This Smoked Turkey recipe is the exact one that I will be making for Thanksgiving or any other special occasion during the holidays. When turkey is prepared correctly, it is deliciously tender and juicy. This recipe will help anyone who struggles with cooking turkey, a little secret is an injection used.
The Smoked Turkey
There is nothing better than smelling the turkey, and other sides, on Thanksgiving. This Smoked Turkey Recipe will have your home smelling amazing and will be the best-smoked turkey ever! Be sure to set aside enough time for all of the steps, they are very simple but they are done at different periods of time throughout the whole preparation and cooking process.
My Mom always made the turkey and she preferred to roast it in the oven after she stuffed it with all of the aromatics. It was always good until I learned how to use a smoker and started smoking all my meats. The smoke flavor adds another level of flavor for a taste experience.
I like to use my Pellet Smoker for this one. It’s simple, I fire it up at my desired temperature setting and let it do all of the hard work while I prepare other dishes and socialize with family or friends. You can make this turkey on charcoal, offset grill or even in the oven. It really comes down to what you have available. The one thing that stays the same is the seasoning blend I make and the injection used for my Turkey.
ITEMS USED FOR THE SMOKED TURKEY
- The turkey always uses a fresh turkey that is around 15 pounds. This is considered to be a healthy turkey that will provide the best results.
- Pellets for the smoker (or wood chips), I like to use apple, hickory or cherry pellets for smoking turkey.
- Thermometer, I use my wireless MEATER probe to help me keep track of my internal temperature that I can check on the app on my phone while I am away from the smoker. This frees me up to focus on other things.
- Injector, get a good stainless steel injector that is heavy-duty. This will last and will make the injection process easier for injecting Turkey.
Prepare the Turkey
Thaw the Turkey. When my turkey is frozen I will place it in my fridge for 3 days and then leave it out in a room-temperature environment for 1 day.
Remove the Innards from the turkey once it is defrosted. There is a neck and giblets that are stuffed inside the cavity of Turkey. If Turkey was brined, wash off the exterior surface or the turkey with cold water.
Pat the Turkey dry with paper towels on all sides. This will help the turkey cook evenly with crispier skin. Now Spatchcock the turkey by removing its backbone with kitchen shears.
At this point, I make my injection brine and inject my Turkey in the breasts, thighs and legs. Be generous with the injection. Now I spray with cooking oil and season the bottom (underneath the turkey) and top of the turkey with my dry rub (listed below). Season under the skin and add a few tablespoons of butter.
How to Smoke the turkey
Fire up the smoker once the turkey is all prepared. I like to smoke my turkey at 275 degrees. This will shorten the smoke time and still provide a juicy tender turkey with crispy skin. Once the temperature reaches 275 degrees F. Place the turkey in the smoker on the upper racks, breast side up, with a water pan underneath to catch all of the drippings (these are good for the stuffing).
Now it’s a waiting game. It should only take about 90-120 minutes to smoke the turkey at this temperature. I like to go out and open the lid every 40ish minutes to look at the turkey to make sure the color is good and the wing tips don’t burn. If the wing tips start getting dark and burnt, cover them with aluminum foil to prevent them from direct heat.
When the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Remove from the smoker and place on a wire rack with a sheet pan underneath it. Cover with aluminum foil and let the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes prior to serving.
The Best Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey
- 1 15 lb Turkey
- Cooking spray for the binder
Turkey Dry Rub
- 2 tbsp Kosher salt
- 1½ tbsp Black pepper
- 1 tbsp Smoked paprika
- 2 tsp Chili powder
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Onion powder
- 1 tsp Dry thyme
- ½ tsp Seasoned salt
- ½ tsp Sage
- 1 stick Unsalted butter melted
- ¼ cup Beer lager
- 1 cup Chicken broth
- 2 tbsp Hot sauce
- 1 tbsp Garlic herb rub
- ½ Lemon juiced
- 1 tsp Garlic paste
- Start off by spatchcocking the turkey by removing the backbone. Use kitchen shears to cut through the rib cage. Use the kitchen shears to crack the breast bone and then flip the turkey around and press down on the breast to flatten it out.
- Spray cooking spray on the bottom of the turkey and season with the dry rub mixture above. Flip the bird over so it is breast-side up.
- Inject the turkey with the injection listed out above. Get the breasts, thighs, wings and drums. Make sure to use all of the injection liquid, do not leave any behind.
- Now spray the skin side (breast up) of the turkey with cooking spray and season generously with the dry rub mixture. Season under the skin and add a few tablespoons of butter under the skin.
- Set the smoker to 275 degrees F. Place the turkey on the smoker (top rack) with the skin side up and place a water pan underneath to catch the drippings.
- Smoke until the internal temperature of 160 degrees and remove. Place it on a wire rack with a sheet pan under it, covering it with aluminum foil. Rest for 20-30 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy with family and friends!
Thanksgiving is a time for being with family and friends, enjoying a delicious meal and giving thanks. But it’s also the perfect opportunity to try something new. This year, why not try smoking your turkey? The flavor is rich and smoky!
You’ll be impressed with the flavor and your family will be as well. Cooking a spatchcocked turkey this way is a fun alternative to traditional roasting methods, and it’s also an excellent way to impress guests at Thanksgiving dinner, or any other occasion when you want your food to stand out. Turkey is one of the most traditional dishes on Thanksgiving dinner tables. But you can take this to a whole new level by smoking your bird, which will give your dinner an incredible flavor and make it a huge hit with all of your guests.
Did you enjoy this smoked Spatchcock Turkey recipe? Well, you’ll love my other poultry recipes in the link below!
EQUIPMENT USED IN THIS RECIPE