Honey Brined Smoked Turkey


This is the best Thanksgiving turkey you could possibly imagine. The first time my husband cooked it he was concerned about it getting done, left it on the grill a little longer than suggested, and it literally fell off the bone when we moved it to the serving plate, but I hardly had any leftovers to put away! We have also stuffed the turkey with sweet onion while smoking and it turned out wonderfully.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
4 hrs
Additional Time:
13 hrs
Total Time:
17 hrs 10 mins
12 servings


  • 1 gallon hot water

  • 1 pound kosher salt

  • 2 quarts vegetable broth

  • 1 pound honey

  • 1 (7 pound) bag of ice cubes

  • 1 (15 to 20) pound turkey, giblets removed

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, or as needed

  • 1 cup wood chips


  1. Combine hot water and salt in a 54-quart cooler; stir until salt dissolves. Stir vegetable broth and honey into the water. Add ice and stir. Place the turkey in the brine with the breast facing up; cover with cooler lid. Brine overnight to 12 hours.

  2. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towel; rub vegetable oil over turkey to coat. Discard brine.

  3. Put 1 cup wood chips in the center of each of two large sheets of aluminum foil. Wrap edges around wood chips to form small pouches, leaving small openings at the top.

  4. Preheat an outdoor grill to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and lightly oil the grate. Place 1 pouch of wood chips directly over the flame beneath the grate.

  5. Set the turkey over indirect heat, insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, and set the alarm for 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Close the lid and cook until the turkey's skin is golden brown, about 1 hour. Remove and discard first pouch of wood chips; replace with remaining pouch.

  6. Cover turkey with aluminum foil, return cover to grill and continue cooking until the turkey is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 3 hours more. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C).

  7. Remove the turkey from the grill, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area for 1 hour before carving to serve.

Editor's Note:

The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the brine ingredients. The actual amount of the brine consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

1308 Calories
58g Fat
35g Carbs
154g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 1308
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 58g 74%
Saturated Fat 16g 81%
Cholesterol 447mg 149%
Sodium 15829mg 688%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 33g
Protein 154g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 175mg 13%
Iron 10mg 57%
Potassium 1551mg 33%

* 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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