Smoked Sweet & Savoury Turkey

Smoked Yonedas Red Turkey

Turkey dinner is one of the oldest North American Traditions. It’s often eaten by gathered families at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and more. Its popular because it’s easy to prepare, delicious and inexpensive. This bird can weigh anywhere from 10lbs up to 30+ lbs. The average turkey weighs about 15lbs though, so we are basing our recipe for this on a 15 lb. bird. I find that you are better off cooking 2, 15 pounders instead of 1 thirty lb. bird if you are feeding a crowd. Larger birds are more for Instagram likes than quality eating.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Poultry
Keyword: Impressive, Savoury, Sweet
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 10 people
Author: Russell Bird




  • Preheat the Smoker to 350 degrees.
    The first thing you want to do is make sure that the giblets and neck are removed from the center cavity, next rinse the turkey with cold water all over and then pat it dry with paper towel. Next, you can inject your turkey with a mixture of vegetable broth and Meat Church Bird Bath. You can brine overnight, but I like to just inject the bird, its faster and requires less prep. Once the bird is injected, stuff the fresh herbs and onion into the cavity to provide some aromatics in the middle of the turkey. Next you want to coat the turkey with butter flavored grilling oil and then a healthy dose of both the Yonedas Butter Seasoning and then Yonedas Red.

Place in a roasting pan and then onto the smoker

  • Place the seasoned and injected turkey onto a rack inside a roasting pan and then place it directly onto your smoker or grill. You want to turn the breast of the bird to the direction that the heat is coming from.

Basting the turkey

  • After the first 2 hours you will want to check the turkey to see how it’s doing, look for any dark spots on the wing tips or front of the breast. If it is starting to get dark in certain spots, you can use a baster or brush to baste the surface of the turkey with the juices from the bottom of the pan. This will reduce the surface temperature of the turkey and help prevent burning. Repeat this process every 30 minutes until the bird is done.

When is the Turkey Done?

  • The turkey is done when both breasts test for an internal temperature of 165 degrees. The legs and thighs must also be at that temperature or above, but if done correctly, the legs and thighs should be much higher by the time the breasts are at 165.

Resting the Turkey

  • Put the lid on your roasting pan and remove it from the smoker. Let the turkey rest in the roasting pan for about 15-20 minutes to let the juices settle.

Carving the Turkey

  • When carving the turkey, I like to portion it out into more manageable portions off the carcass before slicing. This means removing both breasts from the carcass and then separating the wings, drums, thighs and then breaking each of those down by either leaving whole, shredding, or slicing depending on how you like it.

Step By Step

  • Preheat Smoker to 350 Degrees
  • Remove giblets from the cavity of the turkey and then rinse the skin of your turkey
  • Inject the turkey with a blend of vegetable stock and turkey brine
  • Stuff the turkey with aromatics and onions
  • Season the turkey with grilling oil, Yonedas Butter Seasoning and Yonedas Red
  • Smoke at 350 degrees for 4 hours or until you reach internal temp of 165 F
  • After the first 2 hours, baste the turkey every 30 minutes or whenever it starts getting too dark
  • Remove from the smoker when it reaches 165 Degrees F and rest for 20 minutes
  • Carve the turkey to remove the carcass and serve hot


Is it fresh or frozen turkey better?

Frozen turkey is easy to find year-round, whether a turkey holiday is close or not, it’s also very inexpensive. So, if you are on a budget or trying to find an off-season turkey, then frozen is going to be your best bet. However, if you can plan and order from your butcher around Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter then Fresh will give you a superior product at the dinner table. If you are buying frozen you can get pre-brined which is a nice convenience, with fresh you will need to do that work yourself most of the time.

Can this recipe be used for wild turkey?

Yes! If you are lucky enough to be able to cook a wild turkey for thanksgiving, then this recipe will work great for you! Whether your turkey is farmed or wild, we have you covered.

What if I am Gluten Free?

This recipe is entirely gluten free. Every ingredient as well as the turkey are all gluten free, so you can eat this dish if you are celiac or gluten intolerant.

What Should I stuff my turkey with?

This recipe is not for a stuffed turkey. Stuffing a turkey will extend your cooking time and we believe that stuffing is much better when prepared independently of the turkey. So put some aromatics inside the turkey, but don’t go stuffing it with bread. This will allow air to flow freely in the middle of the turkey and cook it faster.

How much turkey do I need for my group?

I find that the ratio for smoked turkey per person is 1.5 lbs. of uncooked weight per person. So a 15 lb turkey will feed about 10 people. If you have 20 people then I would recommend 2 15 lb turkeys. If you are really unsure, always have a little more than you planned, because leftover turkey sandwiches is one of the best things to come out of a turkey ever!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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