 2:15. Anyway, the family was impressed so I'll count it as a win!
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Good job John Charles!
The most important thing is making the guests happy!
Remember, “Without cake, a party is just a meeting!”...Julia Child
 

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