If you are looking for an easy to make your holiday turkey, make this Smoked Turkey Recipe. The turkey cooks moist, tender and full of flavor.

Whole smoked turkey on a platter
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If you wanting a change to your roasted turkey recipe, make this smoked turkey breasts recipe. The easy dry rub gives this turkey so much flavor and makes this the best smoked turkey recipe. We love the smoky flavor, the crispy texture and the juicy center.

We love making Smoker Recipes for many occasions. Skip the oven this year, and make your holiday meat in the smoker. You may like to try this recipe as well – Boneless Smoked Ham Recipe, Smoked Cornish Hens or Smoked Chicken Breasts.

Why We Love this Recipe:

Take your Thanksgiving Turkey to the next level and make it in the smoker. We love the way it tastes and how amazing it is when served with our favorite side dishes.

The turkey comes out so tender, delicious and this will be your new way of make your turkey for Thanksgiving.

Ingredients: 

Ingredients needed - whole turkey, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, apple, onion, lemon
  • Whole Turkey, fully thawed
  • Paprika 
  • Garlic Powder 
  • Onion Powder 
  • Kosher Salt 
  • Black Pepper 
  • Apple (quartered) 
  • Onion (quartered) 
  • Lemon (sliced) 

Scroll to the bottom of the post for the full ingredients and recipe in the recipe card.

Variation Ideas:

  • Seasoning – We used simple ingredients to make the dry rub. You can easily use fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme to add to the seasoning blend.
  • Butter – Feel free to add a layer of melted butter or oil to the texture of the turkey.
  • Veggie – We love to add fruit and veggies to the inside of the turkey cavity. We have even added in diced carrots and celery.
  • BBQ Rub – We love the dry seasoning rub, but you can also rub BBQ sauce over the turkey.

Step by Step Instructions: 

Preparing turkey and dry rub seasoning in a bowl

Step 1 – In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.  

Placing the turkey on the baking sheet and seasoning with the veggies and fruit

Step 2 – Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the apples, onions and lemon. Rub the seasoning mixture on the outside of the entire turkey.

Placing uncooked whole turkey in the smoker

Step 3 – Place the entire pan with the turkey on the smoker rack.  Start smoking the turkey for approximately 20-30 minutes per pound. Cook until the thickest part of the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Cooked whole turkey in the smoker on a pan

Step 4 – Once the turkey has reached the internal temperature of 165 degrees. Then remove the turkey from the electric smoker.  Gently cover it with foil and let the turkey rest for 15-20 minutes.  

Recipe Tips:

  • Prepare Turkey – Pat the turkey dry with paper towels and place the turkey on a roasting pan or a baking sheet.  This helps for the dry rub to stick to the turkey. Make sure to remove the giblets before stuffing.
  • Preheat Smoker – Preheat a smoker to 225 degrees to 250 degrees with a water pan.
  • Meat Thermometer – To ensure that the turkey is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to check. The internal temp should reach 165 degrees when is cooked.
  • Turkey Rest – Make sure to let the turkey rest for at least 15 minutes covered by aluminum foil. This helps to lock in the moisture for the best flavor.
  • Cooking Turkey – We used a pellet grill to make this turkey recipe. Feel free to cook the turkey with a gas grill or a charcoal grill. Cook the turkey directly on the grill grates.
  • Brine the Turkey – If you prefer, you can brine the turkey but it is not necessary to make this recipe. Smoked turkey brine gives this turkey more flavor.
  • Smoking Turkey – We recommend smoking the turkey in a disposable pan. We find that it is a lot easier smoking in a pan whether than smoking directly on the rack.
Whole Smoked turkey on a platter

How Much Turkey Per Person:

It will depend if you want leftovers, we plan on about 1 lbs per person when making a turkey. When smoking a turkey, we recommend using a smaller turkey to smoke since it does take longer.

We try to smoke about 12 to 14 lb turkey for best results.

How Long to Smoke a Turkey:

You will smoke the turkey for about 30 minutes for each pound the turkey it is. In this recipe we smoked it approximately 6.5 hours and it was cooked perfectly. 

Cooking time will vary based on your smoker and the size of your turkey.

Whole Smoked turkey on a platter

How to Make Turkey Gravy:

This smoked turkey drippings make the best turkey gravy. Check out How to Make Turkey Gravy with is easy recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Best Wood Chips to Use?

There are many different types of wood pellets that you can use to smoke turkey. Depending on the flavor, you can choose from hickory, apple, or oak. You can even mix a couple of wood traeger pellets for added flavor.

When is a Smoked Turkey done cooking:

Use an electric internal thermometer to make sure that the turkey has reached a safe temperature before enjoying it. The turkey temperature should reach 165 degrees when the turkey is fully cooked.

Do you have to Baste Turkey?

You do not have to baste turkey but we do like to so that the turkey is not dry. If you prefer, you can baste the turkey with chicken broth for added flavor.

How to Store Leftovers:

Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

More Easy Smoker Recipes:

We love hearing from you. If you make this Smoked Turkey Recipe, make sure to leave us a comment.

  

Smoked Turkey

5 from 3 votes
If you are looking for an easy to make your holiday turkey, make this Smoked Turkey Recipe. The turkey cooks moist, tender and full of flavor.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Let Rest 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings 12
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Calories 471

Ingredients

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Instructions

  • Pat the turkey dry with paper towels and place the turkey on a roasting pan or a baking sheet.
  • Preheat a smoker to 225 degrees F with a water pan.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  • Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the apples, onions and lemon.
  • Rub the seasoning mixture on the outside of the entire turkey.
  • Place the entire pan with the turkey in the smoker.  Smoke the turkey for approximately 20-30 minutes per pound until the thickest part of the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Once the turkey has reached the internal temperature of 165 degrees F, remove it from the smoker.  Genty cover it with foil and let the turkey rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Then the turkey is ready to slice, serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Use an electric internal thermometer to make sure that the turkey has reached a safe temperature before enjoying it. 
In our photos, we cooked a 14 pound turkey for approximately 6.5 hours and it was cooked perfectly. 
Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 471kcal, Carbohydrates 4g, Protein 70g, Fat 18g, Saturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 5g, Monounsaturated Fat 6g, Trans Fat 0.2g, Cholesterol 232mg, Sodium 943mg, Potassium 774mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 2g, Vitamin A 215IU, Vitamin C 7mg, Calcium 43mg, Iron 3mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Grill on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. From the Best Blackstone recipes, to grilling, and easy smoker recipes, together we are going to cook real food, with easy ingredients… for real families!

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  1. Gente Sunderman says:

    Thanks