Total Time
4hrs 15mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 4 hrs

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2004 See this recipe on air Tuesday Nov. 13 at 12:00 AM ET/PT. Show: Food Network Specials Episode: All Star Thanksgiving

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine the hot water and the salt in a 54-quart cooler. Stir until the salt dissolves. Stir in the vegetable broth and the honey. Add the ice and stir. Place the turkey in the brine, breast side up, and cover with cooler lid. Brine overnight, up to 12 hours.
  2. Remove the turkey from the brine and dry thoroughly. Rub the bird thoroughly with the vegetable oil.
  3. Heat the grill to 400 degrees F.
  4. Using a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil, build a smoke bomb. Place a cup of hickory wood chips in the center of the foil and gather up the edges, making a small pouch. Leave the pouch open at the top. Set this directly on the charcoal or on the metal bar over the gas flame. Set the turkey over indirect heat, insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast meat, and set the alarm for 160 degrees F. Close the lid and cook for 1 hour.
  5. After 1 hour check the bird; if the skin is golden brown, cover with aluminum foil and continue cooking. Also, after 1 hour, replace wood chips with second cup.
  6. Once the bird reaches 160 degrees F, remove from grill, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 1 hour. Carve and serve.
  7. Recipe Summary.
  8. Difficulty: Easy
  9. Prep Time: 15 minutes
  10. Inactive Prep Time: 13 minutes
  11. Cook Time: 4 hours
  12. Yield: 10 to 12 servings.


Most Helpful

This is brine is TO DIE FOR! I have been using this recipe since I saw it on Alton. I do not change a thing and my bird (around a 20-21 pounder) always turns out great. Time and time again guests ask me for the recipe. I use a large round Eskimo cooler (like those used for drinking water on the road crew). The night before I add the hot water, salt, honey and broth. Stir. Add ice. Drop the turkey in and pop the lid onto the cooler. I set it in the garage for a good 12 hrs. The next morning I fire up the Webber until the coals are hot -- move coals to each side -- add a foil pan in middle -- replace grill -- dry off bird and then oil -- place bird on rack over pan -- put some already soaked wood chips onto the coals on either side -- add more briquettes hourly. Voila!! The tastiest and moistest turkey ever.

WaCookinFool November 03, 2008

Brine and smoked there's no better way to eat turkey for the holidays

Brandon P. December 25, 2014

I made this on my gas smoker. I turned it all the way up but was able to get it to 400 degrees. It took around 3 hours for a 15 pound bird. It was awesome, There wasn't any turkey left over and the bones were picked clean. This was the best turkey I have ever eaten. Most everyone else agreed.

jtwtech December 15, 2012

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