Perfect Smoked Turkey – the best method for tender, juicy, crave-able smoked turkey ever! This keto smoked turkey is the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving table!
Turkey is always one of the most feared parts of Thanksgiving for most home cooks- which stinks, since it is the star of Thanksgiving dinner!
But there is no need to be worried of dry, tasteless Turkey- this Perfect Smoked Turkey recipe has been our family’s secret for delicious, juicy, perfectly-smoky flavored turkey.
And the best part is, it’s pretty foolproof.
If you’re somewhat familiar with using a smoker grill, you know how easy it can be to create wonderful flavor without much actual work.
All you need to to for the tastiest turkey ever is just Brine, Stuff and Smoke.
Save your oven space for other foods and keep your kitchen from overheating- smoke that turkey outside!
My husband LOVES breaking out our smoker to make pork shoulder, brisket and other meats- but we don’t use it nearly enough.
It is so easy to get delicious, melt in your mouth, perfectly smoky meat using a smoker grill and indirect heat.
We’ve made our last few Thanksgiving turkeys on the smoker, and we should do more!
When Is Smoked Turkey Done
It can be a bit tricky to tell when your smoked turkey is done – because smoking turkeys can give it a pinkish hue.
This isnt because it is uncooked- it is because smoking meat gives a little bit of a purple-ish color.
When you carve your turkey, you will notice a “ring” of darker color around the meat.
This is the coloring from the smoke- and where your flavor is coming from!
You might notice in the photo above the legs look especially purple- it’s from the smoke.
Your turkey will be cooked when a digital thermometer inserted into the fattest part of the turkey breast reads 160 degrees (it will carryover cook to 165 degrees after tenting with foil out of the oven).
The USDA recommends getting turkey’s internal temperature to 165 degrees.
How To Finish Smoked Turkey in Oven
If it is especially cold outside (we made the turkey photographed when it was under 40 degrees outside, not uncommon for Colorado), you can finish your turkey in the oven if you haven’t brought it up to 170 degrees yet.
Just pop it in the oven and cook at 350 until internal temp reaches 170 degrees (it will continue to cook to 175 degrees when you remove it from the oven).
You can baste the turkey with a little melted butter for extra crispy skin like I did below – it makes a lovely crunch and finishing touch to your smoked turkey.
Smoked Turkey Gravy
This method won’t make a gravy, however.
Simply remove the giblets and neck of the turkey and roast those in the oven for your gravy.
They take up much less precious oven space and cook more quickly.
Tips For Smoking a Turkey
If you’re not very familiar with using a smoker, I asked my husband to add some tips and tricks to make smoking a turkey easy. Here’s his best tips:
— Use a chimney to bring your lump charcoal up to temperature.
— Use real lump charcoal. Briquets tend to give off a petroleum aftertaste.
What Wood To Use For Smoked Turkey
If you’re using wood-chips or chucks, you can control how much smoke your meat gets.
Want alot of smoke? Use more wood chips, for longer amount of time.
Want less smoke? Use less chips, for a shorter amount of time.
White oak, pecan and cherry are beautiful, mild smoking woods for poultry.
Mesquite has a stronger smoke flavor, but still very tasty with poultry.
Hickory is a very strong wood, which is great for beef, but I would avoid for poultry.
What to Serve With Smoked Turkey
If you’re looking for the best sides to serve with smoked turkey, I am rounding up my favorites below.
Perfect Smoked Turkey Recipe
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Perfect Smoked Turkey - the best method for tender, juicy, crave-able smoked turkey ever! This keto smoked turkey is the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving table!
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 gallon vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary
- 2 teaspoons savory
- 1 gallon iced cubes
- 1 turkey, 12-14lb
- Bag of charcoal
- Chips or chunks for smoking (fruit wood or oak)
- Bring all ingredients, except ice to a boil.
- After you reach a rolling boil, turn off heat and let cool.
- Combine cooled brine with ice inside a garbage bag in a beverage cooler.
- Submerge turkey and seal cooler.
- Remove turkey from brine and allow to come to room temperature. Leave uncovered and allow to air dry.
- 2. Light your smoker 30-45 minutes before you intend to start cooking your turkey.
- 3. Cover the turkey with a wet cheese cloth or thin kitchen towel (one you’re prepared to throw away).
- 4. When your smoker reaches 235-250 degrees, add the turkey directly on the cooking grates.
- 5. Check your fire and rotate your turkey every 30 minutes, adding charcoal and wood chips/chunks as necessary.
- 6. Smoke your turkey at 235-250 degrees for 30-40 minutes per pound (a 12lbs turkey will take approximately 6 hours to smoke), until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
- 7. Remove for smoker, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.
Amount Per Serving Calories 110 Total Fat 2g Saturated Fat 0g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 1g Cholesterol 4mg Sodium 15506mg Carbohydrates 21g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 2g Sugar 15g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 3g