Step by step directions for my smoked turkey

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by garyc, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. garyc

    garyc Smoke Blower

                                                      How to make Smoked Turkey

    Poultry Brine
    1 ½ Gal Water
    ½ C Salt - Kosher
    ½ C Dark Brown  Sugar
    2 tsp Garlic Powder
    2 tsp Onion Powder
    2 tsp Louisiana Cajun Seasoning
    2 tsp Celery Seed

    Poultry Injection
    ½ Pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
    2 tsp Garlic Powder
    2 tsp Celery Seed
    3 TBS melted Butter (non salted)
    2 C Apple Cider


    The first step is to make sure the turkey is 100% thawed. If it is frozen in any part of the turkey you will have underdone parts.

    To make a juicy and tender smoked turkey it is important to brine it overnight. Mix up your brine according to the recipe above. The brine and injection recipe is a variation on the Slaughterhouse Hillbilly tips I got from this site with my own tweaks applied.


    Put your thawed turkey, breast side down, in a clean 5 gallon bucket or other container that will allow you to completely immerse the turkey in the brine. I went to Lowes and bought a brand new bucket with a lid. It worked great.  Pour the brine over the turkey making sure it is completely covered. If the turkey wants to float then fill a gallon sized baggy with water and put it over the turkey to hold it down. Cover the bucket and put in the refrigerator at least overnight but not more than 24 hours.

    Before you start to inject your turkey get your smoker ready to go. Fill the water pan, soak your wood chips and pre-heat your smoker to 275 deg. To keep your smoker clean you can put an old pan or aluminum pan on the rack below where you will be placing your turkey to catch the drippings. It makes clean-up much easier.



    After your turkey is brined you need to inject it. Mix up your injection recipe and fill your injector. Inject all areas of the turkey. Shoot it in every part of the breast, legs and thighs. You can’t get too much in there! Try to use all the injection solution.  Make sure you get in-between where the thigh and the side of the turkey meet.   Now rub the outside of the bird with olive oil, salt and pepper. If you want to season with something else like a poultry rub, now is the time to do it. Make sure you season, but not oil, the inside of the cavity.

    Once you have your brined turkey injected and your smoker prepped it is time to smoke! Place your turkey directly on a rack and insert your temperature probe into the thickest part of the breast or where the thigh and body meet. Make sure you do not touch a bone or poke through into the cavity. Choose the spot you think will get done last. DO NOT TRY TO STUFF THE TURKEY! It will not work and will keep the turkey from absorbing the smoke from the cavity.

    Once your turkey is in the smoker begin putting chips in the tray. You should only smoke for the first 3 or 4 hours. After that just let it cook. You can baste your turkey after you stop the smoke if you like. I use chicken broth mixed with butter. Cook to temp, not time. The turkey is done when the internal temp is 180 deg.  My smoker will not get hot enough to crisp the skin. If you want crisp skin take the turkey out when the internal temp is about 170 deg and cook uncovered in a 350 deg oven. Take it out at 180 deg.This is optional.  


    After the turkey is done it needs to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to set and will make a much more juicy turkey.


  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The turkey looks delicious Gary!

    Great step by step instructions!

    This should be bumped around Thanksgiving!
  3. garyc

    garyc Smoke Blower

    Thanks Al. My dad just bought a smoker and has been asking me for my recipes. I thought I would do a turkey step by step with pictures so he has an easier time with it.Then I thought, what the heck? Maybe others here might like to try my version of smoked turkey!

    The turkey turned out great! The three of us only left a leg and thigh. Not much left for turkey salad!
  4. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Brine AND inject?
  5. garyc

    garyc Smoke Blower

    Oh yeah, it was very juicy and tender. The family just raved about it!!!!
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree with Al---This is a GREAT step by step!!!

    This is going in my "Specials" file, and if & when I want to do a Turkey----This is it !!!!

    Awesome BearView too !!!

    Thanks Gary!!!

  7. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Most of the birds we get are already in a brine solution of sorts. Basically we just inject and it comes out fine, especially if it is a Butterball. I have salt issues so don't brine anything.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  8. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I like it and I am going to use it during the Holiday season or before...Nice thanks !!!!!
  9. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks great,  This will have to take a top spot in my "things to smoke" list.  Great job!!
  10. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I love smoking turkey. Especially around the holidays. I usually do 9 or 10 before thanksgiving for people who want them at work. They go over really well.
  11. garyc

    garyc Smoke Blower

    I can understand that. My Dad has salt issues as well but on those "special" occasions like holidays he makes an exception. I really love the juicyness I get when I brine. I figure that I can just leave the salt shaker alone on the next meal to compensate.
  12. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Add a tbsp of pink salt (Cure #1) to your brine and give it a ham flavor for a true delicacy!
    garyc likes this.
  13. daggerdoggie

    daggerdoggie Smoke Blower

    Now that is interesting. I have never heard/thought of this, but I think I may give it a try this Thanksgiving. 
  14. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Pops, I like the cure idea.  I'm not much for turkey, but "Turkey Bacon on a Stick" or "Turkey Ham on the Bone"?  I can wrap my mind around those?

    Good luck and good smoking.
  15. garyc

    garyc Smoke Blower

    [​IMG] Good idea!
  16. raymo76

    raymo76 Smoking Fanatic

    Good reading, thanks for posting that!
  17. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Turkey, a meat not just for the holidays.  True, availability limits the access to this fine meat, but I try to keep a couple of smaller birds in the freezer for the moment of inspiration, AND just now, I feel inspired.  Great recipe and some cure.....?  Gotta give this a tryout.
  18. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well done
  19. garyc

    garyc Smoke Blower

    I thought I would bump this for Thanksgiving. Everyone that has tried this has said it worked out great. I know I will be making another one this week! Enjoy everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving!
  20. bignick

    bignick Meat Mopper

    The turkey at 180, yes it should be well done!

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