The PERFECT Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

The perfect smoked Thanksgiving turkey, that’s what we’re talking about, and here’s how you can have one too! Fire up your smokers, grab a bird, and let’s cook something everyone will be thankful for.

The Perfect Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey

But why smoke the turkey? Simple, smoking it embeds a whole different palette of flavors in the food. If you own and use a BBQ, you already know this. If you don’t, well, what are you waiting for?

Creating Your Marinade

The first step of this recipe is injecting the turkey with a marinade. Many recipes would brine the turkey instead, but that’s a lot more time consuming for practically the same result.

For a marinade that tastes like winter holiday season, mix the following ingredients in a pan:

  • 70 oz Water
  • 2 cubes dried chicken stock
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 lemon, sliced in half
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 Cup Jack Daniels Tennessee fire
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100 gr butter

Bring the mixture to a boil, then let it simmer. You want the liquid to come down to half its original volume.

Homemade Turkey Rub

Next up, your very own turkey spice mix!

  • 1 part salt flakes
  • 1/2 part raw cane sugar
  • 1/8 part garlic powder
  • 1/2 part paprika powder
  • 1/8 part black pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 part onion powder
  • 1/8 part thyme
  • 1/8 part nutmeg powder

Mix all of the ingredients, and put them in a shaker or any other rub dispensing method you use.

Prepping the Bird

Before you do anything else with it, you’ll want to prepare the turkey. Trim off any loose skin, clean the cavity, and secure the legs and wings, either as shown in the video, or with butchers string.

Next up, injecting. Strain the marinade, then inject it to all the meaty areas. Wherever possible, do not puncture the skin – try injecting from inside the cavity.

And once the inside is done, it’s time to tend to the outside: rub the turkey with vegetable oil, then give it an even coat of the BBQ rub you made earlier. Sprinkle whatever rub is left inside the cavity.

Smoking Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Fire up the smoker, and let it heat up until temperature stabilizes somewhere in the 250ºF. Add a few chunks of your favorite smoke wood, insert your food probe, and let the magic happen.

The smoked Thanksgiving turkey will be perfect when internal temperature in the breast hits 167ºF. Let it rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before carving.


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