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Close up of a cooked smoked turkey on a striped cutting board. A knife and large fork are next to the bird.
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5 from 2 votes

The Best Smoked Turkey

Mix it up this holiday season by serving a smoked turkey. This juicy smoked turkey is coated in garlic and herbs, and smoked low and slow, to create a perfectly seasoned crisp crust to compliment the buttery interior.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas Dinner, Holiday Dinner, Smoked Meat, Smoked Recipes, Thanksgiving Dinner, Turkey Recipe
Servings: 12 People
Calories: 407kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $35


  • 1 10-15 Lb Whole Turkey, Giblets and Neck Removed (*Note 1)
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil (*Note 2)
  • 1 Batch BBQ Rub (*Note 3)



Prep The Turkey:

  • Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. If you brined the bird, rinse off the brine with cold water prior to patting dry. Stuff the turkey, if desired, and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
  • Coat the turkey with olive oil and then generously coat with the BBQ Rub.

Prep The Smoker (Pellet or Electric):

  • Pre-heat the smoker to 225 degrees F and set up for indirect heat. Load the smoker with your wood of choice and a drip pan full of water.

Prep The Grill (Gas or Charcoal):

  • Pre-heat the grill to 225 degrees F and set up for indirect heat. Aim to keep the temperature between 225 - 250 degrees F.
    Gas Grill- turn half the burners (on the same side of the grill) to medium-low while the other burners are off. Use a smoker box to add chips/chunks of wood to create a thin blue smoke.
    Charcoal - Pre-heat the coals until just ashed over. Dump them on the far side (either left or right) of your grill and open the vents to 25%. Create smoke by placing wood chunks directly on the pre-heated coals. 

Smoke The Turkey: Directly on The Grill/Smoker

  • Transfer the turkey to a pre-heated grill.
  • Cook for 30 minutes per pound at 225 degrees F, spritzing with the broth every 45-60 minutes. When spritzing, check the drip pan to see if more water needs to be added. Replenish the wood chips/pellets/charcoal, as needed, to maintain the temperature.
  • Smoke until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees F. Check the temperature on both legs and use the lower of the two temperature readings. Cover the turkey with foil, if the skin starts getting overly dark.
  • Remove the turkey to a large cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes. If not serving right away, cover with foil and wrap with towels to keep in the heat until you're ready to serve.
  • Remove the twine before carving and serving.


Note 1 - Reserve the giblets and neck to make turkey gravy.
Note 2 - You can use butter, but oil creates a crispier skin.
Note 3 - Replace with any homemade or store bought spice mix you like.
Note 4 - If you don't want to make homemade broth, we get it!! Snag some store bought turkey or chicken broth instead.
Note 5 - The nutrition facts stated, do not include any bone broth you may spritz on the bird. 


Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 60g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 193mg | Sodium: 357mg | Potassium: 601mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg