Smoked Turkey: Why your next Thanksgiving bird should be smoked and how to do it!

Smoked Turkey: How to Smoke a Turkey and Why

The Smoked Turkey cooks at such a low temperature for such a long time -basting itself continuously- that it doesn't have a chance to get dry and boring. The smoke delivers incredible flavour, making any seasoning beyond salt, pepper, and a touch of granulated garlic and onion superfluous and unnecessary.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 282 kcal
Author Rebecca Lindamood


  • 1 whole turkey 12 to14 pounds, fresh or thawed if frozen, giblets and neck removed and reserved for another purpose
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion

For the aromatics:

  • 2 yellow onions halved, papery skin removed
  • 3 fresh apples stems removed and cut into wedges
  • 3 cloves garlic pulled apart, papery skins removed, but left in the peel


  1. Pat the turkey dry and set it, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Let rest, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight to dry.
  2. The day of smoking, heat your smoker to 250°F according to manufacturer's instructions or build a bed of low coals off to the side of a grill. Either way, use apple wood chips to produce smoke for 30 minutes before putting the turkey in the smoker.
  3. Stuff the onions, apples, and garlic in the cavity of the turkey. Drizzle the peanut oil over the dried turkey and rub with the salt, granulated garlic, and granulated onion. Put the turkey into the smoker and smoke for 30 to 40 minutes per pound, or until an instant read thermometer (or stay-in-the-bird probe thermometer) reads 160°F in the thickest part of the breast meat. Use silicone oven mitts or two sets of tongs to carefully shift the smoked turkey to a rimmed half sheet pan or clean roasting pan and tent lightly with foil for 30 minutes before slicing, giving the juices time to redistribute. This also makes the meat easier to slice evenly.
Nutrition Facts
Smoked Turkey: How to Smoke a Turkey and Why
Amount Per Serving
Calories 282 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 115mg38%
Sodium 1489mg62%
Potassium 423mg12%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 35g70%
Vitamin A 110IU2%
Vitamin C 2.7mg3%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.