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Smoked Turkey by Rob Cooks

Difficulty 3/5
|
Prep time 8 hrs

Cook time 5 hrs
|
Serves 6-8

Hardwood Hickory

This Smoked Turkey recipe comes to us from Rob Cooks, and he knows how to cook up a moist, flavorful, and tasty bird. The sweet brine tenderizes, and the simple rub lets the true flavor of the protein shine through. This is a sure bet for a delicious feast any time of year.

Ingredients

Smoked Turkey by RobCooks

1 (12-14 lb) Turkey, Fresh or Thawed

3/4 lb (3 sticks) Unsalted Butter

1 (5 gal) Bucket or Stock Pot

Foil Pan, large enough for turkey

Heavy Duty Foil

Brine

2 cups Kosher Salt

2 cups Sugar

2 GALS (1/2 GAL IS ICE) Water

Rub

1/2 cup Kosher Salt

1/2 cup Coarse Ground Black Pepper

Preparation

This method requires an overnight brining so collect everything the day before your meal.

The afternoon before, prepare your brine by adding the kosher salt and sugar to a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour salt and sugar concentrate into a bucket, add ice and water up to 2 gallons.

Prepare your turkey by removing the neck, gizzards and truss, if pre-trussed. Trim off excess skin and fat near the cavity and neck. Place the turkey in bucket with the brine. If it floats, place a plate or two on top to keep the turkey submerged. Cover bucket and place in fridge until ready to cook the next afternoon.

When ready to cook, set temperature to 180℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.

Remove your turkey from the brine. Remember there's a cavity full of water so make sure to do this over the sink, otherwise you'll have brine all over the place. Set your turkey down on a cookie sheet to prepare it for the smoker.

Mix up the kosher salt and pepper in a shaker, sprinkle the rub on all parts of the turkey, don't sprinkle inside the cavity! There is no need to tie up the legs and wings with this method. The fan in the Traeger pushes air all around the turkey during the cook.

Put the turkey on the grill at 180°F for 2 hours, 225°F for the next hour, and finally 325°F to finish it off. Place it so the legs and thighs are towards the hotter area of your smoker and the breast to the cooler side. Check the turkey after a couple hours for color. When it reaches your desired color place it in the foil pan.

Cut the butter up into squares and pile them on the turkey.

Wrap in heavy-duty foil and put it back on the smoker. Cook until temperature in the breast reaches 165°F and the thigh reaches 180°F.
Remove from smoker and allow it to rest for 30 minutes before carving.

See Rob Cook's original recipe here and follow him on Instagram @rob.cooks.

*Cook times will vary depending on set and ambient temperatures.

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