Smoked Turkey is a thing for a reason! Give this recipe a try, it’s worth the time and effort. We used a pit barrel smoker.

Total Time: 4-6 hours
Servings: 8


  • Hickory smoking blocks
  • 10-12 lb. Turkey

For the brine:

  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Kosher Salt

For the rub:

  • ¼ cup Kosher Salt
  • ¼ cup Black Pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. Sage, dried
  • 3 Tbsp. Thyme, dried
  • 4 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Granulated Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Onion powder

Chef's Tip

Brining the turkey the night before cooking will help the bird retain its juices in the dry environment of a smoker.


  1. If using a frozen turkey, be sure it is completely thawed before brining.
  2. To prepare your brine, you’ll need a container that is large enough to hold the whole turkey and still fit in a fridge, I like to use a bucket.
  3. Place a gallon of warm water to the empty container and add the brown sugar and salt, stir to dissolve.
  4. Add the turkey and enough cold water to cover the bird completely. Place the container in the fridge for 12 -24 hours.
  5. When the turkey is brined, light a wood fire in a barrel smoker and allow the red hot coals to develop.
  6. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry inside and out. Brush the whole bird with a little oil.
  7. Combine the rub ingredients and season the outside of the bird well.
  8. Truss the turkey by using a piece of twine to pinch the legs together, sealing the cavity and pulling the wings neatly onto the sides. Tie a knot on the back
  9. Add a couple of pounds of hickory smoking blocks to the smoker and set the bird, breast side up on the top rack of the smoker and close the lid.
  10. Check the temperature of the bird occasionally, it will take about 4-6 hours to cook. The internal temperature of the smoker should not exceed 300°F. The internal temperature of the legs should be about 175°F while the breast should be at 165°F when the turkey is done.
  11. When done remove the turkey from the smoker, and allow it to rest before 20-30 minutes before carving.

*Keep a spray bottle of water handy in case of flare-ups.

Used in this recipe:

Hickory Smoking Blocks