Final Smoked Turkey Recipe (so juicy!)

October 17, 2022 0 Comments

This Smoked Turkey recipe is exceptionally juicy. It’s brined in a single day and seasoned with a scrumptious turkey seasoning. It could take a little bit of time, however it’s so value it.

On the lookout for sides to serve with this entire smoked turkey? Attempt these mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts with bacon, or these tasty mashed candy potatoes.

smoked turkey on platter.

The Greatest Smoked Turkey Recipe

If there’s ever a turkey recipe that you simply make please make it this smoked turkey recipe. It isn’t misplaced on us that cooking a complete turkey, whether or not you might be roasting, smoking, sous-viding, or no matter, is an endeavor.

Regardless of the way you cook dinner a complete turkey it will take a while so why not do it proper? Smoking a turkey does take 2 days to make, simply an FYI.

That is really the very best smoked turkey recipe as a result of it comes out so juicy and flavorful all due to a smoked turkey moist brine, turkey seasoning, and basting liquid.

So if you happen to don’t have the time flip round now and go make our baked turkey tenderloin or this straightforward herby turkey breast.

Why you must think about smoking a turkey

When you determined that smoking a turkey is for you, listed below are all the explanations you must smoke a turkey versus another technique.

  • Smoked turkey is juicy on the within.
  • The flavour is unimaginable.
  • It’s a enjoyable technique to cook dinner with the household.
  • Smoking a turkey is a protracted course of that leaves you with essentially the most flavorful turkey ever.
  • Smoked turkey makes nice leftovers that final a very long time.

Greatest Smoker for Smoking Turkey

Let’s speak people who smoke. When you’ve got a smoker that you simply love, you may skip this part. We now have smoked many several types of meat on many various people who smoke. Computerized pellet grills or people who smoke, handbook people who smoke, and even common grills.

Our favourite smoker is the Traeger electrical smoker as a result of (like a sluggish cooker) there’s minimal work required when you set the Traeger. This smoker makes use of pellets slightly than wooden chips and it mechanically feeds the smoker to regulate the temperature.

That’s proper, no person has so as to add wooden chips or wooden pellets themselves to maintain the temperature up.

What sort of pellets ought to I exploit? You need to use no matter pellet you want to! We used the unique Traeger pellets for this recipe. You need to use hickory, cherry, or another pellet taste you’d like.

Smoker Necessities

Try all of our favourite smoker merchandise, together with what smoker we use within the Match Foodie kitchen for testing recipes!

Can I Use a Common Grill to Smoke a Turkey?

Sure, you should use a gasoline grill or charcoal grill as a smoker. It does take a bit extra work. All you must do is purchase considered one of these wooden chip smoker containers after which add wooden chips all through the smoking course of to take care of the proper temperature.

Seasoning a turkey to smoke.

All of the Provides You Want

Earlier than you begin smoking the turkey you’ve just a few issues that you will want to collect to make it a straightforward course of.

Smoker Necessities

Try all of our favourite smoker merchandise, together with what smoker we use within the Match Foodie kitchen for testing recipes!

Components for Smoked Turkey

There are just a few completely different steps to this smoked turkey recipe however the good half is that most of the elements overlap!

  • Turkey– this recipe requires a 12-15 pound entire turkey. Make sure you discover a turkey that’s untreated. Some turkeys come pre-brined and we don’t need that. This turkey ought to feed between 12-15 individuals if you’re serving it with sides.
  • Brine Components- you’ll bine your chicken on this smoked turkey brine which consists of water, salt, rosemary, thyme, peppercorns, garlic, and onions.
  • Turkey seasoning– don’t skip this seasoning, it provides a lot taste to this recipe. This turkey seasoning is essentially the most flavorful seasoning that compliments turkey and different poultry so nicely. It’s a mixture of candy + savory. Please please make it!
  • Onion and Garlic– you’ll stuff your turkey with onions and garlic. Don’t skip this, it provides all the very best flavors to your turkey and the gravy.
  • Salted butter– oh butter, how we love you. You’re going to stick just a little butter underneath the pores and skin of your turkey earlier than you smoke it.
  • Hen broth– you’ll make a little bit of a basting liquid with hen broth. When you don’t have hen broth, any sort will do!
  • Contemporary herbs- we use recent sage, recent rosemary, and recent thyme on this recipe. They’re utilized in just a few completely different components of the recipe.
Seasoning smoked turkey in a turkey container.

Put together a Turkey for Smoking

To arrange your turkey for brining and smoking, we advise sanitizing your kitchen sink and putting a baking sheet within the sink. Place your turkey on the baking sheet and take away the wrapping from the turkey.

Thaw Turkey

It is extremely vital that you simply thaw your turkey totally earlier than starting this course of. Thawing a 15 lb. turkey takes longer than you’d assume.

We thawed ours within the fridge for two days till totally thawed.

Make certain to regulate your turkey. You may all the time convey it to the countertop to thaw quicker than within the fridge.

Take away Turkey Innards

Earlier than beginning something, make sure you take away the innards from the cavity of the turkey earlier than making ready the brine for the turkey.

You may discard the giblets and innarts or save them for a yummy turkey soup in a while.

Smoked Turkey Brine

After your turkey is prepped and able to go it’s time to organize the ‘moist’ turkey brine. We now have a whole submit about our smoked turkey brine, however basically you might be making ready a salty water bathtub for the turkey to take a seat in in a single day.

Why brine your turkey earlier than smoking? We swear by moist brining our turkey earlier than smoking as a result of it not solely provides a ton of taste but additionally helps the turkey retain moisture in the course of the smoking course of.

How lengthy to brine a turkey earlier than smoking? We suggest brining your turkey for not less than 12 hours or in a single day. So, you are able to do this the evening earlier than in order that it’s prepared for smoking within the morning!

Smoked Turkey Dry Rub

The second factor you must do to your turkey earlier than placing it on the smoker is fastidiously rinse the turkey underneath water, pat it dry with a paper towel, after which douse it in our scrumptious turkey dry rub.

Make certain to get that rub in each nook and cranny! We extremely counsel making our dry rub as a result of it’s really what provides superb taste to this recipe. You’ll doubtless use round 1/2 to three/4 cup of our turkey seasoning. Right here’s what it’s manufactured from:

  • Dried thyme
  • Dried rosemary
  • Dried oregano
  • Brown sugar
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Floor pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Smoked paprika

flavorful turkey seasoning in a bowl

strive it!

Turkey Seasoning

Ditch the store-bought turkey seasoning and use essentially the most Flavorful Turkey Seasoning made with 9 elements you may really pronounce. This seasoning is made up of garlic powder, brown sugar, kosher salt, and different easy seasonings.

get recipe

A saucepan with smoked turkey brine.

Issues to Do Earlier than You Smoke the Turkey

Within the final hours that your turkey is brining, there are some things you are able to do to get able to smoke the chicken.

Prep the Basting Liquid

Each 1.5 to 2 hours when you are smoking the turkey you’ll baste your chicken in a scrumptious basting liquid that can even change into a part of the gravy you make on the finish of your recipe.

Put together the basting liquid on the stovetop earlier than you put together the chicken after which discover a small aluminum container that you could hold the basting liquid in within the smoker.

Why must you baste your smoked turkey? Basting helps stop the turkey from drying out on the smoker. Belief us once we say don’t skip this half.

Get your aluminum Pan prepared

After the chicken is brined, you’ll place it in a giant aluminum roasting pan that can finally go in your smoker. Discover an aluminum roasting pan that’s large enough on your chicken, however will nonetheless match in your smoker.

Alongside together with your chicken, there might be onion, garlic, and recent herbs that can make up your gravy together with the basting liquid and drippings from the turkey.

Clear the smoker

All the time clear your smoker so there aren’t any probabilities for taste contamination or hearth of any form. Which means you additionally wish to clear the drip tray of your smoker as nicely!

Preheat the Smoker

Preheat your grill or smoker so it’s all prepared for you and your chicken!

What Temperature Do I Smoke a Turkey at?

This smoked turkey is smoked at 225ºF coated with tin foil for six hours (for a 12-15 lb. turkey) — low and sluggish. At 5 hours of smoking, we take away the aluminum cowl and switch the warmth as much as 250ºF for an extra 1 hour to crisp up the pores and skin. It’s scrumptious!

Make the gravy

One of many secret heroes of this recipe is the GRAVY. Use the drippings and yummy juices that the turkey makes throughout smoking, the leftover basting liquid (in case you have any), and 1 cup of broth.

Warmth all these elements collectively and slowly whisk in 1-2 tablespoons of corn starch till the gravy thickens.

Smoked turkey in a tray.

How Lengthy to Smoke a Turkey?

This 12-15 lb turkey is smoked (coated) for six hours. When you’ve got a bigger turkey you’ll need to smoke the turkey longer. Simply examine the interior temperature!

Take away the turkey from the smoker and let the turkey relaxation for 15-20 minutes to retain all of the moisture again into the meat. Then use a carving knife to slice your turkey.

Can I smoke an even bigger turkey? We really don’t suggest smoking a turkey bigger than 15 lbs. as a result of it can take too lengthy to cook dinner and the outside of the turkey may get too dry.

Inside Temperature of a Entire Turkey

The interior temperature of turkey ought to be 165ºF. Some individuals observe the rule that the hen thigh temperature ought to be 175ºF and the breast meat ought to come out to 160ºF or 165ºF. Usually, we ensure that the entire chicken is about 165ºF.

Our rule of thumb is to maintain the probe of your smoker within the thickest a part of the chicken to look at the temperature of the turkey all through smoking.

meat thermometer

Attempt it!

Thermoworks Thermapen

We swear through the use of a meat thermometer when cooking any minimize of meat. The Thermapen is our go-to meat thermometer that works each time.

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Smoked turkey gravy in a glass jar.


How lengthy does it take to smoke a turkey?

Whereas the smoke time for a 13-15 lb. turkey is simply round 6 hours, you’ll doubtless be brining the turkey, which makes this a 1 day+ endeavor.

Do smoked turkeys style good?

Smoked turkeys are completely scrumptious. They tackle the flavour of the smoking pellets used together with any dry or moist brining that was finished beforehand.

How do you retain a turkey moist whereas smoking?

There are just a few methods to maintain a turkey moist whereas smoking. You may cowl it with tinfoil to lure some moisture and/or use a basting liquid like basic roasted turkey.

Ought to I wrap my turkey in tin foil whereas smoking?

We suggest utilizing tin foil for almost all of the turkey smoke time to ensure the turkey comes out good and moist. Solely proper on the finish do you uncover it.

What to Serve with Smoked Turkey

You may’t have turkey with out scrumptious sides! Under are a few of our most favourite aspect dishes for Thanksgiving or another time you might be having fun with a turkey dinner.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon- This scrumptious roasted brussels sprouts recipe is made with just some easy elements together with thick-cup maple bacon and in lower than half-hour!

Roasted Root Greens- These Roasted Root Greens are such a straightforward and scrumptious seasonal aspect to serve this fall and winter! Merely minimize the veggies, season, and roast for 45 minutes — that’s it!

Mashed Potatoes- Add these wholesome mashed potatoes to your Thanksgiving dinner. They’re made with russet potatoes, Greek yogurt, just a little little bit of butter, and tons of recent herbs for essentially the most excellent mashed potatoes with pores and skin on (simply the way in which I prefer it!).

Smoked turkey on a platter.

Smoked Turkey Leftover Concepts

When you’ve got a smaller group of individuals for this turkey you’ll undoubtedly have leftovers! Under are some scrumptious leftover concepts.


Retailer your turkey leftovers in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 7 days.

Can I freeze smoked turkey?

Sure, you may freeze leftover turkey for soups, salads, or another recipes. Let the turkey cool fully after which place it in a freezer-safe bag and freeze it for as much as 3 months.

smoked turkey on platter.
Smoked turkey on a platter

Juicy Smoked Turkey ( Smoke a Turkey)

This smoked turkey recipe features a smoked turkey brine, turkey seasoning, and a scrumptious gravy. Your friends might be wowed by this juicy Traeger smoked turkey recipe. Yum! 

Prep:12 hours

Prepare dinner:8 hours

Whole:20 hours

Fats 15

Carbs 49

Protein 130



  • 13-15 lb. turkey thawed with giblets and innards eliminated
  • 1/2 giant white onion diced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons chilly salted butter minimize into 8 small items

Smoked Turkey Brine

  • 2 gallons water
  • 1.5 cups kosher salt
  • ½ giant white onion chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon entire cloves
  • 3 sprigs recent thyme
  • 3 sprigs of recent rosemary

Basting Liquid

  • 4 cups hen broth
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 sprigs recent sage
  • 2 sprigs recent rosemary
  • 2 sprigs recent thyme

Gravy Components

  • Turkey drippings ~1-2 cups
  • Leftover basting liquid in case you have any
  • 1 cup hen broth
  • 1-2 tablespoons corn starch


  • Put together the Brine: Add 2 cups of water to a saucepan and add 1.5 cups of kosher salt to the pan and warmth it over medium warmth. Whisk the two elements collectively over the warmth till the salt is absorbed. 

  • Pour the salt water right into a 4 gallon bucket. Add the remainder of the brine elements to the pot and blend till all of the elements are mixed. 

  • Brine Turkey: Rigorously place the turkey into the brine and place the pot into the fridge and let it sit in a single day. 

  • When you find yourself able to smoke the turkey, preheat the smoker to 225ºF. 

  • As soon as the turkey has sat within the brine, take away it from the pot and discard the brine. 

  • Place the turkey on a baking sheet within the sink and punctiliously rinse the turkey. 

  • Pat the turkey strive with paper towel. 

  • Place the turkey on a clear aluminum tray and punctiliously place the small items of chilly butter underneath the pores and skin of the turkey.

  • Put together turkey seasoning: put together turkey seasoning by cominbing all the spices in a mediu bowl. Combine to mix.

  • Season turkey: Relying on how huge your chicken is, you will use round 3/4 cup of the turkey seasonoing. Sprinkle the turkey with turkey seasoning. Pat the seasoning into the turkey and be certain the turkey is roofed in seasoning. It is okay if a number of the seasoning falls to the underside of your tin pan becuase these flavors will assist make the gravy style superb.

  • Stuff turkey: stuff the onion, garlic, and herbs in to the middle of the turkey and canopy the turkey with aluminum foil. put aside. 

  • Put together basting liquid: Place all of the elements for the basting liquid right into a small bowl (we used a disposible tin container). Make sure the bowl can get soiled within the smoker if that is what you are utilizing. 

  • Lastly, place the pan with they turkey into the smoker and set the basting liquid subsequent to the turkey pan. 

  • Smoke turkey: smoke the turkey at 225ºF for five hours, basting the turkey each 1.5 to 2 hours with the basting liquid. 

  • Uncover the turkey after 5 hours and enhance the warmth to 250ºF and smoke for an extra 1 hour or till the interior temperature of the thickest a part of the turkey (the breast) reaches 165ºF. Growing the warmth will enable the pores and skin to crisp up. 

  • Take away the turkey from the smoker and let it relaxation for 15-20 minutes earlier than carving. 

  • Make the gravy: Discard the onion, garlic, and sprigs of herbs from the roasting pan and add all of the turkey drippings to a saucepan (you must have round 1-2 cups of liquid).

  • Add any leftover basting liquid (in case you have any) and 1 cup of hen broth to the saucepan and produce to a delicate boil over medium/excessive warmth.

  • As soon as the liquid is scorching, flip the warmth to medium and create a cornstarch slurry. Whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the pot till the cornstarch dissolves. Then add the slurry to the pot and whisk to mix.

  • Proceed whisking till the gravy thickens. If the gravy doesn’t attain your required thickness, repeat with one other tablespoon of cornstarch.

Ideas & Notes

  • Non-Smoker Grill Directions: Carry your gasoline grill or charcoal grill to 225ºF and set a wooden chip field stuffed with soaked wooden chips onto the grill. You’ll have to keep the temperature 225ºF all through the entire cook dinner time by ensuring you’ve sufficient propane if you’re utilizing a gasoline grill or being certain to repeatedly add charcoal to your charcoal grill. Additionally, you will have so as to add extra soaked wooden chips to the smoking field all through the cooking time. As soon as your grill is preheated, observe the identical cooking directions from above.

Diet information

Energy: 684kcal Carbohydrates: 49g Protein: 130g Fats: 15g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 0g

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