Flaming Rooster Smoked Turkey (Whole)

Fried Turkeys get all the hype - if you can do it without burning your house down.  

Smoking a whole turkey is an easy and fun process.  With this recipe, eating Turkey won't ever be the same for you and your family.


test position 1 0  -  Author: Flaming Rooster BBQ
Ready in: 12h  -  Cooking time: 20m  -  Waiting time: 20m
Rating 4.00/5
Flaming Rooster Smoked Turkey (Whole)


For 10 people ()

  • 1 Whole Turkey
  • 1 Large Bucket
  • 2 gallon(s) Water
  • 2 cup(s) Kosher Salt
  • 3 cup(s) Sugar
  • 0.25 cup(s) Zatarain's liquid crab boil
  • 4 tablespoon(s) Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon(s) Dried Rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon(s) Thyme
  • 0.25 cup(s) Molasses
  • 0.25 cup(s) Worcestershire
  • 1 Tony Chachere's (not for the brine)
  • 2 part(s) Butter (not for the brine)


Smoking a Turkey is a 2 part process - brining the turkey and smoking the turkey.  You want to start with a Turkey ranging from 10 - 14 pounds (any Turkey over 14 pounds is not recommended to smoke - it's too large to get the internal temperature where you need it wihout drying out other parts of the bird).

The Brining Process:

1.  In a large pot or bucket (I use a bucket from Home Depot that clean), add all of the ingredients in this recipe and mix well (with the exception of the Turkey).

2.  Remove the Turkey from the plastic, remove the internal bag & neck and wash the Turkey well with cold water.

3.  Submerge the Turkey in the bucket of large pot.  The Turkey will want to float, so put something heavy in a large Ziploc freezer bag, such as a brick or rocks - place it onto of the Turkey and make sure it's fully submerged.

4.  Cover the Bucket or Pot with Foil and refrigerate 12 hours.


The Smoking Process:

The key to smoking a Turkey is slow & low.  You want your grill constant at 225 degree's.  Flaming Rooster BBQ recommends using Maple or Hickory Wood.

1.  Remove the Turkey from the Brine and rinse thoroughly with water, making sure all sediment is removed from the Turkey.  Remember, Brine is not like a Rub where the flavor is on the outside of the meat.  The Brining process infuses the flavor into the meat through the liquid.

2.  Pat the Turkey dry with paper towels and place on a baking sheet.

3.  OPTIONAL:  We like to cut up even parts White Onion, Apple, and Celery and jam in the cavity of the Turkey until it's full.  This add some extra flavor and moisture during the smoking process.

4.  OPTIONAL:  To add additional flavor and flare you can inject your Turkey with injection marinade.  The brine alone gives it plenty of flavor, so if you do chose to inject the Turkey, go light on it!

5.  Melt a 1/2 stick of butter and mix in Tony Chacere's into the Butter.  Baste the Turkey generously with this mixture.

6.  Place the Turkey on the Smoker breast side UP (uncovered).

Big Green Egg Heads:  I highly recommend taking a baking or aluminum pan that can fit between the grill and place setter (place setter should be feet up) - fill the pan almost to the top with water and throw in 2 whole sticks of butter.  This buttery vapor will have your Turkey so moist you won't believe it.

Regular Smokers:  Smoking a Turkey on a regular smoker has 2 keys to success - constant low temperature (225 degrees) & moisture.  Putting a water pan in the smoker is a must.  But you also want to baste the Turkey every hour with a spray bottle or baste.

How long to smoke?  As a rule of thumb at 225 degrees it should take 30 minutes per pound to smoke (so for example a 12 pound Turkey should take 6 hours).

When is it done?  When the thickest part of the Turkey Breast reaches 165 degree's, the Turkey is ready.

Let the Turkey rest at least 15 minutes, cut & serve!

Your comments on this recipe (4)

by Jen Christensen, on Thursday, 23 November 2017
Amazing! I watched your video over and over again. Thank you! Our turkey was perfection. It was almost too pretty to eat!
by Zack, on Monday, 30 November 2015
We used a fresh 14lb Amish turkey. Took about 6 hours- we had a little problem regulating the heat and couldn't get it under 270 (need to replace the felt gasket). Started checking it at 4.5 hours- internal temp of 165 wasn't quite done enough- we ended up at 170....and everyone thought it was fantastic!
by John Biswanger, on Thursday, 22 October 2015
Many supermarket turkeys are injected with a salt brine. Big names lie Butter Ball. So the point is not to brine them again.
by William R. Morton, on Friday, 08 May 2015
Just gonna say - have had kamado sittin' in back yard for what must have been decades - fired it up recently - GOOD Stuff - glad I got one back before they rivaled the price of some houses - Stumbled onto this site - THANK YOU - Great Info - Nicely put together Web Site -- Morton - by the way - Hope ya got somethin' on Prime Rib Roast / or / Standing Rib Roast