How to Smoke a Turkey on a Pellet Smoker in 2021

Learn How to smoke a Turkey on a Pellet Smoker like a seasoned outdoor chef with this smoking recipe and tips for a perfectly cooked turkey.

I know most of you will devour your friends and family on the similar traditional menu of turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving or any other special occasion. You can smoke a Turkey on various types of grills.

From pellet to charcoal, traditional smoker, or even a propane smoker. Your grill just needs to be efficient enough to cook the turkey on the precise heat and accurate temperature.

However, using a pellet grill is the easiest way to maintain a consistent temperature and the juicy flavor of your food. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try the tender, juicy, and delicious turkey, now it is time to try it out.

In this guide, I will take you through everything you need to know to smoke a turkey on a pellet smoker. Whether it’s your first time or you are a pellet grilling expert these techniques will elevate your traditional turkey recipe into the perfect smoked turkey infused with the wood flavor that only a pellet smoker can bring. So, let’s get started.

How to Smoke a Turkey on a Pellet Smoker

It is vital to choose a turkey, which is less than 15 pounds. Because a larger bird will take a long time to cook at low temperatures. Moreover, the bigger birds are more prone to be contaminated with bacteria. Ideally, it will take 24 hours for a turkey to defrost. It is preferable to leave it in its original packaging to defrost it completely.

Brine a Turkey

Most of the grocery store turkeys come pre-brined but to be sure check the label. However, if it hasn’t been brined. You can either wet or dry brine it. Nevertheless, it is important that the turkey should be completely defrosted and dry before brining.

Dry Brine

● 3 tbsp Kosher Salt
● 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
● Ground Rosemary 2 tbsp
● Other seasoning or herbs (optional)


● Mix all the ingredients and seasonings in a bowl and pat thoroughly all over a turkey.

● Allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours before smoking. It will enable the salt to dry out the moisture from the meat rendering the juicy, tender, and flavorful meat down the bone.

Wet Brine

● 4 cups of water
● Brining mixture
● Seasonings and herbs
● Lemonade ( 1-2)
● Salt 3 tbsp

Procedure and Marination

● Add the brining mixture and 4 cups of water into a saucepan and bring it to boil.
● Carefully add one gallon of cold water into the mixture and rest a turkey into it.
● Put the mixture into the refrigerator for at least 14 to 15 hours. Moreover, you can also replace the water with other liquids like apple juice, chicken stock, pineapple, etc to add more flavor.

Smoked Turkey Recipe

The smoked turkey with herbs and seasoning is the best meal to take up a place on your table and charms to all tastes. This smoked recipe combines blissful hickory and maple flavors, which provide the perfect aromas and taste for your special event. So, try this classic recipe and bite into something extraordinarily delicious. Here’s what we need to do.

Total Time for Preparation

● 30 minutes for preparation
● 06 hours for smoking

Ingredients Required
● 1 ½ Cup of Butter (melted)
● 15 lbs whole of Turkey (Pre-brined)
● ½ Cup of Maple Syrup
● 2 tbsp of Chicken Seasoning

Cooking Instructions

● Start your grill on the option of smoke with the lid open until the fire is built in the burning pot for three to seven minutes. Prepare it with either apple or cherry wood pellets, whichever of your choice and you think will work for you.

● Preheat your pellet smoker at 250 Degrees Fahrenheit.

● Add the butter into a saucepan and add maple syrup and whisk them properly.

● Fill the mixture of butter and syrup with the injector and pierce it directly into the meat while pushing on the plunger.

● Inject into the thickest part like breast, thighs, and wings for the ultimate flavor and taste.

● Add butter and chicken into a bowl and mix it thoroughly.

● Apply this rub and pat thoroughly all over a turkey. Make sure you get it under the skin as well.

● Butter or oil the aluminum pan and place a turkey into it to catch all the drippings. Brush its skin with the olive oil for the perfect tenderness.

● Place it carefully in the pre-heated smoker.

● Set the timer for about six to seven hours. Check the turkey’s temperature every three hours with the probe meat thermometer until its internal temperature reaches 165 -170 Degrees Fahrenheit.

● Remove the smoked turkey from the smoker and let it rest for fifteen minutes before carving it.

● Serve it with some sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie for the classic taste. You are ready to rock your table with this exceptional recipe of turkey.

Wrapping It Up

If you have invested in a Pellet Smoker, a whole new world of meat cooking will be available to you. You can effortlessly create some delicious meals for your family and friends. One of the best ways to cook a Perfect intensely barked turkey is to smoke it. You can perfectly smoke a turkey as long as you have got a pellet smoker or grill on your deck.

However, a poorly smoked turkey is a nightmare that can put a damper on this festive holiday meal. Therefore, the steps mentioned above are loaded with every piece of information and detail on using a pellet smoker and cooking a perfectly textured turkey.

One of the best things about this recipe is you don’t need any fancy equipment to prepare it. A trusted Pellet smoker can do it precisely for you.

I hope this Turkey recipe tempts you much to run to your kitchen and prepare it for your special upcoming event. Try this smoking method and let me know if it did justice to your taste buds. Because I know this smoked flavor will be worth getting scrappy over. I hope you enjoy smoking and eating it.

Frequently Asked Questions-

What temperature do you smoke a turkey on a pellet grill?
If you place the turkey on a pellet grill, then 250-275 F is enough for proper cooking which may take 6 hours in total.

How long will it take to smoke a 15lb turkey?
At normal temperature range, it would take approximately half an hour for each pound, which means that 15lb of turkey might take 7 and a half hours.

Should I wrap my turkey in foil while smoking?
It isn’t necessary to wrap the turkey in foil while smoking but if the wings turn too brown, then consider wrapping them up in an aluminum foil.

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