How to Smoke a Turkey

Smoking a turkey on an outdoor grill might be the least fussy method for cooking your Thanksgiving turkey.
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THE BASICS
smoked turkey

Once the wood chips are smoking, throw on the turkey, shut the grill lid and rotate the bird hourly until it's done. Using a brined bird is well worth the effort in this case, since brining keeps the turkey moist during the long cooking time.

 
GEAR UP
turkey smoking box 5

To make smoked turkey for Thanksgiving, you'll need a rimmed baking sheet, smoker box or heavy-duty foil and a disposable tray, wood chips, instant-read meat thermometer and grilling mitts.

 
HOW TO SET UP THE SMOKER BOX
turkey smoking box

1. Scatter soaked wood chips evenly across the bottom of a disposable aluminum tray.

turkey smoking box 2

2. Wrap in heavy-duty foil and poke about 10 holes on top.

turkey smoking box 3

3. Remove the grill grate and set the box directly on the burners on one side of the grill; these burners will be lit during cooking. Arrange a drip tray on the other burners before replacing the grate.

turkey smoking box 4

4. Preheat the grill with the top down until smoke seeps out.

SMOKE THIS
herbs for smoked turkey

Try these elements to switch up the smoky flavor.

Wood Chips: Use standard hickory or mesquite to impart a solid smokiness; use mild fruitwood chips to add a subtle one (that won't mask the mild taste of turkey). Try soaking the wood chips in water, fruit juice or wine.

Herbs: Lay bunches of hearty, fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage and bay leaves on top of the wood chips.

Aromatics: Scatter a handful of flavorful ingredients like citrus peel strips, cinnamon sticks or tea leaves on top of the wood chips to add another dimension.

 

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