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Whole smoked turkey on a serving platter surrounded by fresh apples and herbs.
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4.98 from 37 votes

Smoked Turkey

This smoked turkey is the perfect turkey to serve on Thanksgiving or other special occasions. The turkey is delicious and tender, and the whole bird tastes like it came from an upscale restaurant! I can guarantee this smoked turkey will take your holiday meal to the next level.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time7 hours
Resting Time15 minutes
Total Time7 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Barbecue
Keyword: Smoked Turkey
Servings: 7 people
Author: Susie Bulloch


  • 1 15-pound turkey defrosted
  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Sweet Rub Link in recipe notes


  • Preheat. Preheat whatever type of grill you are using for indirect smoking at 225 degrees F. If you're using gas, turn on half of the burners to medium-low and leave the other half off. If you are using charcoal, preheat your coals until just ashed over, dump them on one far side of your grill, and set the vents to about 25% open. If you are using a dedicated smoker, preheat your grill to 225 degrees F. Add the wood chunks or chips, if needed, to achieve a thin blue smoke.
  • Prep the turkey. Remove your defrosted turkey from the packaging. Remove the neck and giblets from the inside cavity of the bird. If your turkey has been brined, carefully rinse the exterior of the turkey with cold water. Pat the turkey down on all sides with a paper towel. Tie the legs together with butcher's twine and tuck the wing tips behind the shoulder joint.
  • Season. Coat the exterior of the bird with olive oil or melted butter and then season on all sides with the Sweet Rub.
  • Smoke the turkey. Place the turkey directly on the grill grates, close the lid, and smoke the turkey. At 225 degrees F, you can plan on approximately 30 minutes per pound for your turkey to smoke. For example, this 15 pound turkey will take 7 and 1/2 hours at 225 degrees F. I always plan an extra 30 minutes, just in case.
  • Remove to a serving platter. Use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature of the turkey in the breast and thigh. Make sure you test both sides of the bird, ESPECIALLY if you are smoking on a gas or charcoal grill where the temperatures of your grill may have been higher on one side than the other. You will be going off of the lowest reading you get from each side of the turkey. Once all temperatures are above 165 degrees F, it is time to remove the smoked turkey to a large platter or cutting board.
  • Rest. Allow the turkey to rest for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving. If your turkey is done a little early, cover the turkey with foil and wrap with towels to insulate and keep the heat at a safe serving temperature.
  • Enjoy! All that's left is to decide if you're a light or dark meat person, slice into that pretty bird, and get after it! Happy Thanksgiving!



Calories: 697kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 100g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 331mg | Sodium: 524mg | Potassium: 1059mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 369IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 5mg