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Smoked Turkey Recipe

Ah, there’s nothing quite like the anticipation of preparing and savoring a delightful smoked turkey, especially when following our tried-and-true smoked turkey recipe.  We know this electric smoker whole turkey recipe is absolutely delicious!

The rising popularity of electric smokers are becoming the go-to for many who want a hassle-free yet incredibly tasty smoked turkey recipe.

So, let’s unravel the secrets of a fantastic smoked turkey recipe, with a special nod to the convenience that electric smokers bring to the table. Let the smokin’ adventure begin!

man holding a smoked turkey recipe

Supplies Needed for this Smoked Turkey Recipe

When it comes to how to electric smoke a turkey, the game is all about convenience, so here’s what you need:

1. Wood Chips

These are the flavor conductors. Opt for your favorite wood chips to infuse that signature smokiness into your turkey.

2. Reliable Meat Thermometer

Precision is key. Ensure you have a trustworthy meat thermometer to guarantee your turkey reaches that perfect, juicy doneness.

3. Quality Wood Pellets

If your electric smoker uses wood pellets, make sure they’re of high quality. The right pellets contribute significantly to the overall taste.

how to choose the right turkey picture

How to Choose the Right Turkey

1. Size Matters

Aim for approximately 1 to 1.5 pounds of turkey per guest. For example, if you’re expecting 10 guests, a turkey in the range of 12 to 15 pounds should suffice. This ensures there’s enough meat for the main meal and potential leftovers.

Consider Leftovers

If you’re a fan of post-Thanksgiving delights like sandwiches and additional meals, it’s wise to lean towards a larger turkey. Adding a few extra pounds ensures you’ll have ample leftovers for the days to come.

Plan Ahead

To alleviate last-minute stress, plan well in advance. Knowing the size of your gathering and understanding the preferences of your guests allows you to select the perfect turkey with confidence.

2. Fresh vs. Frozen

Decide between a fresh or frozen turkey. Fresh turkeys are ideal if you’re planning to smoke immediately, while frozen ones require ample thawing time.

3. Quality Matters

Look for a turkey that’s plump and well-shaped. A good meat-to-bone ratio ensures a juicy and flavorful outcome.

4. Consider Organic or Heritage Options

For a more distinct flavor, you might opt for an organic or heritage turkey. These varieties often boast richer tastes and textures.

5. Check the Label

Pay attention to labels. Turkeys labeled as “self-basting” may already contain added solutions, affecting the smoking process. If you prefer a more natural flavor, choose a turkey without added solutions.

Brine and Seasoning for Smoked Turkey

Brining is a game-changer when it comes to achieving a moist and flavorful smoked turkey. We think every smoked turkey recipe would benefit from brining.

Benefits of Brining

Brining involves soaking the turkey in a saltwater solution, enhancing its moisture retention and imparting rich flavors. This process ensures that every bite is succulent and bursting with taste.

Flavorful Brine Recipe

Try this simple yet flavorful brine recipe for your electric smoker whole turkey recipe:
– Ingredients:
– 1 gallon of water
– 1 cup kosher salt
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– Herbs and spices (rosemary, thyme, garlic)
– Sliced citrus fruits (lemon, orange)

Seasoning Techniques

Sure, you can buy a whole heap of dry rubs and other seasonings, but if you have the time, it is better to make your own.

1. Dry Rub

– Create a dry rub with a mix of your favorite herbs and spices.
– Pat the turkey dry after brining and generously apply the rub for an added layer of flavor.

2. Herb Butter Injection

– Prepare a herb-infused butter and inject it into the turkey for deep-seated seasoning.
– This technique ensures a flavorful and aromatic profile throughout the meat.

smoked turkey recipe showing turkey ready for the electric smoker

Preparing the Turkey for the Smoker

Before you can savor that perfectly smoked turkey, it’s crucial to prepare it meticulously. Follow these steps for optimal results:

1. Thawing

– Ensure your turkey is completely thawed before smoking. Plan ahead and thaw it in the refrigerator, allowing approximately 24 hours for every 5 pounds.

2. Rinsing and Drying

– Give the turkey a gentle rinse under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. This step helps remove any excess brine and ensures a crisp skin during smoking.

3. Trussing (Optional)

– Trussing involves tying the turkey’s legs together, promoting even cooking. While optional, it can result in a more aesthetically pleasing and evenly cooked bird.

4. Bringing to Room Temperature

– Allow the turkey to come to room temperature before smoking. This ensures more even cooking throughout the bird.

Electric Smoker Whole Turkey Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 15


  • 2 tsp of minced garlic
  • 2 Tbs of salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 Tbs black pepper


  • Make the turkey breast free from the neck and giblets
  • Pat it dry with a paper towel
  • Rub and cover the turkey breast with minced garlic, salt and pepper
  • Place the turkey breast in the smoker
  • Smoke it at 270 F
  • Cook until it gets a nice brown color
  • Take it out from the smoker
  • Place butter and turkey on a tin foil
  • Cover it with a tin foil and place it inside the smoker
  • Smoke it at 165 F
  • Take the turkey breast out of the smoker and let it rest for 30 to 45 minutes
  • Slice it before serving

How to Smoke a Turkey

Now comes the exciting part – smoking your turkey to perfection in an electric smoker. Follow these steps for a hassle-free and flavorful experience:

1. Loading the Smoker

– Place your prepared turkey on the smoker racks, ensuring it’s evenly positioned. This allows for consistent smoking and thorough flavor infusion.

2. Setting the Temperature

– Fire up your electric smoker and set the temperature to the recommended level, usually around 225°F (107°C). The controlled temperature ensures even cooking, contributing to a juicy and succulent turkey.

3. Adding Wood Chips

– Choose your favorite wood chips, whether it’s hickory, apple, or cherry, and add them to the smoker. The smoldering wood imparts a delightful smoky flavor to your turkey.

4. Advantages of Using an Electric Smoker

– Electric smokers offer a user-friendly experience with precise temperature control. This means you can achieve that perfect smoke without constant monitoring, giving you more time to enjoy the anticipation of your delicious creation.

5.  Minimal Supervision

– Unlike traditional smokers, electric smokers require minimal supervision. Once you’ve set everything up, you can trust the smoker to do its job, leaving you free to attend to other aspects of your festive gathering.

electric smoker whole turkey photo

Tips For The Best Smoked Turkey

We smoke a lot of things here at electric smokers, like our pork ribs and beef ribs, and, over time we have gathered a few tips and tricks that you will find useful with this electric smoker whole turkey recipe.

1. Use a Drip Pan

Placing a drip pan beneath the turkey serves multiple purposes. Not only does it catch flavorful juices for potential basting or gravy, but it also prevents any drips from causing flare-ups in the smoker.

2. Let the Turkey Rest

Patience is key. Allow your beautifully smoked turkey to rest for at least 15-20 minutes before carving. This crucial step lets the juices redistribute, resulting in a more succulent and flavorful eating experience.

3. Enhanced Juiciness

The controlled environment of electric smokers ensures a consistent cooking process, leading to a turkey that’s juicy and flavorful from edge to edge. Embrace the advantages of modern smoking technology for a reliable and delectable outcome.

4. Experiment with Wood Varieties

Don’t hesitate to experiment with different wood chip varieties. Each type imparts a unique flavor, so whether you prefer a bold hickory or a subtle applewood, adjusting the wood allows you to tailor the taste to your liking.

5. Monitor Internal Temperature

Invest in a reliable meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of your turkey. Aim for a safe minimum of 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the meat for both safety and optimal doneness.

And that is our whole turkey electric smoker recipe.  We truly hope you enjoy it!



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