Smoked Turkey

Recipe by Toby Jermain
READY IN: 12hrs 30mins
SERVES: 8-10


  • 14 -16
    lbs turkey, fresh or thawed completely
  • 2 -3
    tablespoons lemon & herb seasoning
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 -3
  • 5 -6
    wood chunks, hickory,applewood,oak,pecan,or other smoking hardwood,soaked in water at least overnight (not chips)
  • 10 -15
    lbs good quality charcoal (NOT self lighting, and DO NOT use charcoal lighter fluid!)


  • This recipe requires a water-smoker such as the Brinkmann"Smoke'n Pit" or the"Cook'N Ca'jun" (http://thebrinkmanncorp. com).
  • If you don't own one, buy one.
  • They are great.
  • The night before the big meal, wash the thawed turkey thoroughly, inside and out, and pat dry.
  • Save the neck and innards for making gravy, if desired.
  • Season inside and out with lemon-herb seasoning, granulated garlic, and salt and pepper to taste, and coat with olive oil.
  • Do not stuff the turkey.
  • If you want stuffing, use your favorite recipe, and cook it in the oven, out of the bird.
  • Refrigerate until ready to start smoking.
  • Soak 5-6 fairly large chunks of hardwood in water for as long as possible.
  • Set your alarm clock for for about 12 hours before dinner.
  • Prepare the smoker as follows.
  • Place 10 pounds charcoal in the fire-pan.
  • Light the charcoal just barely, but make sure it is enough to keep burning.
  • (Use an electric starter, or a butane torch, or place charcoal under your oven broiler just until lit. DO NOT use liquid charcoal lighter unless you want kerosene flavored turkey!) Place 2-3 chunks of wet hardwood on top of the charcoal, place water-pan above fire-pan, and fill with water.
  • Place turkey on the rack above water-pan, cover smoker, and go back to bed.
  • After about 6 hours, check the smoker.
  • Stir up the charcoal and add a little more if necessary.
  • Place remaining soaked hardwood chunks on top of charcoal, add more water if necessary, close the smoker, and relax for another 5-6 hours.
  • It is almost impossible to overcook the turkey using this method, because it is cooking at a very low temperature.
  • It will be juicy and tasty.
  • Obviously the smoking should be done outside.
  • Smoking indoors can be hazardous to your health.
  • If the weather is freezing or below, add about 2-3 hours to the cooking time.
  • The turkey is done when the leg can be moved easily.
  • Carve immediately before serving.
  • Notes: I usually use hickory wood, though pecan or oak are also great.
  • You can add aromatic herbs or spices to the water pan if desired, but they will mostly be covered by the smoky taste.
  • You can also add beer or wine to the water pan, but again, it is mostly covered by the smoke.