If youâre short on oven space or youâre tired of the same dried-out turkey meat every year, then itâs time to smoke. Turkey, that is. Check out our step-by-step smoked turkey recipe, as well as our favorite smoker and pellet grill for the job. When youâre ready to get cooking, take these pro tips along with you for the best Thanksgiving turkey youâve ever tasted.
Smoked Turkey Pro Tips
1. Cook your turkey by temperature rather than time to avoid undercooking or drying out the meat.
2. Use a digital wireless thermometer to see when the turkey thigh reaches 175Â° F and the breast reaches 165Â° F. 3. Use our Turkey Cannon Infusion Roaster to cut the cooking time down to a fraction of the normal time.
4. If your turkey is mounted on the Turkey Cannon, smoke it in a roasting pan to catch the juices for gravy. If you arenât worried about making gravy later (we donât judge) you can smoke your bird directly on the grill racks for crispy skin all around.
6. Coat the outside of your turkey with Citrus Herb Seasoning for a light, herb-roasted flavor.
7. Apply the rub or seasoning of your choice underneath the skin so it flavors the meat directly.
8. Use cooking wine in your Turkey Cannon for extra flavor in your gravy.
9. Donât stuff your turkey if youâre smoking it. The heat needs to be able to circulate freely throughout the bird.
10. If your bird starts to brown more than you like, tent it with foil for the remainder of the cooking time.
11. Avoid lifting the lid of your pellet grill and smoker to maintain as much heat as possible.
12. Smoking turkey with a slightly higher temperature (275Â° F) will make your birdâs skin crispy rather than rubbery.
13. Your turkey must pass through the critical zone (40Â°-140Â° F) in 4 hours or less to be safe to eat.
14. When you cut into your turkey, the juices should run clear. If they are colored, your turkey isnât quite done.
15. Tent the bird with foil or rest it in a cooler after it reaches temperature for about 20 minutes. This will ensure a juicier, more flavorful Thanksgiving turkey.
Want More Recipes and Tips?
Find all of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes and cooking tricks on our Thanksgiving 101 page. You can even download a FREE eCookbook!