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Smoked Whole Turkey – Two Seasonings!

Salty or smoky? Mustard or olive oil? Why not both? This 2-way smoked whole turkey will satisfy every taste and is perfect for feeding large groups of people…

Smoked Whole Turkey – Two Seasonings!

If you bought a frozen turkey and are planning to cook it, make sure you let it defrost in the fridge for at least 2 days. The entire process including defrosting, brining, and the actual cooking of the smoked whole turkey may take up to 4 days.

 Step #1 Brining the turkey

If you have never brined anything before, check out this guide on the basics of brining. For this recipe you will only need a very basic brine:

  • Water
  • Kosher Salt
  • Brown Sugar
  • Low Fat Buttermilk

Place your turkey in a large container or food bag and make sure there are no leaks. Next, pour in the brine to completely submerge it and let it brine for 24 hours in the fridge. If your container does not fit in the refrigerator, add a good amount of ice and place it somewhere cool because you want to keep the mixture cold, otherwise you might end up with spoiled meat.

 Step #2 Seasoning the Turkey 2 Ways

While you are seasoning, get your smoker to preheat to 250°F.

When the brining process is over, drain the liquid, wash the bird off very well and pat it dry with paper towels.

Next, separate the skin from the breast area. The easiest way to do this is to start at the back end, and work your fingers under the skin as far as possible without actually coming out at the other end. If done correctly, you should have a nice pocket underneath the skin.

Cube a stick of butter, and distribute the pieces in these “pockets” just created. You want to get at least half a stick of butter under every side of the breast.

Now for the actual seasoning: each side will be done differently, and you can modify this recipe any way you like! This is great if you’re feeding a large group, since you can accommodate two different tastes at the same time.

  • Side One:
    Slather this side with Stone Ground Mustard, and season with a Garlic-based rub. Make sure to get the mustard and rub everywhere.
  • Side Two:
    Slather this side with Olive Oil, and season with a salty-smoky rub.

 Step #3 Smoking the Turkey!

Place the bird breast side down on the smoker at 250°F.

After ~1 hour flip over the turkey. When flipping, redo the spices on the breast side, since it will probably be gone by now.

Place the bird back on the smoker with a meat probe in the breast.

When internal temperature hits 145°F, crank up the heat on the smoker to reach 300°F for the last part of the cook. This will make the skin crispy and delicious!

Target internal temperature is 165°F.

Let the smoked whole turkey sit for 30 minutes under a foil tent, then it’s ready to serve.


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Jef Spencer

Pitmaster Jef Spencer is just a regular guy who loves smoking meat, BBQ and entertaining friends over a great meal and cocktail.Through years of experimentation on the grill and learning from other Pitmasters he has become known for turning out some great backyard meals.(When there is Smoke at Jef’s house, the neighbors like to peer over the fence and sometimes just come on over for dinner.)As an avid woodworker and garage shop tinkerer Jef has applied his skills to build his own custom smokers and BBQs to further his love of the grill.In the last few years he has been sharing his love of smoking meat, cocktails and backyard entertainment through his YouTube channel “Smoked Meat With Jef”, where anyone passionate about grilling up a meal can find “How To” videos, product reviews, tips and tricks to make their next BBQ experience better…. and sometimes more unique.
Jef Spencer

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