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Can I smoke a turkey the day before Xmas and finish cooking it the day of?

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Christmas is going to be a very busy day since I'll be doing dinner for ten people with a number of dishes that have to be done a la minute as it were. But I am going to smoke a turkey as my main, and given that I have a Smoke Vault, vertical style propane water cabinet smoker, the temperature is rather hard to maintain and requires pretty constant attention. I've only smoked one turkey in this smoker. I smoked it for three hours, and then finished it in the oven at 325 to bring the breast temp to 160 and to get the skin crispy.

Has anyone had any experience smoking the bird, refrigerating it, then the next day, finishing cooking it in the oven. It would be a lot less stressful without nine people milling around wondering when I was going to join in the fun.

I know that there are some folks on the board with a lot of bbq expertise so I would appreciate any suggestions.

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  1. Hotsmoking is just like any other kind of cooking -- you just have to cook it all the way in one shot -- the risk of foodborne illness is just too high, particularly with raw poultry.

    Smoke it the day before, then just wrap it tightly in foil and warm it up in the oven.