Smoked Turkey

Total Time

Prep: 40 min.+ brining Cook: 3 hours + standing


12 servings

Updated: Aug. 25, 2023
Mouths will water when you bring this flavorful smoked turkey recipe to the table. Add sprigs of your favorite herbs like thyme, sage or rosemary to the brine for extra flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen


  • BRINE:
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 medium tart apple, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 3 quarts ice water
  • 1 turkey (10 to 12 pounds)
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 cups soaked apple wood chips


  1. To make the brine, in a large kettle, combine the first 7 ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until salt is dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add ice water to cool brine to room temperature.
  2. Place a turkey-sized oven roasting bag inside a second roasting bag; add turkey. Carefully pour cooled brine into bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible; seal bags and turn to coat. Place in a roasting pan or other large container. Refrigerate 8-12 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. Prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan. Add wood chips to grill according to manufacturer's directions. Drain turkey, discarding brine. Rinse turkey under cold water; pat dry. Add onion and apple wedges to cavity. Tie drumsticks together.
  4. In a small bowl, combine kosher salt, sugar, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder; rub over outside of turkey. Place breast side up in 2 nested foil roasting pans (stack pans together for sturdiness). Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 170°-175°, 3 to 3-1/2 hours, rotating halfway. Cover and let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Nutrition Facts

8 ounces cooked turkey: 450 calories, 20g fat (6g saturated fat), 205mg cholesterol, 702mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 60g protein.