It’s the holidays and your holiday is not complete with this amazing Brined Smoked Turkey! It’s so juicy, full of flavor and easy! That’s the best part. You will brine the turkey overnight. Then add butter, seasoning and oil to the turkey and pop it on your smoker the next day. The result is the perfect smoked turkey for your Thanksgiving Dinner! Mix it up this year and try smoking your turkey instead of roasting it in the oven.
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It’s Turkey Day and you need a turkey recipe. Am I right? Something that will be the star of the show next to your dinner rolls and apple pie. You need a bird that is full of flavor, juicy and easy to make so your holidays are stress-free. This smoked turkey is your answer!
Well, as stress free as they are going to get!
We tested this smoked turkey multiple times on our Traeger Eastwood 34 Pellet Grill and had family and friends over each time we made it. I think we are elected to bring the turkey to Thanksgiving this year after every got a taste of this!
Plus, it makes amazing leftovers for sandwiches because of the smoked flavor of the turkey!
Traeger Smoked Turkey
We used our Traeger electric smoker to smoke this turkey and it turned out amazing! I love using my Traeger because it maintains the smoke and temperatures for me so I don’t have to do as much babysitting.
I have enough kids to babysit let alone babysitting a turkey on the smoker too!
Be sure to save the juices in the foil pan for making gravy.
The seasonings on this turkey give the drippings and AMAZING flavor which makes the BEST gravy ever.
I’m tempted to make this turkey just for that reason!
Oh, and the fact that Jason does the whole smoking and preparing of the turkey so I really don’t have to do anything!
FAQ’s on Smoked Turkey
Here are some quick tips and answers to your questions on making a smoked turkey!
If you have additional questions leave us a comment and we will answer them!
What do I need to Smoke a Turkey?
- Turkey (fully defrosted)
- Wood chips (we used cherry)
- Instant read meat thermometer or remote meat thermometer
- Foil Pan
- Silicone Grilling Mitts
How to Smoke a Turkey
The night before you want to smoke your bird unwrap the thawed turkey and remove and parts like the neck, giblets etc. that might be in the cavity.
Grab your large food safe bucket and combine the hot water and salt. Stir this mixture until the salt is dissolved. Mix in remaining ingredients for the brine. Add the turkey to the brine mixture, seal container and place in the fridge overnight (8-12 hours). If the brine mixture does not cover the entire turkey we add more water/apple cider to mixture.
The next day you will want to remove the turkey from the brine mixture, rinse under cold water and pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Place in large foil roasting pan.
Next prepare your smoker by heating it to 250 degrees F according to the manufacturer’s directions. We used cherry wood chips in our Traeger electric smoker.
Grab a small bowl and mix together the ingredients for the rub. Next gently lift the skin of the turkey up and rub the butter mixture under the skin of the turkey.
Brush the turkey skin with olive oil. Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper, to taste.
Put the turkey into the smoker and smoke for about 30 minutes per pound, or until an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the breast meat.
Remove your turkey from the smoker. Tent with foil and let rest for about 30 minutes. This will let the juices redistribute and give you that amazing juicy turkey!
How long does it take to smoke a turkey?
I would recommend planning about 30 minutes per pound of turkey when you smoke it between 225 – 250 degrees F.
Please remember that if you live in a colder climate it will take longer than this so plan a little bit of extra time.
If you are smoking a turkey that is over 15 lbs please make sure to smoke it at a higher temperature about 350 degrees. The reason for this is because your turkey will be sitting in the food danger zone for far to long at a lower temperature. You can risk bacteria growing and spoiling your turkey before it’s finished. We don’t want that!
We have increased our temperature to 350 degrees F on the smoker and smoked a larger bird that way and it was great, but there wasn’t as much smoke flavor.
If you need to serve more people and want to cook turkey at a lower temp just grab multiple turkeys!
What flavor of wood chips for smoking turkey?
We used cherry wood chips for smoking this turkey, but you can also use flavors such as apple, maple or even mesquite! Hickory is a stronger flavor but it is a classic and gives an even smoky flavor.
How much Turkey per person?
Usually you will estimate that 1 1/2 lbs of turkey will feed one person. It may seem like a lot, but the weight includes the bones, giblets etc. which will not be consumed.
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Brined Smoked Turkey Recipe
- 15 lb turkey defrosted
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 c. hot water
- 1 c. kosher salt
- 2 c. apple cider
- 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp Montreal steak seasoning
- 1 Tbsp thyme fresh
- 1 Tbsp rosemary fresh
- 1/2 c. butter softened
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Unwrap thawed turkey and remove any parts (neck, giblets etc.) that may be inside cavity.
- In a large food safe bucket combine the hot water and salt. Stir until dissolved. Mix in remaining ingredients for the brine. Add turkey to brine, seal container and place in the fridge overnight (8-12 hours). If the brine mixture does not cover the entire turkey we add more water/apple cider to mixture.
- The next day remove turkey from brine, rinse under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a large foil roasting pan
- Heat your smoker to 250°F according to manufacturer's instructions. We recommend using cherry wood chips.
- In a small bowl mix together the ingredients for the rub. Gently lift the skin of the turkey up and rub butter mixture under the skin.
- Brush the turkey with olive oil. Season the turkey cavity with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Put the turkey into the smoker and smoke for about 30 minutes per pound, or until an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the breast meat.
- Remove turkey from smoker. I recommend using silicone mitts to lift the roasting pan off the smoker. Tent the turkey lightly with foil for at least 30 minutes before slicing, giving the juices time to redistribute.