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Smoking Turkey – 6 Helpful Basic Things You Must Know Before Doing It

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Smoking turkey is one of the most delicious methods to prepare it, and a smoked turkey is the greatest kind of turkey to offer on Thanksgiving. Poorly smoked turkeys, on the other hand, are a Thanksgiving nightmare that can put a damper on the festivities. If you have a barbecue on your deck, you can smoke a turkey at home.

Things You Will Need For Smoking Turkey

Here’s a list of items you’ll need ahead of time to ensure a successful turkey smoke:

  • Turkey is the first and most important thing. After all, a smoked turkey wouldn’t be complete without a turkey.
  • Wood pellets: Before you start smoking your meat, make sure you have sufficient of pellets on hand. Depending on the flavor of the meat you prefer, you can obtain different varieties of wood pellets. Pellets of hickory, cherry, or apple wood are excellent for smoking turkey.
  • Drip pan: Smoked turkeys are really juicy, so make sure you have a drip pan on standby to catch all of the juice.
  • Instant-read meat thermometer or probe meat thermometer: When smoking turkey, maintaining consistent cooking temperatures is crucial, and a thermometer may help. Looking for best wood for smoking turkey? We have a list for you

Smoking Turkey: Get Started

Before you begin, make sure you have a large enough turkey to feed your guests and that it will fit inside your pellet grill. For food safety considerations, a maximum of 15 pounds of turkey is advised. Make sure the turkey is completely defrosted. If you bought a frozen turkey, it may take two to three days to defrost it in the refrigerator.

To defrost your frozen turkey faster, don’t leave it out on the counter, as this might contribute to the formation of bacteria. Remove the giblets and neck. While some home cooks offer smoked turkeys with the giblets still attached, we recommend saving them for gravy or stock.

Smoking Turkey: Brining

Whether you need to brine your turkey depends on whether it was pre-brined when you bought it. If you bought a pre-brined turkey, light up your pellet grill and start smoking. You can prepare the brine for the turkey if you don’t have any. This is preferable since it allows you to flavor the brine.

If you must brine, combine a half cup of salt and a half cup of sugar in a gallon of water and well mix. Submerge your turkey completely in it for 12 to 14 hours. The brine will give the meat a salty flavor. Avoid pre-brined, already-seasoned turkeys or turkeys that have been injected with a brining solution if at all feasible. You can wind up with a turkey that has been soaked in water.


Even if you didn’t brine your turkey, make sure you rinse it with cold water and pat it totally dry, inside and out, with plenty of paper towels. On a pellet barbecue, here’s how to smoking turkey:

Pellet Grill Turkey Recipe

Preheat the pellet grill for 15 minutes at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the outside of your turkey with salt and pepper. After that, spread canola oil all over the turkey’s exterior skin. Place the turkey breast-side up on the grill grate on the grill’s indirect heat side. This doesn’t necessitate the use of a roasting pan.

Pellet Grill Turkey Cooking Time

Allow the turkey to smoke for approximately 212 to 3 hours on the pellet grill. Raise the temperature to almost 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for another 312 to 4 hours, depending on the size of the turkey, or until the thickest portion of the breast reaches 165°F to 170°F internally.

Always use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of the turkey’s breast and thigh. Cook your turkey for a total of 6 hours in the smoker. Before serving, remove the smoked turkey from the pellet grill and let it sit for another 15 to 30 minutes.

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