Whole Smoked Turkey

The only way to cook a whole turkey is on your smoker. If you don’t have one then it is time to get one! Trust me that smoked turkey is delicious!

sliced smoked turkey breast

I was getting tired of making my Holiday Turkey the same way every year so since I have a cool PitBoss Smoker, I decided to smoke my whole turkey this year.

If you are looking for the best and easiest to smoke your turkey on a pellet smoker, then this article is for you.

whole smoked turkey

If you don’t have a smoker, then this recipe might not be for you unless you are looking for some tips & tricks or even to motivate you to buy a smoker (you should).

Everything I have ever made on my Pitboss smoker has been absolutely delicious.

lemon and rosemary
Fresh Lemon and Rosemary for Turkey

This smoked whole turkey recipe is super simple to make. No different than baking in the oven except you are going to cook the bird on your smoker.

While this is how I prepare my bird, you can use whatever recipe you are accustomed to but make it on your smoker.

raw whole turkey on smoker

The idea behind smoking your whole turkey is not only to infuse the meat with whatever flavor wood pellets you use but to cook it low and slow. For this recipe, I used the competition blend wood pellets made by Pitboss.

smoked turkey

The time to cook this whole turkey on your smoker will vary based on several factors. The ambient temperature outside, maintaining a consistent temperature, the placement of the bird on the grill grate (indirect heat), and the type of pellets you are using.

whole smoked turkey

I used fresh lemons and fresh rosemary to stuff into the turkey because I have both a fresh rosemary bush and a lemon tree but you can use whatever you have on hand. I just think it’s important to use some sort of citrus like orange, tangerine, lime, etc.

whole smoked turkey

While not necessary, I highly recommend getting some kind of wireless thermometer to monitor the progress of the cook.

Most modern smokers come with temperature probes but they are, in my opinion, highly inaccurate.

In a pinch, you can use a portable instant-read thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of your Holiday turkey.

If you plan on making gravy for your turkey, you can catch the drippings by placing the turkey on a rack inside a large aluminum foil roast pan.

Add about 1/4 inch of water or broth and some seasoning into the bottom of the pan. Or you can try my Easy Turkey Gravy recipe.

easy turkey gravy
Turkey with Gravy

You can use some good-quality olive oil instead of melted butter. I personally prefer to use butter but olive oil makes a great substitute.

sliced smoked turkey breast

You will need the following ingredients to make this Whole Smoked Turkey recipe (see recipe card for quantities): Whole Turkey, Poultry Seasoning, Smoked Paprika, Unsalted Butter, Fresh Rosemary and a Lemon.

  1. Set the smoker to 275-350°F.
  2. Remove the turkey neck and giblets from the turkey. Rinse the turkey thoroughly and pat the exterior dry with paper towel.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the butter, 1/4 of the poultry seasoning and paprika together to form a paste. Gently insert your hand between the outer skin and the breast meat. Rub paste into the meat.
  4. With the remaining seasoning, rub the outside of the turkey. Add more seasoning if needed.
  5. Stuff the fresh lemons and fresh rosemary into the turkey.
  6. Place the turkey breast side up on the grill, and cook until the turkey is tender and golden brown. The internal temperature should reach 180ºF in the thickest part of the thigh and 170ºF in the breast.
  7. Remove the turkey from the smoker, cover it with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Printable Recipe Card

whole smoked turkey

Whole Smoked Turkey

The only way to cook a whole turkey is on your smoker. If you don't have one then it is time to get one! Trust me that smoked turkey is delicious
4.25 from 4 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 20
Calories 473 kcal

Equipment

  • Smoker

Ingredients
 

  • 20 lbs Whole Turkey, thawed
  • 4 Tbsp Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 2 sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Lemon, sliced

Instructions
 

  • Set the smoker to 275-350°F.
  • Remove the turkey neck and giblets from the turkey. Rinse the turkey thoroughly and pat the exterior dry with paper towel.
  • In a small bowl, mix the butter, 1/4 of the poultry seasoning and paprika together to form a paste. Gently insert your hand between the outer skin and the breast meat. Rub paste into the meat.
  • With the remaining seasoning, rub the outside of the turkey. Add more seasoning if needed.
  • Stuff the fresh lemons and fresh rosemary into the turkey.
  • Place the turkey breast side up on the grill, and cook until the turkey is tender and golden brown. The internal temperature should reach 180ºF in the thickest part of the thigh and 170ºF in the breast.
  • Remove the turkey from the smoker, cover with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Recipe Video

Notes

If you plan on making gravy for your turkey, you can catch the drippings by placing the turkey on a rack inside a large aluminum foil roast pan. Add about 1/4 inch of water or broth and some seasoning into the bottom of the pan.

Nutrition

Calories: 473kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 70gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 236mgSodium: 361mgPotassium: 737mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 0.4gVitamin A: 305IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional information provided for this recipe is based on 1 serving. This information is an estimate and may vary based on several factors. If nutritional information is important to you and your diet, please verify this recipe with a Registered Dietitian.

Tried this Recipe?Leave a Comment below and share a picture on Instagram and tag @hot_rods_recipes and hashtag #hotrodsrecipes!

Similar Recipes

4.25 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating:




Before a comment appears it needs to be approved by the site owner. Read our Comment Policy to see how your comment data is processed. Your email address will NOT be published.

One Comment

  1. Richard says:

    I have not made this yet, I’m doing it now, but the instructions don’t tell you what to do with the lemon and rosemary. Therefore I gave it 3 stars.