How To Smoke A Turkey On A Grill?

If you’re looking to add a smoked turkey to your Thanksgiving feast and concerned, don’t worry – it’s easier than you think! All you need is a grill and some basic supplies. In this blog post, I’ll walk you through the steps of smoking a turkey on a grill.

So read on, and get prepared to add some delicious smoked flavor to your Thanksgiving feast!

Why Smoke A Turkey On A Grill – Its Benefits?

Smoked turkey is one of the most flavorful and moist ways to prepare turkey. The key to success is in the slow cooking process, which allows the smoke to infuse the meat with its unique flavor.

And what could be better than cooking your turkey outdoors on the grill? Not only does it add a great smoky flavor to the meat, but it frees up your oven for other dishes!

I Will Now Share With You Some Benefits Of Smoking A Turkey On A Grill.

1. Smoked Turkey Is Incredibly Flavorful.

The key to a good smoked turkey is in the slow cooking process, which allows the smoke to infuse the meat with its unique flavor. It’s definitely worth the extra effort!

2. Smoked Turkey Is Moist And Juicy.

Another benefit of smoking turkey is that it stays moist and juicy thanks to the slow cooking process. In fact, many people say that smoked turkey is the moistest and most flavorful way to prepare turkey.

3. Smoked Turkey Is A Great Way To Free Up Your Oven Space.

If you’re smoking your turkey on the grill, that means one less dish taking up space in your oven! This frees up valuable real estate in your kitchen, allowing you to prepare other dishes in the oven without feeling cramped.

4. Smoked Turkey Is Perfect For Large Gatherings.

Grilling is a great way to cook for large groups of people, and smoking turkey is no exception. On Thanksgiving, for example, smoking your turkey on the grill frees up oven space for other dishes like pies and casseroles.

5. Smoked Turkey Is Great For Entertaining.

Smoking your turkey on the grill is a great way to impress your guests! It’s sure to be a hit at any party or gathering. For an added trace of flair, you can even carve the turkey at the table.

6. Smoked Turkey Is Healthy!

Studies have shown that smoking meat can actually reduce the amount of unhealthy fats in the meat. So not only is smoked turkey delicious, but it’s also good for you!

How To Choose The Right Turkey For Smoking?

When it comes to smoking turkey, there are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to choose the right bird. Let’s go over a few of the most important factors.

1.      Size:

When smoking turkey, it’s important to choose a bird that is the right size for your smoker. If the turkey is too big, it won’t fit in the smoker properly and will take longer to cook.

On the other hand, if the turkey is too small, it will dry out quickly.

2.      Weight:

You will also like to take into account the weight of the turkey. A heavier bird will take longer to cook, so keep that in mind when choosing a turkey for smoking.

3.      Type Of Turkey:

There are two main types of turkeys – heritage and broad-breasted. Heritage turkeys are leaner and have more dark meat, while broad-breasted turkeys have more white meat.

When smoking turkey, many people prefer to use a heritage breed because they tend to be more flavorful.

4.      Free-Range Vs. Cage-Free:

When it comes to turkeys, there is a big difference between free-range and cage-free. Free-range turkeys are raised in open fields and have access to roam around, while cage-free turkeys are raised in enclosed areas but are not confined to cages.

When smoking turkey, many people prefer to use a free-range bird because they tend to be more flavorful.

5.      Fresh Vs. Frozen:

Another important consideration when choosing a turkey for smoking is whether to buy fresh or frozen.

Fresh turkeys are obviously the better choice if you can find them, but they can be more expensive and harder to find. So, if you do go with a frozen turkey, make sure to thaw it properly before smoking.

Preparing The Turkey For Smoking!

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect turkey, it’s time to get started on the smoking process! Here are a few tips to help you get started.

1. Brine The Turkey.

Brining is a process of soaking the turkey in a salt water solution, which helps to keep it moist during cooking.

To brine a turkey, simply add 1 cup of kosher salt for every gallon of water you use. Soak the turkey in the mixture for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours if you have the time.

2. Dry The Turkey.

Once the turkey has finished brining, it’s important to dry it off completely before smoking. Otherwise, the skin will not crisp up properly. Place the turkey on a rack and let it air dry in the fridge for at least 8 hours, or overnight if possible.

3. Choose Your Wood Chips.

When smoking turkey, you’ll need to use wood chips to create the smoke flavor. There are a variety of different types of wood chips available, so you can choose the one that best fits your taste. Popular choices include hickory, mesquite, and apple.

4. Prepare The Smoker.

Once you’ve chosen your wood chips, it’s time to prepare the smoker. If you’re using a charcoal grill, add enough coals to reach a temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if you’re using a gas grill, set it to low heat.

Place the wood chips in the smoker box or in a foil packet placed directly on the coals.

5. Smoke The Turkey!

Place the turkey on the grill, making sure to keep it away from direct heat. Close the lid of the grill and let the turkey smoke for about 3 hours, or until it gets an inner temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Check this post also to know if a turkey can be done at 165ᵒ or 180ᵒF.

Tips For Getting The Perfect Smoked Turkey!

When you’re smoking a turkey, there are a few things you can do to ensure it turns out perfectly. Check the mind-blowing tips below to get the best results.

1. Check The Temperature Regularly.

It’s vital to check the inner temperature of the turkey regularly to make sure it’s cooking evenly. The finest way to get this done is to insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.

2. Baste The Turkey.

Basting the turkey with a mixture of oil and spices will help to keep it moist and add flavor. Simply combine your desired ingredients in a bowl and brush it onto the turkey every 30 minutes or so.

3. Rotate The Turkey.

For even cooking, it’s important to rotate the turkey periodically throughout the smoking process. This will help to ensure that all sides of the turkey are exposed to direct heat.

4. Add More Wood Chips As Needed.

As the wood chips start to burn out, you’ll need to add more to maintain a consistent level of smoke. Add them a handful at a time, as needed.

5. Avoid Opening The Grill Too Often.

Opening the grill too frequently will cause the temperature to fluctuate and can make the turkey dry out. Only open it when absolutely necessary.

6. Let The Turkey Rest Before Carving.

Once the turkey is finished smoking, let it rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. It will let the juices redistribute throughout the meat, making it more moist and flavorful.

7. Carve The Turkey Carefully.

When carving the turkey, be sure to do so carefully in order to avoid losing any of the juices. Slice against the grain of meat for the best results. You can also use an electric knife for a more precise cut.

8. Serve Immediately.

Once the turkey is carved, it’s important to serve it immediately. Otherwise, the meat will dry out and lose its flavor. Enjoy!

Serving And Enjoying Your Smoked Turkey!

Now that your smoked turkey is finished, it’s time to enjoy it! Here are a few suggestions on serving to help you make the most of your delicious creation.

1. Slice And Serve With Your Favorite Sides.

The best way to enjoy smoked turkey is to slice it and serve it with all of your favorite Thanksgiving sides. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and green beans are all great options.

2. Make A Sandwich.

Smoked turkey makes an excellent sandwich! Pile it high on some fresh bread with your favorite condiments and enjoy.

3. Shred And Use In A Recipe.

Shredded smoked turkey is perfect for using in a variety of recipes, such as soup, chili, or enchiladas. Get creative and find what you can come up with!

4. Enjoy As Is.

Of course, you can always just enjoy your smoked turkey as is. It’s delicious and juicy all on its own! Whatever way you choose to enjoy your smoked turkey, I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!


So, there you have it. I hope this guide was very helpful and that you will be able to produce an amazing smoked turkey for your next gathering.

If you need any help or even have questions, please don’t hesitate to visit the website at, where I have added tons of information on smoking all sorts of meats (including turkeys) as well as recipes and tips from some of the best pitmasters in the country. Thanks for reading, and happy grilling!

John Rinder
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