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Whole Smoked Turkey

Whole turkey injected with oil, wine, and spices. Rubbed with butter and herbs. Stuffed with brisket trimmings, smoked over hickory wood for six hours.

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I really love using my smoker it’s probably my most used outdoor item. As long as I have wood, I’m a happy girl. The smoker to means yeah I’ll be up early and all day, but I don’t have to cook for a few days after and I’m okay with that. Although the Texas heat doesn’t stop me entirely from cooking outdoors, I try to get a lot of my bbq cravings out of the way right before the heavy hurricane season and summer heat. Earlier in the week, I had a craving for turkey, so I figured I’d make it one of those days.

For me personally, I don’t even want to deal with a turkey until I’m ready to cook it. Since they are just big salmonella balls, transferring them from the counter, fridge or sink is something I tend to avoid. that’s why injections are best for me.
The injection process for me is simple. I remove the turkey from the wrap it comes in and transfer the turkey into a foil pan once in the foil I prep the turkey by removing the neck, bag of innards, and anything else in the cavity. I take my hand and separate the skin from the breast and inject the cavity out. Once it’s fully injected it gets a nice rub down of butter and herbs. The bird heads out to the smoker where I smoked it for about 6 hours. Once it’s removed from the oven and rested. it’s simple turkey time.
If you’re like me and don’t have the room or time to brine. Check out my tips and tricks below for the best whole smoked turkey. Try this recipe out and let me know what you think.

TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST SMOKED WHOLE TURKEY:

oil for injections: when you’re injecting a turkey, you need something that will flow. oil is your best option since it won’t solidify. sometimes when you make an injection with butter. once you’ve stirred it, it can thicken it up. once in the metal injector especially a cold one it won’t even come out. oil fixes that. a neutral oil is a perfect vehicle for spices. trust me on this one. save the butter for rubbing the outside.

fine spices: along similar lines of why I use oil. Course spices will absolutely ruin the fun. they tend to clog into the holes the oil is dispersed from so dried herbs need to be placed by hand. if you clog your injector taking it apart filled with oil can be a pain.

use the skin: don’t break the skin. when injecting go in from the cavity to get those hard-to-reach spots. when injecting the breast. glide your hand under the skin and the flesh. raise the skin and inject without penetrating through the skin that will help everything stay where it needs to be and once the turkey cooks it won’t retract.

smoke: it generally advised 30-40 minutes per pound of a turkey. you want the internal temperature to read 165F to make sure it is cooked through. the smoke ring around the turkey may be a cause for concern to some but don’t worry a reddish hue is just the sight of a good smoke.

fat trimmings: in the smoke, I skip the veggies like celery, onions, and garlic since they can get lost in the smoke. instead, I like to worry about retaining moisture for that I put the fat trimmings of the brisket i was smoking.  that way as it renders down the meat stays nice and juicy. i also tossed in the ends to my garlic bulbs since I didn’t want to waste them anyway.

turkey placement: remember turkey is poultry so it needs to be handled carefully in the smoker. if your making sauce, peppers, or beans that maybe need a little time don’t place them under the turkey at any point. the drippings from the turkey will run off into the other foods. place towards the bottom and the end facing away from the wood box opening to avoid flare-ups when the brisket fat starts rendering.

SIMILAR INGREDIENTS TO:

  1. GRILLED CHICKEN AND PEPPERS
  2. CAJUN CHICKEN QUARTERS W/ DIRTY RICE
  3. SMOKED BBQ CHICKEN WINGS

ENJOY THIS RECIPE WITH:

  1. CHEESY GRUYERE & SWISS ROASTED ASPARAGUS
  2. STRAWBERRY COLESLAW
  3. JALAPENO CHEDDAR HASSLEBACK POTATOES

Smoked Whole Turkey

Smoked Whole Turkey
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INGREDIENTS

  • 20LB Whole Turkey
  • INJECTION
  • 1/2c Canola Oil
  • 1/4c White Wine
  • 1Tb Salt
  • 1Tb Black Pepper, fine
  • 1Tb Garlic Powder
  • 1tsp Bay Leaf Powder
  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • 1 Garlic Bulb, halved
  • 1/4lb Brisket fat trimmings

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Combine the oil and wine with the herbs and spices listed.
  • Inject the turkey inside the cavity, under the skin (dont break it ) until all the liquid is used any unused spices at the bottom can be rubbed on the turkey.
  • Place the butter under the skin above the breast. Rub the bird all over with salt, pepper, and garlic including the cavity. Place the thyme and rosemary under the skin. Place brisket trimmings and garlic into cavity.
  • Place in a smoker for 225F-235F for 6 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
  • Let the turkey rest prior to cutting.
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