Use a smoker to cook turkey to perfection

What You Need:

  • A 10 to 15 pound fresh or thawed turkey.
  • Foil pan for turkey.
  • Charcoal.
  • Apple or cherry wood chips (mild smoking woods are best with poultry.)
  • Charcoal smoker (Cooking times may vary in other smokers. Check your manual for instructions.)

The Night Before:

Brine your turkey and refrigerate overnight.

The Next Morning:

Soak wood chips in water 1 hour.

Prep your Smoker:

Step 1

Add newspaper to the bottom of your charcoal chimney (charcoal starter), and charcoal to the upper chamber.

Step 2

Light the newspaper, and let coals burn for 30 minutes.

Step 3

Open smoker vents all the way.

Step 4

Add coals to the bottom of smoker.

Step 5

Place lower grate in smoker, then add drip pan.

Step 6

Add 2 cups of water to drip pan.

Step 7

Take turkey out of brine. Discard brine; pat dry.

Step 8

Place upper grate in smoker, then add the turkey breast side-up.

Step 9

Cover the smoker, then add wood chips to the coals. Check temperature often, and plan on 30-40 minutes per pound at 235˚F*. Replace coal and wood chips every 1 1/2 hours.

Step 10

After 4 hours, check drip pan and add water if needed.

Step 11

Turkey is done when meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 180˚ F.

Step 12

Remove, and let stand for 20 minutes.

Step 13

Carve, and enjoy.

*Cooking times may vary by smoker type. Check your manual.

Wash hands and all items that come into contact with uncooked turkey.

Find more whole turkey basics here.