Grilled and Smoked Herb Turkey
This is by far my favorite way to make a turkey. It is brined and then lightly smoked in my kamado grill. It is one of the moistest turkeys you’ll ever make.
I start out by brining it the night before. First thing in the morning I take it out of the brine and pat it dry with paper towels. Then I refrigerate it uncovered until I am ready to put the herb butter under the skin. The drier the skin gets the crispier the skin is.
I make a the herb butter using thyme, garlic, parsley, cracked pepper and sage. You are going to loosen pockets under the skin where you can and slather the herb butter under the skin. I love doing it this way because as the butter melts it bastes the turkey.
Then I get the grill ready. I soak the wood chips I am going to use for at least 20 minutes before adding them to the fire. Once I put the turkey on I resist the urge to open the grill for at least 2 hours. I add another bunch of chips and close it up after checking the temperature of the turkey. You are going to cook the turkey until it reaches a temperature of 165 degrees in the breast and 180 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh.
I served this turkey with a delicious Cranberry Pecan Wild Rice.
- 10 - 12 lb. turkey
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 gallon apple cider
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 gallon heavily iced water
- Herb Butter
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped sage
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- 3 - 4 garlic cloves minced
- black pepper
- Add 2 cups of apple cider to a saucepan with the brown sugar. When the brown sugar is melted remove from heat. Stir in the salt until it dissolved. Add it to the remaining cider and spices. Put the turkey in a pan that is deep enough for the brine to cover it. Add water as needed to submerse the turkey in the brine. Refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning remove turkey from brine. Discard brine. Pat the turkey with paper towels. Refrigerate uncovered until 1 hour before you are going to cook it.
- Mix together the herb butter. Loosen pockets of skin from the turkey and put the butter under the skin.
- Start the grill and soak a couple cups of wood chips. I use apple or cherry wood chips usually.
- Spread the charcoal around the outer edge of the grill. Add half of the soaked wood chips. Place the turkey in the center of the grill. Turn down the drafts so that the temperature is around 275 degrees. Cook for 2 hours without opening the grill. Add remaining wood chips and check the temperature. Close lid and check again in about an hour. You want the breast to be cooked to 165 degrees and the thickest part of the thigh to be 180 degrees. The cooking time will depend on the weight of your turkey.
- Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing it.