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Smoked Turkey

Traeger Kitchen

Smoked Turkey

Prep Time



Cook Time




6 - 8




What's this?

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.


  • 2 Cup kosher salt

  • 2 Cup sugar

  • 2 Gallon Water (1/2 Gal is Ice)

  • 1 (12-14 lb) turkey, fresh or thawed

  • 1/2 Cup kosher salt

  • 1/2 Cup coarse ground black pepper

  • (3 sticks) unsalted butter


  • 1

    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 one quart water and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar.
  • 2

    Pour salt and sugar concentrate into a bucket, add ice and water up to 2 gallons and stir until cooled.
  • 3

    Prepare your turkey by removing the neck, gizzards and truss, if pre-trussed (reserve gizzards for gravy or stock). Trim off excess skin and fat near the cavity and neck.
  • 4

    Place the turkey in bucket with the brine. Cover with a couple of plates to keep the turkey submerged. Cover bucket and place in fridge until ready to cook the next afternoon.
  • 5

    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.
  • 6

    Rinse the turkey under cold water and pat dry. Place on a clean dry surface.
  • 7

    Mix 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.
  • 8

    When ready to cook, set temperature to 180℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes. For optimal flavor, use Super Smoke if available.
  • 9

    Place the turkey directly on the grill grate so the legs and thighs are towards the hotter area of your smoker and the breast to the cooler side. Smoke at 180°F for 2 hours.
  • 10

    Increase the grill temperature 225°F for the next hour.
  • 11

    Finally increase the grill temperature to 325°F to finish it off.
  • 12

    Check the turkey after a couple hours for color. It should be a light golden brown.
  • 13

    When it reaches your desired color place the turkey 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.
  • 14

    Cook until temperature in the breast reaches 165°F and the thigh reaches 180°F.
  • 15

    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.