Go Back
+ servings
Turkey on Smoker in foil pan
Print Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Brined Smoked Turkey

Quick and easy brine to lock in flavor and moist, then a delicious butter rub make this Smoked Turkey packed with flavor and so juicy!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time7 hrs
Total Time7 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smoked Turkey
Servings: 7
Calories: 685kcal
Author: Julie Evink


  • 15 lb turkey defrosted
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  • 16 c. hot water
  • 8 c. apple cider
  • 1 c. kosher salt
  • 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.


  • 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 and 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!
  • If the brine mixture does not cover the entire turkey we add more water/apple cider to mixture.
  • Technically, you do not have to brine the turkey. The brine will give it a lot of extra moisture so you won't end up with a dry turkey. If you skip the brine you will need to baste the turkey every 30-45 minutes with either the drippings in the pan or if you don't have enough you can use chicken broth.


Calories: 685kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 75g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 284mg | Sodium: 13610mg | Potassium: 866mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 720IU | Vitamin C: 2.9mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 4.3mg