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Smoked Turkey

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Makes: 12 servings adjust



  • 1 Turkey, thawed
  • 2 gallons Water
  • 1 12 cups Pickling Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Minced Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 14 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 13 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Bay Leaves

Step 1

In a large stock pot, combine water, pickling salt, garlic, peppercorns, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Place turkey in a 5 gallon bucket and pour in the brine. Refrigerate at least over night, up to several days.

Step 2

Remove turkey, rinse off, and pat dry with paper towels. Using a pair of poultry shears, remove the spine by cutting through all of the ribs on both sides of the spine. Flip turkey over breast-side up, and apply pressure to flatten it. Remove thigh/leg pieces. Place breasts/wings and thighs/legs into separate foil-lined pans that fit on smoker racks. Reserve spine and neck for gravy.


  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper, fresh ground
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Dried Basil
  • Dried Thyme
  • Dried Oregano

Step 3

Season turkey skin with salt and pepper. Combine all seasonings (proportion to taste) to make a rub and press on to meat under the skin. Feel free to substitute or omit ingredients.


  • Apple Wood Chunks, or cherry, hickory, or combination

Step 4

Soak wood chips in water. Add to chip tray and fill water tray with water. Turn on smoker and heat to about 180 degrees. Once wood is smoking, place dark meat try on lower rack and white meat tray on upper rack. Cook until breast meat registers 145 degrees (a leave-in thermometer probe will help to gauge the temperature of the smoker and when it is done). It is best to try to target the meat to reach temperature after about 5-6 hours, so adjust smoker temperature as needed.
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