Thinking of smoking two turkeys at once on the 18" WSM


New member
I was originally going to smoke one and fry one but now am considering smoking both, at once. What should I expect differently from my first cook with a single 12lb bird? Are the temps gonna be a lot harder to bring up? I have a dual probe thermometer and wondering where I should place probes. Should grate at the bottom get one? I don't wanna get in over my head on on thanksgiving day but I think the result is worth it to try.

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
The top grate will run a bit hotter than the lower one, you may need to reverse positions halfway through. Full disclosure, I’ve not done two birds at once. But, I know full well you will get a lot more input from those that have!
Just looked at your first bird pictures, nice work!

Chris Allingham

Staff member
I would put a shallow drip pan under the top turkey so it doesn't mess up the bottom turkey. Not a food safety issue, just an aesthetic one. Start with more hot charcoal than you normally would, you've got a lot of cold meat in there. I would monitor the internal temp of each bird.

Good luck!

Matthew Appler

TVWBB Super Fan
I always smoke two birds on Thanksgiving and almost always end up reversing them at some point. I monitor internal temp of the two birds independently. I have never had any issues with both getting done, although if they are not switched the one on the top will finish sooner (higher temps up top).

@Chris - I like the idea of a drip barrier. I've never done that.


New member
Working on getting up to temp now. I was having difficulty because of the two birds. I lit more coals and just thre them on, seems to be coming up now. I should've checked this forum yesterday but slipped my mind or else I would've been off to a better start. I don't have a shallow drip pan that will fit between the two birds so will have to make do. They got on just before 9am and temps are now around 315 at the top grate.


New member
Just want to thank you guys for helping me get through my Turkey Day cook! The turkeys turned out excellent and I had folks asking for left overs the next day. I ended up smoking my brother his own turkey because he liked it so much! We are definitely gonna make smoked turkey more often.