BBQ Buying Guide - Perfect Smoked Turkey
Perfect Smoked Turkey
Serves 7-8 people
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1 14 pound turkey, fresh or thawed
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 t fresh rosemary, chopped
1 t fresh thyme, chopped
1 orange with zest, quartered
salt and pepper
- Bring the butter to room temperature and mix with the rosemary and thyme.
- With a pair of poultry shears, remove the wing tips. Starting at the bottom cavity, use your fingers to separate the turkey's skin from the breast meat. Work slowly up towards the neck being careful not to split or tear the skin.
- Once separated, work equal amounts of butter on to both breasts and down towards the thighs. Season the inside of the turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Place the orange quarters inside the cavity and truss the turkey with the butcher twine.
- Note: Trussing promotes even cooking by keeping the turkey compact and as an added benefit, makes for a more attractive bird when cooked.
- Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
- Tip: For crispy skin, leave the turkey uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.
- Season the outside of the turkey with salt, pepper, and the orange zest. Rub all over with olive oil.
- Prep the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker:
- Disassemble the WSM and fill the fire ring halfway up with charcoal. You will roughly cover up the first layer of circles.
- Fill a charcoal chimney half full with charcoal briquettes and light.
- Since this is a hot cook, there is no need for water in the water pan. To make cleanup easier, think about lining the pan with aluminum foil.
- Once the coals in the chimney have turned grey and ashed over. Dump them over the unlit coals in the base of the smoker and let sit for about 10-15 minutes.
- Re-assemble the smoker. If you plan on making a pan gravy, be sure to place a disposable foil tray on the lower grate.
- Grill the turkey over medium low heat, 300-350°F. As the smoker climbs towards 300°F, place the turkey on the top grate.
Close the lid.
- Open the front door panel and place no more than 2 or 3 medium chunks of wood on the hot coals. I always opt for something sweet, like apple or cherry. An aggressive species of wood can be too harsh. In this case, a little goes a long way.
- If the fire burns too hot, close the bottom vents halfway. If you are battling cold weather, and need to keep the temperature up, add 8-10 unlit briquettes every hour.
- Figure 15-18 minutes of cook time per pound. Cook until the deepest part of the thigh reads 170°F with an instant read thermometer.
Let it rest and enjoy!