Can You Smoke Two Turkeys at Once? (Tips and Tricks)


Do you want to know how to simultaneously smoke two turkeys? 


I was initially dubious, but after some experimentation and study, I’m glad to say that smoking two turkeys simultaneously is not only possible but also frequently a tasty and savory experience.


Here’s how.


Quick Summary


  • If you have the correct tools and enough room, you can smoke two turkeys at once.

  • Check the internal temperature of the turkeys using a trustworthy meat thermometer.

  • To achieve consistent cooking, you might need to rotate the turkeys.


Can You Smoke Two Turkeys at Once?

two turkeys

We’ve all been in the situation where you want to smoke your turkey but can only purchase a 12-pound bird due to the clearance of your smoker. But because it wouldn’t feed the entire family, you bought two. But can they both go in the smoker at once?

Absolutely, you can smoke two turkeys at once. If you have enough room in your smoker, not only can you, but you should! By smoking two smaller turkeys, you may enjoy more flesh while spending less time smoking.

Continue reading if you want to learn how to effectively smoke two turkeys at once before you jump right in and start seasoning and smoking your two birds.


Why Should You Smoke Two Turkeys at Once?


The easiest strategy to reduce the amount of time your turkeys need to be smoked is to purchase two smaller birds rather than one larger one, despite the fact that this may sound a little strange.


You figure out how long to smoke a turkey depending on how much it weighs. At 275 °F, where we advise smoking your turkey, you should allow 20–25 minutes per pound of meat. Thus, smoking a 20-pound turkey would take over 7 hours!

By choosing two 10-pound birds instead, which would smoke in a little over three hours, you can cut this down. Additionally, this gives you a bit more time to experiment when you have smaller birds. It won’t take a whole 24 hours to smoke your turkey if you wish to do it at a lower temperature.

Not to mention, you can now provide your guests with two different turkey options. While putting butter under the other’s skin, give one a spicy skin. Whatever you decide, smoking two smaller turkeys is always preferable to smoking one huge one.


Where Can You Buy Small Turkeys?

Unfortunately, getting little turkeys could be challenging because, in America, bigger is usually better. The smallest turkey available in most stores weighs between 12 and 15 pounds.

Consider checking around your neighborhood to find a farmer that offers them if you’ve decided you want to smoke two smaller turkeys this year. If they are close enough, you may have a fresh turkey, which is much nicer than a frozen one, and they are often better able to satisfy weight needs.

Ask your store if they can order two smaller birds for you if you reside in a region without any turkey farms. Don’t be scared to ask because most supermarkets (most notably the Kroger brand) restock their shelves in response to requests.

Although the holidays won’t be for a few months, the time to get your turkey is now because both of these alternatives involve quite a bit of planning ahead.


You Need How Much Turkey, Right?

It’s important to calculate your exact needs before placing an order or making a purchase for your two turkeys. We’ve discovered that estimating 1.25–1.5 pounds for each visitor is the optimal course of action.

Naturally, you may estimate less if you have small children and more if you want leftovers, but we usually advise cooking extra so you can enjoy smoked turkey sandwiches in the days after your celebration!

Additionally, keep in mind that, in contrast to boneless meats, a large portion of the bird is not edible. You should round up since most people believe that the weight of the turkey is made up of around one-third bones and other internal organs.


Two Turkeys Smoked: Pros and Cons


While smoking two turkeys has numerous benefits, there are a few drawbacks you should think about before making your choice. For your convenience, we’ve included them in the sections below.




  • Smaller turkey, shorter defrost

  • Smaller birds on the smoker are simpler to control

  • Smaller turkey, less cooking time

  • Smaller turkeys can be purchased fresh

  • Smaller birds on the smoker are simpler to control




  • The turkeys can’t touch in the smoker

  • The rate at which the turkeys are cooked might vary if they don’t receive equal ventilation

  • Two turkeys require extra preparation

  • Possibly more difficult to locate in the grocery

  • You need a big smoker since it needs to be able to close with both turkeys inside


As you can see, the advantages and disadvantages are almost similar, so your choice will likely be based on the size of your smoker.


Two Turkeys: Smoking Procedure


Are you prepared to try smoking two turkeys simultaneously? Here are some suggestions to help you get the best outcomes:


Check Your Smoker Before You Buy

Two turkeys cannot fit in all smokers. Before buying two birds, make sure your smoker has enough clearance and space for them.

We advise going to the store and measuring a few birds if you have the time. Check to see whether it fits in your smoker after you have an idea of how long it is relative to the weight you are buying (with in mind that the length might vary). Keep in mind that for your turkeys to smoke correctly, the smoker door must be able to close and that the turkeys shouldn’t contact it.

Before it is safe to consume, each turkey must achieve an internal temperature of 165 °F.


Purchase Extra Fuel

You should always have additional fuel on hand before a holiday smoke session—this is just a general recommendation. The last thing you want is to run out of fuel in the middle of cooking your turkey, forcing you to finish it in the oven.

It will take a couple of hours to smoke two turkeys, so make sure you have enough fuel on hand for that amount of time plus an extra two hours just to be cautious.

Know Your Layout


Many smokers with two separate racks can accommodate two turkeys. Be aware that one rack will be hotter than the other since it will be closer to the smoke source. Plan to rotate your turkeys halfway through the projected cooking time if you’re preparing two turkeys and don’t want one to finish before the other.

Check the temperature of the turkeys when you go to switch them out to determine whether one is cooking more quickly than the other.


Can You Smoke Turkeys With Other Cuts of Meat?

Need to be handled the same way.

Turkey, for instance, has a far higher lean content than cuts like pig butt and beef brisket. Due to the fact that chicken doesn’t require a low and slow cooking method to drain off the fat and tenderize the meat, we advise using a slightly higher smoker temperature for poultry.

Brisket will take significantly longer to achieve its ideal serving temperature if you smoke turkey and brisket at the same time. A 12-pound brisket might take 10 to 12 hours to cook, even when it’s smoked at 275 degrees.

Instead, think about smoking a whole turkey with a pig loin roast or similar lean cut if you want to provide two types of meat at your barbecue. Just be aware that the cooking time for the pork loin may be much less than for the turkey.

Making a good estimate based on the weight of each cut and the smoker temperature is the key to smoking two types of meat at once, regardless of the situation.

Put the pork loin on the smoker an hour after you add the turkey if the pork loin has to complete cooking in two hours but the turkey needs three. They should be completed in this manner nearly at the same time.


Safety Tips and Considerations


Food safety must always be considered while cooking two turkeys at the same time.

Here are some significant safety factors to remember:


  1. Thaw the turkey properly: Make sure the frozen turkey is completely thawed before cooking if you’re using it in place of fresh turkey from a nearby farm. The safest technique, regardless of how much turkey you have, is to defrost it in the refrigerator. However, you may also thaw it in cold water if you’re pressed for time.

  2. Use enough fuel: Make sure you have enough fuel to maintain the smoker’s temperature for the duration of roasting the turkey.

  3. Keep the smoker clean: Clean your smoker frequently to avoid creosote development, which can result in a fire risk when smoking turkey.

  4. Maintaining good hygiene: To stop the transmission of germs, wash your hands and any surfaces that come into contact with the raw turkey.


Besides Turkey, What Other Meats Should You Smoke?

Lean meats, such as pork loin, are the finest to smoke with turkey. But be aware that the cooking times for the two pieces of meat will probably vary.

If you have a two-shelf smoker, our top suggestion is to place the pork loin on top of the bird and let the juices trickle down. You’ll get a deliciously savory flavor from this. But because it will take considerably longer to cook than a beautiful, flavorful pork loin, put the turkey in first.

Ham can also be smoked with turkey at 275 °F if you have the time. However, you’ll need to get up early because it will probably take this meat 5–7 hours to cook. Place it on the top rack once again, and when you later add the turkey to the smoker, let the juices run down onto it 




Is It Better to Cook Two Small Turkeys or One Big One?

 Cooking two little turkeys is preferable to cooking one larger one. This is particularly crucial when using a smoker to roast two turkeys at once because of possible space constraints. Additionally, it provides you with more drumsticks, black meat, younger, juicier birds, and quicker cooking times.

 What If Turkey Is Pink?

As long as the turkey flesh reaches a temperature of 165 °F, you can consume pink turkey meat.

Even after being thoroughly cooked, the protein in turkey keeps its pink color.

 Is it a Good Idea to Smoke Two Turkeys?

Most chefs can smoke two turkeys simultaneously, which is the most effective way to smoke for your guests.

You may be confident in this process and get mouthwatering results by using the strategies and procedures discussed in this article.


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