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How to Smoke a Turkey This Thanksgiving

How to Smoke a Turkey

Learn how to smoke a turkey with this easy to follow recipe. It will be the most juicy, tender and delicious show stopper this Thanksgiving.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword how long do I smoke a turkey, how to smoke a turkey


  • Smoker


  • 1 12-16lb Whole Turkey Fresh or mostly thawed (remove all giblets)
  • gallons Water
  • 1 tub Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub
  • 1 c Sugar
  • Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • ½ c Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Canola Oil


  • Pour water into a 5 gallon plastic bucket.
  • Mix into water: Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub, sugar, minced garlic, and Worcestershire sauce and stir until fully dissolved.
  • If you can't find Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub, here is a link to a good replacement.  You want about 1 cup of rub which this recipe will give you.
  • Make sure your turkey is mostly thawed and remove any giblets (usually inside the chest cavity - sometimes in a plastic bag).
  • Place the turkey in the brine filled bucket with the breast side down.  Make sure turkey is fully submerged in your brine. 
  • Place the bucket in a refrigerator or if you live in a cold temperature area, place in your garage.  Brine for 12-24 hours.  I prefer closer to 24 hours.
  • Remove and pat dry when ready to cook.  Place turkey breast side up in a disposable aluminum roasting pan.  Rub canola oil all over the entire turkey, and you are ready to begin smoking your bird.
  • First you will smoke your turkey for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  On my Traeger Pro Series 22 this means setting the dial to smoke. If you don't have a smoke setting you want to set your smoker to 150 degrees.
  • After your turkey is smoke infused, set the temperature for 350 degrees and cook until your turkey reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees (usually 3-4 hours depending on the size of your turkey).  If your turkey comes with a pop-out thermometer that's a pretty good indicator of when it's done.
  • Remove from smoker and wait 30 minutes until carving.
  • Please, Please, Please save the drippings for use with gravy.  Smoked drippings in gravy will blow your mind