BBQ Turkey Recipes

Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Smoked Turkey Recipe – Classic “Norman Rockwell Style” Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe cooked on a Traeger Pellet Smoker

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Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

– Meat Bags –
– Malcom’s Bird Brine –
– Coleman Water Cooler –
– Killer Hogs AP Seasoning –
– Plaster Season Shaker –
– Chicken Rack –
– Red Handle 12″ Slicer –

When I think of the classic Thanksgiving turkey I have the image of the Norman Rockwell painting in mind. Grandma setting the big ole bird on the table with Grandpa waiting right behind her to carve it up. Everyone at the table is eagerly watching and anticipating a juicy, perfectly cooked bird.

For this recipe I start with a 48 hour brine on the turkey. A brine is the best way to get moisture and flavor deep down into the meat. Before you brine the turkey make sure you give yourself plenty of time to allow it to thaw properly. It takes 3-4 days for a turkey to thaw in the refrigerator plus the 48 hours for brining, so you need to plan it out.

For this turkey I used my brand new Bird Brine – . I placed the turkey in one of my Meat Bags (which is just an oversized ziptop bag) and poured the bottle of bird brine along with 2 gallons of water.

Now you need to keep the turkey cold for the entire brine time. When it’s time to remove from brine, rinse the outside with cool water and place the turkey on a wire cooling rack over a sheet pan. Use paper towel to dry the skin and absorb any moisture in the cavity. I also set the turkey back in the refrigerator for an hour to air dry.

When it’s time to cook, I first stuff the turkey with Celery, Onion, Garlic, and fresh herbs and the legs are tied with butcher twine. Then the skin gets basted with oil to help the seasonings stick and create a nice brown, crispy skin. To season the classic turkey I used some of my Killer Hogs AP Seasoning combined with ground poultry seasoning.

The classic turkey was always cooked in the oven, but I fired up my Traeger Timberline 850 for this cook set for 325°F – filled with apple pellets for just a hint of smoke flavor. Every 45 minutes I basted the skin with melted butter and about 1 1/2 hours in I started monitoring the internal temperature with a meat probe.

Turkey needs to reach a minimum of 165°F in the thickest part of the breast and 175°F in the thickest part of the thigh. This 16lb bird took 3.5 hours to cook completely. At this point I removed it from the Traeger and let it rest on the cutting board for 15-20 minutes. Then it’s time to carve the turkey and serve. Here’s to wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

– 1 whole Turkey 14-16lbs
– 1 bottle Malcom’s Bird Brine
– 2 gallons water
– 1/4 cup vegetable oil
– 3 Tablespoons Killer Hogs AP Seasoning
– 1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning
– 2 sticks butter
– 1 onion quartered
– 3 stalks celery
– 6-8 cloves of garlic
– 1 bunch of fresh poultry herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme)

1. Completely thaw the turkey in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, remove the turkey from packaging discarding the neck and giblets. Place the turkey in a large container. Pour in the brine and remove as much air as possible.
2. Place the brine container in the refrigerate or into a cooler with ice for 48 hours. Make sure the turkey stays submerged and cold the entire time.
3. Remove the turkey from the brine solution and rinse gently. Place the turkey on a raised cooling rack over a sheet pan and pat the outside dry with paper towel. Place the turkey back in the refrigerator for 1 hours minimum to dry the skin.
4. Stuff the cavity with the celery, garlic cloves, onion, and herbs. Tie the legs together with butcher twine and apply vegetable oil the the skin with a basting brush.
5. Mix the AP seasoning and poultry seasoning together in a dredge shaker and apply a good coat to the outer surface of the turkey.
6. Prepare Traeger Pellet Grill or other smoker/grill for indirect cooking at 325 using a mild pellet such as Apple or Maple for light smoke flavor.
7. Place the turkey on the smoker and baste with melted butter every 45 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into the breast to monitor internal temperature.
8. Remove the turkey from the pit once it hits 165°F in the thickest part of the breast
9. Rest the turkey for 15-20 minutes before carving.

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