How much charcoal is needed to grill a turkey? It all depends on the amount of air that you are putting into the smoker or grill. Ideally, you want to smoke a turkey around 250’ and up to an internal temp of about 160’. To do this, you will likely use between 7 to 10 lbs of lump charcoal depending on the size of the turkey. Usually, you would use about 7 lbs for the first 5 hours and then add a couple more pounds to cook for an additional few hours till the internal temp is achieved.