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Smoked Turkey

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This Smoked Turkey recipe uses simple ingredients.  Turkey is slowly smoked creating a crispy skin, tender inside and tons of flavor. If you are looking for a fun, new way to cook your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, look no further!

This Smoked Turkey recipe uses simple ingredients. Turkey is slowly smoked creating a crispy skin, tender inside and tons of flavor. If you are looking for a fun, new way to cook your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, look no further!

SMOKED TURKEY

It is that time of year that people start deciding how they are going to cook their Thanksgiving turkey. There are a lot of ways you can make a turkey from roasting it to deep frying it to smoking it. One way that Mike and I love to make our turkey is in the smoker.  This Smoked Turkey recipe is our favorite way to make turkey.  Mike first got a smoker a couple of years ago and we have been in love with it ever since. The flavor that a smoked turkey has is hard to beat.

We have a wood smoker, which has worked great for us. Today’s recipe is for those that use a wood smoker but can be modified to anyone’s smoker as long as you know how to use your particular kind. And while the recipe might seem a bit intimidating, it really isn’t at all. If you follow a few important steps you can have a delicious, juicy smoked turkey on your table for the holidays!

This Smoked Turkey recipe uses simple ingredients. Turkey is slowly smoked creating a crispy skin, tender inside and tons of flavor. If you are looking for a fun, new way to cook your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, look no further!

Smoking a turkey involves some up front preparation but once that is done your job will just be to periodically feed the smoker wood chips if you have a wood smoker and keep it at a certain temperature.  Here are the easy steps that you can follow to prepare your Smoked Turkey:

  1. Thaw your turkey: Start by thawing your turkey in the refrigerator if frozen for a few days. If the turkey is larger than 14 lbs. it may take up to 4-5 days.
  2. Prepare the brine for the turkey: In a bowl that is larger than the turkey combine the brine ingredients: water, olive oil, salt, brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, rosemary, lemon juice and lemon zest. Set aside.
  3. Prepare your turkey for the brine:  the giblets and neck from the body cavity and the neck cavity of the turkey. Remove any fat from the edges of the skin of the turkey. Try to leave as much of the skin on the turkey as you can to protect the meat from drying out when you smoke it. Rinse the turkey in cold, running water {make sure to clean the body cavity and the outside surfaces of the turkey}.  Separate the skin from the breast of the turkey and use your hands to make sure it comes loose, from the back to the front of the bird and then down the sides toward the legs which allows the brine to reach the breast meat.  Once this is done place the turkey “head first” into the brine mixture. Brine the turkey in the refrigerator for 12 hours or up to 24 hours.
  4. Prepare your turkey for the smoker: Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it with cold water, making sure to clean the whole bird including the outside. Let dry for 5 minutes and then pat dry.  In a small bowl mix together the dry rub ingredients: paprika, garlic powder, salt, crushed pepper, rosemary and oregano. Using your hands rub it on the outside of the turkey.
  5. Smoking the turkey: Let your smoker reach a temperature of 225 degrees F. Oil the grate of the smoker to make sure the turkey doesn’t stick. You will want to maintain a temperature of 225 to 250 degrees F throughout the entire time you are smoking the turkey. Turkeys take about 40 minutes per pound and you want the thick part of the thigh to reach 170 degrees and the breast 160 degrees F. Even after it is removed from the smoker it will continue to cook so remove the turkey when the breast is 150 degrees F and cover with foil. Let rest for 20 minutes. Slice the turkey and serve with lemon slices and fresh rosemary.

This Smoked Turkey recipe uses simple ingredients. Turkey is slowly smoked creating a crispy skin, tender inside and tons of flavor. If you are looking for a fun, new way to cook your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, look no further!

Today’s Smoked Turkey uses a Honeysuckle White Frozen Young Turkey .  I really like using their turkeys because they use no growth-promoting antibiotics and all flocks of Honeysuckle White turkeys are raised without growth-promoting antibiotics.  I don’t know about you, but knowing where my food comes from is always top of mind.

This Smoked Turkey recipe uses simple ingredients. Turkey is slowly smoked creating a crispy skin, tender inside and tons of flavor. If you are looking for a fun, new way to cook your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, look no further!

Honeysuckle White works with independent family farmers to produce wholesome turkeys that provide people with delicious and nutritious turkey products. Honeysuckle White works tirelessly to ensure the highest quality of food safety and freshness from the farm to the finished product.

Honeysuckle White turkeys are raised on more than 700 independent family farms by farmers trained on animal handling practices that meet or exceed industry standards. Meet the amazing family farmers who raise our wholesome turkeys at 700reasons.com .  They also believe everyone deserves access to good food. With Honeysuckle White turkey, you can shop smart without sacrifice. From whole birds to ground turkey to turkey sausages and more, Honeysuckle White products from turkeys raised without growth-promoting antibiotics are available at a price comparable to the same products from conventionally raised turkeys.

This Smoked Turkey recipe uses simple ingredients. Turkey is slowly smoked creating a crispy skin, tender inside and tons of flavor. If you are looking for a fun, new way to cook your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, look no further!

If you are looking for a fun way to make up your holiday turkey this year you have to give this Smoked Turkey a try. It does take 9 hours for the turkey to smoke, but I secretly think that is what Mike loves so much about smoking meat. It is a fun hobby where you get to relax all day with a good, warm fall drink and tend to the smoker. And, of course, the end product isn’t so bad either!

Print

Smoked Turkey

  • Author: A Cedar Spoon // Julia Jolliff
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 39 minutes
  • Category: Dinner, Smoker

Scale

Ingredients

  • 114 lb. Honeysuckle White Frozen Young Turkey

For the brine:

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika {or you can do smoked paprika for a smoky flavor}
  • 1 Tablespoons rosemary
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the dry rub:

  • 1 Tablespoon paprika {you can used smoked paprika for a smoky flavor}
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed pepper
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon oregano

Instructions

Preparing the turkey:

  1. Start by thawing your turkey in the refrigerator if frozen for a few days. If the turkey is larger than 14 lbs. it may take up to 4-5 days.
  2. In a bowl that is larger than the turkey combine the brine ingredients: water, olive oil, salt, brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, rosemary, lemon juice and lemon zest. Set aside.
  3. Next, prepare your turkey by removing the giblets and neck from the body cavity and the neck cavity of the turkey. Remove any fat from the edges of the skin of the turkey. Try to leave as much of the skin on the turkey as you can to protect the meat from drying out when you smoke it. Rinse the turkey in cold, running water {make sure to clean the body cavity and the outside surfaces of the turkey}.
  4. Separate the skin from the breast of the turkey and use your hands to make sure it comes loose, from the back to the front of the bird and then down the sides toward the legs which allows the brine to reach the breast meat.
  5. Once this is done place the turkey “head first” into the brine mixture. Brine the turkey in the refrigerator for 12 hours or up to 24 hours.
  6. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it with cold water, making sure to clean the whole bird including the outside. Let dry for 5 minutes and then pat dry.
  7. In a small bowl mix together the dry rub ingredients: paprika, garlic powder, salt, crushed pepper, rosemary and oregano. Using your hands rub it on the outside of the turkey.

Smoking the turkey:

  1. Let your smoker reach a temperature of 225 degrees F. Oil the grate of the smoker to make sure the turkey doesn’t stick. You will want to maintain a temperature of 225 to 250 degrees F throughout the entire time you are smoking the turkey. Turkeys take about 40 minutes per pound and you want the thick part of the thigh to reach 170 degrees and the breast 160 degrees F. Even after it is removed from the smoker it will continue to cook so remove the turkey when the breast is 150 degrees F and cover with foil. Let rest for 20 minutes.
  2. Slice the turkey and serve with lemon slices and fresh rosemary.

Notes

We use a wood smoker. For the wood chips we used hickory wood chips and soaked them before using them.

When making the dry rub you can use just salt or pepper, the dry rub I provided or you can create any type of spice mixture you like.

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This Smoked Turkey recipe uses simple ingredients. Turkey is slowly smoked creating a crispy skin, tender inside and tons of flavor. If you are looking for a fun, new way to cook your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, look no further!

Today’s post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White Turkey. As always, opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that allow me to create new and exciting recipes!

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Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Roundup Friday's Featured Foodie Feastings

Friday 10th of November 2017

[…] Smoked Turkey from A Cedar Spoon […]

Maria

Monday 17th of April 2017

Hi Julia! A fabulous post! I tried this smoked turkey recipe and it was great! I added quite a lot of chili powder and some honey and the mix of flavors were irresistible to my family.

Julia

Monday 17th of April 2017

Hi there! I am so glad you like it. We love smoking turkey and chicken. You can't beat the flavor and the juicy meat. Thanks for letting me know!

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