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How to Smoke a Turkey

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