Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey

Delicious homemade baked sliced turkey close-up on paper. vertical


1 gallon hot water

3 c kosher salt

4 lemons (cut in half)

3 bay leaves

2 Tbsp black peppercorn

1 c honey

5 lb bag of ice

1 bunch of thyme

1 bunch of sage

4 cloves of garlic

2 c hickory wood chips (soaked in warm water for 30 minutes just before cooking)

15 lb turkey

1/2 c canola oil

3 Tbsp paprika

3 Tbsp cracked black pepper


Start by bringing a gallon of water to a boil. When the water boils, shut off the heat and add the salt, bay leaves, garlic, herbs, peppercorn, and honey. Allow all of these ingredients to steep in the hot water for 15 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a large deep container. A five-gallon plastic bucket works very well. Add the five pounds of ice and submerge the turkey in the brine for at least 12 hours.

Early the following day, heat your grill, whether it be gas or charcoal. 350 degrees is a good temperature to work with.

Remove the turkey from the brine and dry it completely. Rub it with the canola oil and the paprika/black pepper seasoning mixture. Make a smoke bomb using two large sheets of aluminum foil.

Place one cup of the soaked hickory chips in the center of the foil. Crimp the foil creating a small pouch with an opening at the top for the smoke to escape.

Place the aluminum pouch directly on the charcoal or on the metal bar above the flame of a gas grill. You will want to place the turkey on a baking sheet with a wire rack so that it’s not sitting on direct heat.

Close the lid and cook for an hour. After an hour, change out the old wood chips with the other cup of soaked chips and check to see if the skin has browned. If so, cover loosely with aluminum foil and continue to cook until the thickest part of the turkey breast reaches a 160-degree internal temperature. Check this by simply inserting a thermometer into the thickest part of the breast periodically.

When the bird reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees, remove it from the grill, cover it in foil, and allow it to rest for an hour. Carve and enjoy a twist on a Thanksgiving classic.

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