This is a great recipe for smoked turkey. A barbecue grill is nearly impossible to cook a large bird. A smoker is best for this. I prefer hickory chips or hickory wood. Hickory generates a more even smokiness than other woods, and it does not matter whether the wood is green or seasoned. Mesquite, if not well seasoned, will generate a creosote type coating because of the sap that oozes out of the wood while cooking.

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Ingredients

13
Original recipe yields 13 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat smoker to 225 to 250 degrees F (110 to 120 degrees C).

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  • Rinse turkey under cold water, and pat dry. Rub the crushed garlic over the outside of the bird, and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Place in a disposable roasting pan. Fill turkey cavity with butter, cola, apple, onion, garlic powder, salt, and ground black pepper. Cover loosely with foil.

  • Smoke at 225 to 250 degrees F (110 to 120 degrees C) for 10 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C) when measured in the thickest part of the thigh. Baste the bird every 1 to 2 hours with the juices from the bottom of the roasting pan.

Nutrition Facts

625.2 calories; 71.2 g protein; 9.8 g carbohydrates; 225.1 mg cholesterol; 1184.8 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (219)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
11/04/2003
I sing praises here. I used applewood instead of hickory. And I used an LP water smoker instead of charcoal. Much easier and quicker (5 hours instead of 10 for a 12 lb free-range turkey). I knew I had a winner on my hands with the YELPS of joy from people who tasted the first slices of the bird. INTENSE smoky flavor (the applewood was a good choice). And the Pepsi-Cola and butter and apple and onion and garlic inside hit the spot giving it incredible sweetness. I brined this turkey first using a brine recipe I got on this site (with salt and brown sugar and rosemary (which I added)). This was one of the best turkeys I've ever prepared. The skin was very dark with smoke, with when you pricked it, it snapped. Inside the turkey was surprisingly moist. A definite hit. Almost sinister and alien it was so intensely flavored. Read More
(514)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
03/28/2003
Some guests totally enjoyed this but definately preferred the fried turkey we make. The fried turkey was favored for both flavor and moistness. It's always fun to try new things in our smoker though. Read More
(20)
260 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 227
  • 4 star values: 24
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 5 stars
11/04/2003
I sing praises here. I used applewood instead of hickory. And I used an LP water smoker instead of charcoal. Much easier and quicker (5 hours instead of 10 for a 12 lb free-range turkey). I knew I had a winner on my hands with the YELPS of joy from people who tasted the first slices of the bird. INTENSE smoky flavor (the applewood was a good choice). And the Pepsi-Cola and butter and apple and onion and garlic inside hit the spot giving it incredible sweetness. I brined this turkey first using a brine recipe I got on this site (with salt and brown sugar and rosemary (which I added)). This was one of the best turkeys I've ever prepared. The skin was very dark with smoke, with when you pricked it, it snapped. Inside the turkey was surprisingly moist. A definite hit. Almost sinister and alien it was so intensely flavored. Read More
(514)
Rating: 5 stars
09/12/2006
Excellent recipe. This really does blow your guests away. I have made this several times and I have a few tips. Fyi- I use a electric brinkmann smoker. Don't use a brine if your turkey is injected with a soulution (butterball). 10 to 14 lbs is best. It will definitely take a mininum 10 hours (at 220-230 degrees). 1 can of cola or a 16oz bottle is plenty. I like a hickory/pecan wood mix (pecan is smoother). Don't smoke after the bird reaches 140degrees. degrees.I only baste every 3-4 hours when I check the wood.I also like to rub the bird with rosemary. Enjoy..It's the best turkey you will ever have! Read More
(334)
Rating: 5 stars
01/25/2004
This is the best smoked turkey I have ever fixed. I used an electric smoker and it took about 10 hours for a 14 lb. turker. I also used the brine with the kosher salt and brown sugar. Thank you for bringing this recipe to everyone! Read More
(285)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/25/2004
This was my first attempt at smoking a turkey. We had relatives over for Christmas dinner so I smoked this turkey recipe (13 pound bird) and baby back ribs at the same time. Wow! What a great combination. I have had my share of smoked turkey prior to this one but have decided there is no need to go looking for a better recipe. This was the best smoked turkey I have ever had and it had rave reviews from out dinner guests. My daughter-in-law said the turkey defines the word "succulent". She said "you just want to sit there and suck all the juices out". Read More
(103)
Rating: 5 stars
11/28/2019
We smoked a 28lb turkey for the company Thanksgiving party using this recipe last year. There were 5 other traditional turkeys at this party but ours was the only one completely gobbled up. One minor adjustment we made to the recipe was to add 1C apple cider to the brine recipe (out of this world brine) we found on this site. To complete the brining process we stuffed the turkey into a roasting bag (it was a tight squeeze)poured the brine into the bag and set the turkey in a roasting pan rotating the turkey every hour or so overnight. We chose to use applewood and cherry chips in our grill (we didn't have a smoker). Don't forget to smoke the turkey in a roasting pan and keep injecting the drippings back into the turkey.Yum. Thanksgiving 2019 If you want an out of this world simple and easy greens recipe cook the greens in 2 cups of chicken broth. The last 2 hours or so add "all" the drippings plus the apple/onion/garlic stuffing from your smoked turkey. Throw in a smoked wing or leg for extra flavor. The mixture has a great smoked not sweet flavor. Read More
(100)
Rating: 5 stars
11/25/2004
This was awesome! I used a brining recipe from here. Let the turkey set in the brine over night. Followed this recipe as well as injecting the bird with a marinade and then covering the top with Tony's Cajun seasoning. I slow cooked a 10lb bird for 10 hours. I kept the heat at around 220 most of the time. Hickory used to smoke. It was most excellent. Best turkey I ever ate. My family demolished it. Thanks! Read More
(80)
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Rating: 4 stars
12/16/2004
AWESOME FLAVOR BUT WATCH THE TIME JUST BECAUSE THE BIRD WEIGHS MORE DON'T LEAVE IT IN LONGER! Read More
(64)
Rating: 5 stars
11/04/2003
WORTH THE TIME! Plan on a day relaxing in your favorite lawn chair getting up once every hour only to throw on some more woodchips and getting another beer. Although this recipe takes 10 hours its a sinch and worth every moment. The only alteration I made is soaking the turkey in salt water a couple of hours before smoking (1 1/2 to 2 cups Kosher salt desolved in enough water to cover the turkey). Read More
(52)
Rating: 5 stars
01/25/2004
Excellent recipe. Turkey was a big hit with guests on Thanksgiving. The turkey did take about 11 hours on our electric smoker - we had a 14 pounder. Thanks! Read More
(51)
Rating: 3 stars
03/28/2003
Some guests totally enjoyed this but definately preferred the fried turkey we make. The fried turkey was favored for both flavor and moistness. It's always fun to try new things in our smoker though. Read More
(20)