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How to Smoke a Turkey



Prep: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 8-9 hours
Makes: 8 servings


Chef Charlotte shows us how to create a Bourbon Smoked Turkey. She'll walk through how to brine a turkey and smoke a turkey from start to finish. Grab some friends and a beer—then head out back. This turkey is worth the wait.


Bourbon Smoked Turkey Recipe

Can't see the video? Watch on YouTube

Brine the Turkey


What exactly is brine? Brine is a salt and sugar solution that adds moisture to the turkey before it's placed on the smoker. This helps the turkey retain juices during the cooking process. It's best to brine a turkey for 24 hours prior to smoking.


What You'll Need


How to Brine a Turkey


  • Combine brine ingredients.
  • Place ice, brine solution and desired fruits in cooler.
  • Place thawed turkey into cooler breast down.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely submerged in brine.
  • Rotate turkey every 6 to 12 hours to ensure an even brine.
  • Make sure the turkey temperature remains below 40°F.

How to Smoke a Turkey


  • Remove turkey from brine solution and pat dry. Add salt, pepper or seasoning as desired.
  • If desired, place a pan under the spot where you will be cooking your turkey to collect drippings.
  • Prep smoker by lighting wood and prepping coals. The ideal smoking temperature is between 220-240°F. It will take roughly 40 to 45 minutes to reach this temperature.
  • Soak additional wood chips in water or bourbon.
  • Once wood has burned to coals the desired temperature has been reached.
  • Place turkey on the center of the grill, away from direct heat.
  • Add damp flavored wood chips to smoker within the first two hours of smoking to add more flavor.
  • Smoke turkey 30 to 40 minutes per pound.
  • Continue to add more wood chips to the fire as needed.
  • You can regulate the heat of the smoker by opening the lid or adjusting the flue.
  • Turkey will be done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Once internal temperature is reached remove turkey from grill and let rest for 15 minutes.

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