In order to successfully smoke a turkey you’ll need a couple of pieces of equipment. A probe type thermometer will insure that the bird is cooked to the correct degree. You’ll also need a covered grill large enough to accommodate the turkey in a disposable roasting pan and wood chunks or chips for smoking. The grill or smoker also should have its’ own temperature gauge.
Don’t attempt to smoke a turkey much larger than 12 pounds or it may dry out,
1 quart very hot water
1 cup table salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dried thyme leaves
1 Tbsp crushed rosemary
2 quarts very cold water
1 12 pound turkey
1. The day before prepare the brine.
2. In a large Dutch oven, combine the hot water, salt, sugar, and spices. Stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved, add the cold water and let cool completely.
3. Thoroughly wash the turkey and place in an oven or brining bag. Add the brine to cover. A little extra cold water may be added if necessary. Tie the bag off and refrigerate in the Dutch oven overnight or up to 24 hours.
4. Remove the turkey from the brine, discarding the brine. Using cold water, wash the brine and spices off very well, then pat dry. Rub the outside of the turkey with cooking oil and place in a disposable aluminum roasting pan.
5. Let the turkey rest at room temperature 30 minutes or so while you prepare the smoker.
6. Soak several large chunks of smoking wood in water 30 minutes to1 hour, then drain. Making sure you have an adequate amount of lump charcoal in the grill, add the wood and light. Stabilize the temperature in the smoker at 300°.
7. Place the probe thermometer in the thickest part of the breast. Do not allow the tip of the probe to touch the bone.
8. Put the turkey in the pan on the grill rack and close the lid. Keep a close eye on the temperature of the grill to keep it at 300°, adjusting the vents as needed.
9. When the turkey is cooked to 165° remove it to a tray or platter and tent with foil. Allow the bird to rest 30 minutes before carving.