Have you ever thought about smoking a turkey? Want to learn how to prepare a delicious smoked turkey recipe for dinner and free up the oven?

A whole turkey is covered in a homemade spice rub and slow smoked to delicious, juicy perfection in this smoked turkey recipe. Though it could take some time, the effort is worthwhile—the main meal for the festivities is really simple and delicious.

Although this smoked turkey is distinctive, it’s also easy enough that even a beginner cook may create a lovely and mouth watering dish. The recipe in the article below will help you find the tastiest smoked turkey possible.


  • Turkey (12-15 lb.)

  • Wood (apple, cherry or hickory)

  • Thermometer


  • Onion (1/2 large), garlic (5 cloves), salted butter (rub under turkey’s skin)

Smoked Turkey Brine 

  • Water (2 gallons), salt (1.5 cups), rosemary (3 sprigs), thyme (3 sprigs), peppercorns (1tbsp.), garlic smashed (5 cloves), and onions chopped(1/2 large)


  • Salt (6 tsp.)

  • Chili powder (2 tbsp.)

  • Ground pepper (4 tsp.)

  • Garlic powder (4 tbsp.)

  • Brown sugar (6 tbsp.)

  • Smoked paprika (4 tsp.)

  • Dried thyme (2 tbsp.)

  • Dried rosemary (2 tbsp.)

  • Dried oregano (4 tsp.)

Basting Liquid

  • Chicken broth (4-cups)

  • Fresh thyme

  • Fresh rosemary 

  • Fresh sage 

  • Garlic smashed (2-cloves) 


  • Chicken broth (cup)

  • Turkey drippings (2-cups)

  • Basting liquid (if any)

  • Corn starch (2 tbsp.) 

Smoke Turkey Recipe

  1. Defrost Turkey

It’s crucial to properly defrost your turkey before starting the process. 2 days before Thanksgiving, put a 15-pound bird in the fridge. Keep an eye on your turkey at all times. Plan far ahead so that you can properly defrost your turkey. 

  1. Clean 

Take the turkey out of the packing once it has completely defrosted, and then remove the neck and giblets out of the body.

  1. Smoked Turkey brine

It’s now time to make the brine for the smoked turkey. It enhances the flavor and helps keep the moisture in the turkey while it is being smoked.

  • Heat the saucepan on medium heat while adding water and kosher salt. Stir until the salt has been absorbed.

  • Into a 4-gallon bucket, pour the salt water. Add all the brine components into salt water, and mix it well.

  • Carefully place the turkey into the brine bath, cover the pot, and store it in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

  • After the turkey has sat in the brine, take it from the pot and discard the brine. 

  1. Rinse thoroughly

Place the turkey on a baking tray in the sink and give it a thorough cold water rinse. 

  1. Pat dry & tie

The turkey should be wiped dry with a paper towel on all sides. Tie the rope between the legs and wrap the wing tips beneath the shoulder joint. This will lessen the risk of the tips burning and make the finished bird look more attractive.

  1. Seasoning

Turkey must be thoroughly rubbed by the delicious turkey dry rub before going on the smoker. Make homemade dry rub for an excellent flavor. The amount of our turkey spice you’ll likely use is between 1/2 and 3/4 cups. 

  1. Stuffing

Stuff the turkey with the herbs, onions, and garlic, then wrap it in aluminum foil. Place it aside

  1. Preheat

Indirect heat and constant temperatures are essential for making an excellent smoked turkey. The grill’s ambient temperature should remain at 225 ° F during the cook. 

  • If using a gas grill, turn half the burners to medium-low while leaving the other half off.

  • For a charcoal grill, heat the coals until they are almost ashed over, place them on the far side of your grill, and adjust the vents to about 25% open.

  • While using a pellet smoker, preheat your grill to 225 ° F.

  1. Prepare basting liquid

The basting liquid should be prepared on the stovetop, then placed in the smoker in a small aluminum container. While smoking the turkey, you will baste the bird every 1.5 to 2 hours using a flavorful basting liquid. Basting helps in preventing the turkey from drying out on the smoker. 

  1. To the grill

It’s time to put the bird on the grill after your smoker is ready to cook. Adjust the turkey breast side up on the grill grates on the indirect heat side of the grill. Rotate the turkey several times throughout the cooking process to ensure even cooking if you use a gas or charcoal grill with a slightly higher temperature on one side.

  1. Smoke Turkey

Smoke the turkey for about 30 minutes per lb. with the grill lid closed. It is done when the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 .

  1. Rest

Before slicing and serving, give the turkey about 15 minutes to rest. If your turkey is slightly a bit early, cover it with foil and wrap it in towels to insulate it and maintain the heat at a safe serving temperature. This may soften the skin, but a short (say, 1-2 minute) broil in the oven can restore its crispness. 

  1.  Make the gravy

  • Add 1-2 cups of the turkey drippings, including the onion, garlic, and herb sprigs, from the roasting pan into a saucepan.

  • Bring 1 cup of chicken stock and residual basting liquid (if any) to a gentle boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

  • When the liquid is heated, turn the heat to medium. 

  • Mix 1 tbsp of cornstarch in liquid to make a slurry. Pour this slurry into the saucepan with a constant stirring.

  • Till the gravy starts to thicken, keep whisking. Add another spoonful of cornstarch to the gravy if necessary to get the required thickness.

Collect Smoked Turkey Drippings

Ensure a drip pan is available so you may collect the drips and maintain a moist environment around the smoker. When the smoke starts, fill the aluminum pan with a few cups of water and place it underneath my turkey on the grill. Keep a few cups of water in the pan at all times because this water will probably evaporate while you’re smoking. Use those delicious drippings from your cooked turkey to create the greatest smoked turkey gravy you’ve ever tasted.

Require Temperature to Smoke a Turkey 

The smoked turkey is cooked for six hours at 225°F while being wrapped in tin foil (for a 12-15 lb. turkey). Low and gradually. After five hours of smoking, we remove the metallic coating and raise the temperature to 250°F for an additional hour to crisp up the skin.

Require Time to Smoke a Turkey

This 12-15 lb. turkey takes 6 hours in the smoker. Longer smoking times are required for larger turkeys. Just check the temperature inside—it should be around 165°F. Give the turkey a 15 to 20 minute rest after you remove it from the smoker so the meat can reabsorb all the moisture. 

Serve with Side Dishes

Looking for sides to go with this smoked turkey? Without any tasty sides, turkey is ineligible. Some side dishes for Thanksgiving or any other occasion when you’re having a turkey feast are listed below.


  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

  • Roasted Root Vegetables

  • Mashed Potatoes