Prep Time:  15 mins
Cook Time:  170 mins
Total Time:  185 mins
Servings:  1-2

Smoked turkey on a pellet grill might sound like a perfect holiday recipe — and it is! — but we think it also makes a fine “why not?” recipe. As in, “The sun is out, the birds are chirping… why would I not smoke a turkey on this beautiful day?” We certainly support that decision, and we’ll help you pull it off no matter the season. This smoked turkey recipe uses the Traeger Timberline, but any pellet grill can get the job done. With homemade injection marinade, poultry seasoning, and compound butter, guests won’t waste any time gobbling this dish down.


Ingredients for the Turkey

  • 12-15 lb whole turkey
  • ½ cup poultry seasoning blend

Ingredients for the Marinade Injection

  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic powder
  • 1 tsp granulated onion powder
  • 2 tsp dry rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp fennel seed powder
  • ½ tsp dry thyme
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Ingredients for Poultry Seasoning Blend (yields 1.5 cups)

  • 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp thyme
  • 2 Tbsp basil
  • 2 Tbsp marjoram
  • 2 Tbsp rosemary
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom (measure before grinding)
  • 2 tsp ground fennel seeds (measure before grinding)
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch

Ingredients for the Roasting Pan

  • 4 ribs celery
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 ½ lbs new potatoes
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 ½ lb baby Dutch yellow potatoes
  • 5 carrots
  • 2 red/orange bell peppers
  • 2 Tbsp poultry seasoning blend
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • ½ bottle red wine (Cabernet)

Ingredients for the Butter Paste

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ½ bunch fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp freshly chopped sage
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbsp poultry seasoning blend
  • ½ each lemon juice

Items You'll Need


Instructions for Turkey Marinade Injection

  1. Start by making the injection mixture. In a 16-oz. mason jar, add black pepper, oregano, orange zest, lemon zest, honey, Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt, granulated sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, dried rosemary, paprika, cayenne pepper, dried sage, ground coriander, fennel seed powder, dried thyme, white pepper, and brandy.
  2. Pour hot water over the spices until the jar is ¾ full.
  3. pouring hot water over spices in mason jar
  4. Seal the mason jar, shake well, and allow mixture to steep at least 1 hour (but preferably overnight).
  5. After steeping, strain the mixture through a coffee filter to ensure no remaining dry spices clog the injection needle.
  6. Pour the strained marinade back into the mason jar. Incorporate the butter and olive oil with an immersion blender or whisk, then fill your turkey injector with the finished mixture.
  7. Inject the turkey in several spots in the breast, leg, and back to ensure the marinade is well dispersed.
  8. injecting marinade into the turkey
  9. Refrigerate the turkey overnight so it has time to absorb the marinade injection.

    Instructions for Turkey Seasoning & Grill Prep

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the poultry seasoning blend. Set aside.
  2. Fill your Traeger Timberline (or other pellet smoker) with cherry-flavored pellets, and remove the lower cooking grids.
  3. Place a wire cooling rack on the heat deflector inside the grill, and set a roasting/drip pan on top of that. This will allow the vegetable mixture to collect flavorful drippings from the turkey while it roasts.
  4. In the roasting/drip pan, add all the vegetables, poultry seasoning, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and red wine.
  5. pouring bottle of red wine over roasting pan ingredients
  6. Set the bottom grid in its lower position so it sits right above the roasting/drip pan.
  7. In a mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients for the butter paste.
  8. Coat the turkey in a little olive oil, then season the outside with your poultry seasoning blend.
  9. With a gloved hand, apply the butter paste in multiple places under the turkey’s skin. This will allow the turkey to self-baste while roasting.
  10. Rub the remaining butter paste on the outside of the turkey, and rejoice! It’s finally time to get the turkey on the grill.

    Instructions for Turkey Smoke

  1. Set the turkey on the cooking grates above the roasting/drip pan. Put a temperature probe in the thickest part of its breast so you can monitor internal temperature during the cook.
  2. seasoned whole turkey on the grill
  3. Close the grill lid and set the target grill temperature to 325°F. While you’re there, set the target probe temperature to 165°F.
  4. Let the turkey smoke for about 2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Open the lid and baste the turkey with melted butter, then allow it to continue roasting until it reaches the target internal temperature of 165°F.
  5. golden brown turkey at the 2 hour smoke mark on the grill
  6. Turn the grill off and let the turkey rest with the lid closed for about 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the turkey from the grill, slice, serve, and enjoy!