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Smoked Turkey

This smoked turkey is a great twist on the classic Thanksgiving roast turkey.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword turkey
Prep Time 1 hour
Author Joe Clements


  • 1 8-12 lb turkey
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt per pound of meat

    Unless the turkey has been brined or is self-basting
  • Olive oil spray
  • 4 tbsp rub Depending on the size of the bird you may need more or less
  • 3-4 leaves fresh sage

For the butter injection

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the turkey baste

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 slightly crushed cloves of garlic
  • 1 hand full fresh thyme, rosemary & sage leaves

For the rub

  • 1 tbsp dried crushed parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried crushed rosemary
  • 1 tbsp dried crushed thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried crushed oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried crushed basil
  • 1 tbsp dried crushed bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil

For the gravy

  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 onions cut into chunks leave the skin on
  • 2 ribs celery cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme leaves
  • 2 dried bay leaves


Making the injection

  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
  • Add the lemon juice, chicken broth, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt and cook on low for a few minutes stirring frequently.
  • Set aside until just before the turkey is ready to go on the smoker.

Making the baste

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
  • Add the garlic and fresh herbs and cook on low for a few minutes, stirring frequently until nice and fragrant. Set aside.

Making the rub

  • Mix the dry ingredients together and blend into a powder
  • Add olive oil and stir to form a wet paste

Smoking the turkey

  • Preheat your smoker to 325°F and just before you add the turkey, add two fist-sized chunks of mild smoke wood e.g. apple or cherry.
  • Spatchcock the turkey by cutting out the backbone then making a small cut along the breast bone. Flip the turkey so it is breast side up and press down so the bird is flat and spread out
  • Dry the turkey thoroughly with paper towels and then give both sides a few sprays of olive oil.
  • With the turkey breast side down, spread two tablespoons of the herb rub evenly over the whole underside.
  • Flip the bird and repeat the process, being sure to get some rub into all the crevices.
  • Use your fingers and a teaspoon to get some of the rub under the skin around the breast, pushing it down around the leg and thigh area. You can also slide a few fresh sage leaves under the skin.
  • Inject the turkey with the injection mixture in both breasts, drumstick, and thighs.
  • Place the turkey on the smoker breast side up and smoke at 300-325°F for one hour.
  • Use a basting brush drip the herb-flavored butter over the turkey
  • Keep smoking until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 165°F.
  • Remove turkey from the smoker and carve into portions.

Making the gravy (optional)

  • Chop the vegetables into pieces and add to an aluminum drip pan with all of the dry ingredients and backbone from the turkey.
  • Place in your smoker, preferably under where the turkey will be sitting, and then pour in the liquid ingredients you are using.
  • Remove after the turkey has finished cooking, and strain until you are left with only the liquid.
  • Make a medium roux by melting 2 tbsp butter in a saucepan before whisking in 2 tbsp plain flour. Continue whisking for a few minutes until it has turned a light caramel color.
  • Slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the gravy liquid, whisking as you go to avoid lumps.
  • Slowly add the rest of the liquid, whisking as you pour it in.