12/17/2012 12:23 EST | Updated 02/15/2013 05:12 EST

10 Tips for Smoking Your Holiday Turkey

Here are 10 tips for using a smoker to cook your holiday turkey from Ontario Gas BBQ. I'm not sure I could obey No. 4: If you're "Lookin'" you're not "Cookin'" I can resist anything except temptation.

1. Be patient; bring your smoker up to an optimum temperature before adding your food.

2. Soak wood chips or chunks to create a longer smouldering smoke.

3. Add wood chips or chunks early in cooking process but only after optimum temperature has been established.

4. It's okay to wait. Do not open lid unnecessarily. Doing so reduces your temperature and requires recovery time to re-establish the optimum temperature. Overall this mistake can add considerable "extra" time to your cookout. If you're "Lookin'" you're not "Cookin'".

5. Cold, windy conditions are your smoker's worst enemy for maintaining your temperature. A wind shield or any protection from inclement weather will dramatically aid your smoker's performance.

6. Shop at a reputable store for all your BBQ needs. A knowledgeable store will be able to offer advice and tips ongoing. After market service is really important to enhance and extend the enjoyment of your BBQ grill or smoker purchase. Same thing for your butcher. Superior meat cuts will produce better results.

7. Learn to BBQ or smoke food by temperature, not time. Each piece of meat is unique.  When smoking a turkey the temperature should be set at about 230 degrees F, and then calculate 30 minutes per pound.  Determine the approximate time that the turkey could be ready at the earliest -- this is when you want to start testing for doneness. Use a good meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of the turkey in two different places. Remember don't test too close to the bone.  When you have two readings about 165 degrees F then you can take the turkey out.

8. It is recommended that you do not stuff a turkey when you smoke it. For smoking, it is best that your turkey is able to smoke from the inside as well as the outside.

9. Before your turkey goes into the smoker you may want to add some flavour to the bird. This is best done with a spice rub. You can use any rub you want but remember to get these flavours under the skin. The skin of the turkey will prevent flavours from getting to the meat from the outside.

10. Remember... If you're "lookin'" you're not "cookin'."

How Long To Cook A Turkey

For more tips on how to cook turkey and other large birds, see: Grilling Techniques for Large Birds, 2 Grilling Methods for Large Roasts, and Turkey Tips and Cooking Time.