Easy Smoked Turkey


Smoked turkey is an easy and delightful way to cook a turkey while relaxing. I know lots of people are a bit apprehensive about preparing their first smoked turkey. I have smoked over 100 and never had a bad one. The skin is beautifully tanned, and the meat is so juicy.

an overhead view of a gorgeous whole smoked turkey on a platter with fresh herbs
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs 20 mins
1 whole turkey


  • 1 (12 pound) thawed whole turkey, neck and giblets removed

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh savory

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

  • 1 tablespoon salt (Optional)

  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

  • cup olive oil

  • ½ cup water


  1. Rinse turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Combine savory, sage, salt, and black pepper in a bowl; rub 2 tablespoons herb mixture inside the turkey cavity and inside the neck cavity. Loosen turkey skin over breast and legs; rub remaining 2 tablespoons herb mixture underneath loosened skin. Rub olive oil over entire turkey.

  2. Light 20 charcoal briquettes and place 10 on each side on the lower grate of a kettle charcoal grill. Place a drip pan or disposable aluminum baking pan in the middle of the lower grate and pour in water. When the coals are gray with ash, place a 2-inch square piece of hickory or other hardwood onto each bank of coals.

  3. Place turkey on the cooking grate and cover the grill. Monitor the heat with a grill thermometer to maintain a temperature between 150 and 250 degrees F (65 to 120 degrees C); add 3 to 5 coals to each side, about every 90 minutes. If pieces of hardwood burn away, add more to keep a steady stream of smoke rising from the wood. If open flames erupt when you open the lid, douse them with a drizzle of water or beer.

  4. Smoke turkey for 20 minutes per pound, about 4 hours; let the heat increase to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) during the last hour of smoking. An instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh, not touching a bone, should reach at least 165 degrees F (75 degrees C).


You can also brine the turkey with 1 cup salt per gallon of water for 12 hours in the refrigerator (this helps thaw it faster, too).

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

693 Calories
34g Fat
0g Carbs
91g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 693
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 34g 43%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 265mg 88%
Sodium 801mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 91g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 89mg 7%
Iron 6mg 33%
Potassium 912mg 19%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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