How To Make A Smoked Turkey

Smoked Turkey

One of the benefits of smoking a turkey is that it’s almost impossible to overcook anything in a smoker. The temperature remains low and the cooking is slow, resulting in perfectly moist and tender meat with a rich, complex flavor.


Smoked Turkey Tools

Besides a smoker, there are a few other things you’ll need to smoke your turkey:

  • A large pan
  • An accurate meat thermometer
  • Wood chips–any kind of fruit wood, such as apple or cherry, complements turkey very well, but hickory, pecan, and maple will be equally good

If you’re smoking a whole bird, we recommended that you choose one weighing no more than about 15 pounds–large turkeys take too long to heat all the way through.

If you choose a frozen turkey, it should be thoroughly thawed before you begin. 

Be sure to remove all the giblets and gizzards from the turkey, as well as the plastic pop-up thermometer.


To add even more flavor to your turkey:

  • Try brining: while not an essential part of smoking a turkey, soaking in brine before cooking gives the meat maximum flavor and juiciness.
  • Rub bird with oil or butter for crispy and evenly browned skin.
  • Apply a dry rub just before smoking. (If you have brined the turkey, you should not use any salt in the dry rub).

Unfortunately, you can’t stuff a smoked turkey. Make your stuffing separately in the oven.

Smoking Your Turkey

Once you have prepped your turkey, you are ready to begin smoking:

  • Place turkey in the pan, breast-side up.
  • Insert the meat thermometer deep into the thigh, being careful not to touch the bone or joints.
  • Run your smoker at 240 degrees F (115 degrees C).
  • Allow 30 minutes of cooking time per pound of meat. 
  • Baste the turkey with its own juices a few times during smoking, but avoid opening the smoker too often; you will lose heat and increase the cooking time.

When the thermometer reads 165 degrees F (75 degrees C) , pull the bird out of the smoker and let it rest at least 15 minutes. Carve and serve.



Posted on October 31, 2012, in health and fitness, healthy recipes, how to and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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