Spice-Rubbed Smoked Turkey

Total Time
10hrs 40mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 10 hrs 30 mins

This turkey goes with recipes for Roasted-Pear Stuffing and Cranberry Syrup. Make sure to begin early enough to allow for marinating time. All recipes originated with Cooking Light.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Remove and discard giblets and neck from turkey. Trim excess fat, then rinse turkey with cold water and pat dry. Loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Lift wing tips up and over back, and tuck under turkey. Place turkey on a jelly-roll pan. Combine the brown sugar and the next 7 ingredients (brown sugar through coriander). Rub seasoning mixture over and under skin. Cover turkey with plastic wrap; refrigerate 8 hours.
  2. Soak wood chunks in water 1 hour, and drain well. Place a large, disposable aluminum-foil pan in center of bottom grill rack. Place 25 charcoal briquettes on each side of the pan; ignite briquettes. Place wood chunks over hot coals. Coat top grill rack with cooking spray; place over foil pan and hot coals. Uncover the turkey; remove from jelly-roll pan. Place on top rack over aluminum-foil pan. Insert a meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Cover and smoke turkey 2 1/2 hours or until meat thermometer registers 180°, adding 8 additional briquettes to each side of drip pan every hour.
  3. (Cover the turkey loosely with foil if it becomes too brown. Turkey should be a deep mahogany brown when done. Closely monitor the grill to make sure the coals burn steadily, with continuous smoke, although don't check too often as lifting the grill lid decreases the inside temperature significantly).
  4. Serve with Roasted-Pear Stuffing (Recipe #194583) and Cranberry Syrup (Recipe #194648).
Most Helpful

The seasoning was excellent! The nomenclature is a bit confusing, however. It should be "Herb-Rubbed Charcoal-Roasted Turkey" because first of all, the turkey is not smoked, which takes several hours over a slow fire; and secondly, primarily herbs - not spices - are used. I know. I know. I'm picky. But once a writer/editor, always a writer/editor!!

Jane from "the island" November 09, 2010

I think I found the go-to recipe for Thanksgiving now! This recipe doesn't require basting which is great. I put a 15 lb. marinated turkey onto a gas grill and grilled it at 375 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. The bird turned out fantastic! All I had to do was to maintain the temperature of the grill during cooking. Flavorwise, I mixed 2 tablespoons smoked paprika with all the spices and herbs stated in this recipe. That's the only change I made. Great recipe! Thanks for posting!

SharonChen July 29, 2015

This was nicely seasoned, moist and delicious. I think that the cook time may refer to an electric smoker. We have a charcoal smoker which took considerably longer to cook the turkey. We actually had cooked it on Sunday, sliced it and froze it until dinner today. I defrosted in the refrigerator, covered it with foil and warmed it while the rest of Thanksgiving dinner cooked. It was a huge hit!

PaulaG November 23, 2006

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