How To Smoke A Turkey on a Kamado Grill
We simply love this recipe for smoked turkey. The aromatics the turkey picks up from the fruits and vegetables is the perfect complement to the lightly smoked flavor the meat gets from wood. Try this recipe this Thanksgiving, or another time when you're craving a delicious turkey. See how I seasoned this bird by checking out my Turkey Seasoning Recipe.
SERVES 6-8 PREP 24 hours COOK 3 1/2 hours
- Whole turkey, 12-16 lbs.
- Wood chips or chunks (pecan, apple or cherry recommended)
- 3 cups apple cider
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- Couple sticks of celery
- Green apple, quartered
- A few cloves of garlic
- Fresh mushrooms
- Fresh herbs: rosemary, sage, thyme (it's up to you)
- Turkey Seasoning:
- 1 stick butter
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp fresh chopped thyme
- 2 tsp parsley
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp rosemary
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Begin by making a butter paste using a diced stick of softened butter, a little salt and cracked black pepper to taste, three cloves of minced garlic, two teaspoons each of freshly chopped thyme, parsley, and oregano, and one teaspoon of rosemary.
- Add the zest of one lemon or orange if you prefer and using a fork, mash it together into a rough paste drizzle in a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and blend it into a fairly smooth paste
- Once your paste is made, remove the neck, and spare parts from the inside of the turkey. Save these for later, it's what will make our gravy so amazing. It's time to rub the turkey down inside and out with some olive oil, which will help it to brown up nicely and help it retain some moisture.
- Add a little salt and pepper inside the cavity.
- Using your fingers gently separate the skin from the flesh on about sixty percent of your turkey; at the fronts and backs of the breasts and thighs.
- Where you separated the skin, begin to take small portions of your paste and liberally pack it inside, using your hands to spread it around. This is going to keep our turkey moist and give it tons of awesome flavor. Don't leave the cavity out, make sure to coat the inside well.
- And we're ready to chop our aromatics, a little celery, a couple onions, a green apple quartered, one red bell pepper, a few cloves of garlic, and some fresh herbs; some rosemary, sage, and thyme. Stuff whatever will fit, inside of your turkey and the rest will go in your roasting pan.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator over night.
- Fill your grill with natural lump charcoal and light the top of the pile to allow for a low and slow burn.
- Once the fire is going, add a few large, dry wood chunks into the fire. After about twenty minutes, you should have a good amount of smoke and a steady temperature of 250°F - 325°F.
- Place a shallow water pan in the center of your cooking grid and something to hold your roasting pan. Add the turkey to the pan.
- Add the apple cider and vinegar to the roasting pan, along with the apples and other aromatics.
- Close the lid and ensure that your temperature stays between 250°F and 325°F, basting every 30 to 45 minutes.
- After about 45 minutes, check on the turkey and baste if necessary.
- Once it's been smoking about an hour and a half, check the pan to make sure it doesn't run dry. Give a quick mop with your basting brush.
- In the last hour I like to add some chopped mushrooms to the roasting pan, you could also add any other vegetables you might like at this time. They will cook with an amazing flavor and add even more flavor to your final gravy.
- After two and a half hours, this will be the final mopping, then we'll let it smoke for another thirty to forty five minutes and start watching the internal temperature closely. We're looking for around 165°F in the thickest part of the breast.
- Once the turkey has been smoking for roughly three hours and fifteen minutes, it's time to remove the turkey and allow it to rest, before carving. Make sure to drain the excess juices from the cavity, we'll need that in a bit for our gravy.
- Carve the turkey, prepare a turkey gravy if desired and enjoy!
Wine: Merlot, Pinot Noir
Beer: Weizenbock, American Porter
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Read more articles by Chef Tony Matassa, ShoppersChoice.com, LLC.