How to Smoke A Whole Turkey

How to Smoke A Whole Turkey

  • Author: Michelle Goth
  • Prep Time: 120
  • Cook Time: 240
  • Total Time: 360
  • Yield: 15
  • Category: Main Courses
  • Method: Smoker
  • Cuisine: American


Smoking a whole turkey for Thanksgiving is easier than you think!


  • 1 17 lb. Fresh Whole Turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 TB ground black pepper
  • 1 TB garlic powder
  • 1/2 TB paprika
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

For Dry Brine

  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1 TB cracked black pepper
  • 1 TB brown sugar


  1. Rinse turkey under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a baking sheet.
  2. Combine dry brine ingredients in a small bowl and rub on exterior and internal cavity of the turkey. Place turkey in refrigerator for two hours.
  3. Preheat smoker to 300°F.
  4. Loosen the skin around the turkey breast by inserting your hand. Use your hand to rub the softened butter under the skin. Then, use a paper towel to wipe most of the dry brine from the turkey skin. Brush on olive oil. Lightly sprinkle on black pepper, garlic powder and paprika.
  5. Smoke at 275-300°F for about 4 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165°F when measured in the thickest part of the breast. Baste the bird every hour with juices from the drip pan.


  • This bird has a golden brown appearance from taking on the smoke. If you’d like to limit the dark color, you can tent the bird with aluminum foil. This will cut down on the amount of smoke that reaches the skin.


  • Serving Size: 15

Keywords: smoked whole turkey, how to smoke a turkey, pecan turkey, thanksgiving turkey