Go Back
+ servings
smoked turkey on a platter with vegetables

Smoking a Turkey

Learn how to smoke turkey by following my easy Smoked Turkey Recipe! Delicious smoked turkey saves space in your oven and tastes incredible.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword smoke a turkey, smoked turkey recipe, smoking a turkey, whole smoked turkey
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings 15
Calories 748kcal



  • 20- Pound Turkey thawed
  • 2 Sticks of Salted Butter 1 cup
  • 2 Tablespoons Old Bay
  • 2 Tablespoons Paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 Apples
  • 2 Oranges
  • 2 Onions
  • 2 Large Sprigs Rosemary
  • 2 Large Sprigs Thyme
  • 2 Large Sprigs Sage


  • Preheat your smoker to 325 degrees. Remove the neck and innards from the turkey. Quarter your apple, oranges, and onions, being sure to rid the onion of its paper.
    20- Pound Turkey, 2 Apples, 2 Oranges, 2 Onions
    Apples, oranges, and onions on a cutting board with fresh herbs
  • Stuff half of the oranges, apples, and onions inside the turkey, followed by all the springs of herbs. End with the rest of the apples, oranges, and onions.
    2 Large Sprigs Rosemary, 2 Large Sprigs Thyme, 2 Large Sprigs Sage
    Turkey stuffed with apples, oranges, and onions
  • Using the butcher’s twine, tie the legs together so it helps keep the stuffed hole closed.
    Tying the turkey legs with twine
  • Add all the spices to a bowl or dish and mix well. Sprinkle just enough over the bird that the top is barely covered.
    2 Tablespoons Old Bay, 2 Tablespoons Paprika, 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
    Seasoned turkey on a rack
  • Melt your butter in a small dish in the microwave. Add the remaining spice mix to it and mix well.
    2 Sticks of Salted Butter, 2 Tablespoons Old Bay, 2 Tablespoons Paprika, 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
    Butter and spice mixture in a dish
  • Take half of the mixture and inject it into the breast and thighs of the bird, saving the other half for basting throughout the smoking process.
    Injecting a turkey with butter mixture
  • Place your turkey in the smoker and cook for 4-5 hours or until the internal temperature taken at the breast reaches 165 degrees. Baste the bird every 30 minutes during the smoking process with the leftover butter and spice mixture.
    Turkey placed in the smoker
  • Allow the turkey to rest for an hour before slicing and serving.
    Carving a smoked turkey


  • As the turkey cools, you can wrap it, if desired, but it’s not necessary.
  • You can smoke the turkey on a large cooling rack if desired, as it will make it easier to remove from the smoker. However, this also isn’t a requirement and won’t change the turkey’s outcome.
  • If you want to catch the drippings of your turkey, you can place the turkey in a roasting pan and cook it in the smoker that way. Cooking this way won’t allow the smoke to penetrate the turkey as much as other methods.
  • I used hickory pellets for this job, but there’s really no limit to what pellet flavors you can use when smoking a turkey.
  • When stuffing the turkey, don’t be afraid to really stuff it. You want it nice and tightly packed.


Calories: 748kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 94g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 342mg | Sodium: 591mg | Potassium: 1083mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1150IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 4mg