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Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey

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  • Yields: 8 Servings
  • Cook time: 3 h
  • Prep time: 15 h


  • 1 12–14 pound turkey
  • brine (recipe follows)
  • sage butter (recipe follows)
  • Smokin' Turkey Rub (recipe follows)
  • 1 gallon vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup kosher or sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
Sage Butter
  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon ground thyme
Smokin’ Turkey Rub
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablepoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon guajillo chili powder (or favorite ground chili)


Sage Butter
  1. Blend all ingredients in a small bowl well and set aside until ready to use.
Smokin’ Turkey Rub
  1. Blend all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside until ready to use.
Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
  1. Make the brine: Heat broth, salt, sugar and lemon-pepper over medium heat until dissolved and well blended.
  2. Cool completely.
  3. In a large stock pot, place the turkey inside and cover with brine.
  4. Let soak in the fridge overnight, 8–12 hours.
  5. Remove turkey, pat dry thoroughly.
  6. Working gently, insert your fingers between the meat and skin to create pockets in which to spread the sage compound butter evenly beneath the skin.
  7. Rub turkey with Smokin’ Turkey Rub or any of your favorite rubs.
  8. Allow to rest while pre-heating grill for indirect cooking by placing a disposable aluminum half-pan filled with water or broth under the grill grate with coals on either side of the pan, creating a barrier between the meat and any direct heat or flare-ups from the coals.
  9. Once grill has heated to approximately 350°F, place turkey on the grate directly above the aluminum pan and cook until internal temperature in thickest part of the turkey reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165°F.
  10. Remove and rest for approximately 30 minutes before carving.

For safe meat preparation, reference the USDA website.

Ratings & Reviews

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