How to Smoke a Large Turkey
1 whole 23 pound turkey, thawed.
Brine of Choice
Turkey Seasoning of choice
1 cup of melted butter, 2 Sticks
1 Cup Apple Juice
Wood Pellets: Traeger Applewood or Green Mountain Grills Premium Fruitwood Blend
- Thaw the frozen turkey in the refrigerator. This may take about 5 days.
- Unwrap the turkey, leave the leg ties in place, but remove any innards from the inner breast cavity and the rear. You may place them in the trash, unless you need them for another dish. And pat the turkey dry with clean paper towels.
- Brine the Turkey for 23-24 hours, in a zip sealing brining bag, that is in a roasting pan, that you leave in the refrigerator while brining.
If you don’t have a zip sealing bag, you may have to put the brining bag in to a bucket and put that into the refrigerator. You can also use a large cooler with some ice.
- Take the turkey from the brine and pat the exterior dry with clean paper towels.
- Tie the wings to the body. So all limbs are tied in. If the legs did not come with a tie, tie the legs together. Any tie made of turkey skin will come apart during cooking, so that will not work.
- Cover in Oil
- Coat in spices
- Set grill to 185° F.
(For a good smoking, start at this low temperature.)
- Place the turkey breast side down (legs down) in a rack or pan. And allow to smoke for 8 hours. Spaying the inside and outside with Apple Juice every hour.
(If it is a humid day, you may want to cover the turkey the first hour with foil. Since there may be soothing.)
- Flip the turkey to breast side up (legs up) directly on the grill grates.
- Insert meat temp probe into the fattest part of the breast.
- Increase temperature to 275° F.
- When the meat temperature reaches 155° F. Brush on melted Butter. Since the skin is already crispy by then, it will enhance the flavor.
- Continue to cook breast side up till the breast meat is 160° F.
- Cover the entire turkey tightly with foil and continue to cook on the grill till the internal meat temperature is 165° F.
- Take the turkey off the grill, take indoors and allow to sit inside in the foil for about 30 minutes. This will help make the turkey very moist, it will continue to roast in the foil. This step is not required, but a good idea to do.
Note: Food safety guidelines mention, turkey meat should be removed from the bones within 2 hours after cooking your turkey. Legs and wings can be kept whole.