Once you discover how to smoke a turkey like this, and do it right, you’ll never cook it any other way because your friends and family will demand this smokey bird…
How To Smoke A Turkey (Whole Smoke Turkey)
Before we go into the recipe, here are some things to keep in mind when choosing your bird. The best turkeys for smoking are those in the 10-12lb range. This size turkey cooks evenly throughout the breast and thighs, and since we’re usually talking about a young bird, the meat is very tender.
If your bird is frozen when you purchase it, take the time to thaw it properly. The safest way is to let it thaw over a few days in the refrigerator. If you don’t have the time to wait, place the turkey in a large container and fill it with water. Never let a turkey sit out and thaw on the counter- it would create the perfect conditions for harmful bacteria to thrive.
Once the turkey is thawed, remove the neck and giblets (insides). Rinse the turkey under cold water.
Next comes the brine. For the brine solution you will need:
- 2 gallons of tap water
- 1 C Brown Sugar
- 1 C Molasses
- 1 C Honey
- 1½ C Salt
- ¼ C The BBQ Rub
- 3-4 Bay Leaves
- Fresh Thyme Bundle
- 1 Tbsp Whole Peppercorns
In a pot, bring 1 gallon of water to a boil and add the ingredients except for the thyme and peppercorns . Once everything has dissolved, turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Place the turkey in a storage bag, pour in the brine and add thyme and peppercorns. If the bird is not completely covered, add water. Let the turkey soak for 24 hours.
The next day remove the turkey from the brine and rinse under cool water. Allow it to drain and pat off any excess water with paper towels.
Fill the cavity with sliced apples, onion and celery (or any other fruits/vegetables) to add mass and help the turkey cook even.
Season the skin with :
- ½ cup Kosher Salt
- ½ cup Granulated Garlic
- 1 tsp Poultry Seasoning
Inject the bird with (mix):
- 1 stick real butter
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp Hot Sauce
- 1 tsp Granulated Garlic
- 1 tsp Cajun Seasoning
Then it’s time to smoke the turkey! Smoke at 275-300°F. Smoke for 1.5 hour, while maintaining the temp. After 1.5 hour, rotate (don’t flip!) the bird to ensure even cooking. Smoke for 2 additional hours, or until internal temp hits 165°F in the breast and 175°F in the thigh. Let the bird rest, then serve.
And that is how to smoke a turkey! Enjoy!