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TraditionalThanksgiving Turkey

Difficulty 3/5
Prep time 15 mins

Cook time 3 hrs
Serves 8-12

Hardwood Cherry

The best Thanksgiving turkey recipe calls for simple spices & primal wood-fired flavor. Traeger is your recipe for success.


1 (18-20lb) turkey

1/2 lb butter, softened

8 sprigs thyme

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 sprig rosemary, rough chop

1 tbsp cracked black pepper

1/2 tbsp kosher salt


Start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 300 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 5 to 10 minutes. 

In a small bowl, combine butter with minced garlic, thyme leaves, chopped rosemary, black pepper and kosher salt.

Prep the turkey by separating the skin from the breast creating a pocket to stuff the butter-herb mixture in. Cover the entire breast with 1/4" thickness of butter mixture.

Season the whole turkey with kosher salt and black pepper. Optional: Stuff turkey cavity with Traditional Stuffing recipe.

Place turkey on the grill and smoke for 3-4 hours. Check the internal temperature, the desired temperature is 175 degrees F in the thigh next to the bone, and 160 degrees F in the breast. Turkey will continue to cook once taken off grill to reach a final temperature of 165 degrees F in the breast.

Let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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  • Maryland
Best Turkey Ever
I have had a Traeger for 3 years now. I use it for the basics. Steak, chops, ribs, pulled pork. Finally, I got the courage to do Thanksgiving turkey.

I did not follow this recipe exactly. Instead, I mixed fresh squeezed orange juice with olive oil. I brushed the 20 lb bird with this. Then I mixed kosher salt, pepper and herbs de province and rubbed the oiled bird with that mixture. Put the juiced orange halves in the bird's cavity.

Set my grill to smoke and when ready, 180. Slow roasted bird at 180 degrees for 2 and half hours. Then I turned grill to 225 and put the bird on a roasting pan. Another 4 hours and we had the juiciest best-tasting turkey I have ever had. My wife does not really like turkey and my son complains it is usually too dry. Not this time. It is Monday and we have very little turkey left. They could not get enough.

I am never using another method to roast a turkey. I do think I need a larger Traeger as the tailgater barely held a 20-pounder
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  • Oregon
Perfect Turkey!
This was the first time I have tried a Turkey on the Traeger and it was a big gamble to do it on Thanksgiving Day. Followed the recipe and added chopped onion, chopped garlic, and orange slices to the cavity. It was about a 25 pound bird and I thought I would need about 5 hours but it hit 160 closer to 4 hours. I turned the grill down to 165 and internal temp peaked at a perfect 165. I had to keep it warm for about an hour prior to meal time and was a little nervous it might dry out. Maybe it did a little but regardless when I began to carve it was clear this would be the most juicy and tender turkey we had ever had; and it was! Flavor was amazing too! Blew away the second bird we did in the oven. I will be doing this again and again!
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  • Arizona
Incredible Thanksgiving Turkey
Tried this recipe for our Thanksgiving dinner this year. We cooked two turkeys, our regular one in the oven which is always great and one on the Traeger following the recipe pretty much to the directions other then I stuffed the inside of the bird with cut up apples soaked in maple syrup along with cut up oranges. I also placed a small tin of apple juice in the corner. Not only did it come out amazing but everyone said over and over this was the most incredible turkey they ever had. It came out amazing, moist and very tender. Just some notes for help, I cooked a 20 lbs bird at 300* and pulled it at exactly 4 hours with the temperature in the deep part of the breast at 160*.
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