Larry Peterson’s Brined Smoked Turkey
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Grill Dome Admin
Cook time: 6 hours
Total time: 6 hours
Serves: 6
I usually do turkeys by first soaking them in a strong salt water brine for several hours, then rubbing them down with a rub made of olive oil, ground fresh sage, garlic powder, thyme, ginger and salt.
  • 1 (14 lb) Turkey
  • 2-3 Cup Canning Salt (For Brine)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • ground fresh Sage
  • Garlic Powder
  • Thyme
  • Ginger
  • Salt
  1. I use a cooler to brine my turkeys in; I start with real cold water and mix a couple of cups of canning salt into it until the salt is dissolved completely then I add some ice cubes to keep it cold. I then immerse the turkey into the brine and add enough cold water to cover the turkey by a few inches and weight the turkey down with a brick to keep it completely submerged. I like to brine turkeys for several hours, usually 5 or 6, then pull the turkey out of the brine and rinse it in fresh water then completely dry it with paper towels and set it on the turkey setter.
  2. After it is dry, I rub the turkey down with the rub both inside and out and insert the probe of my remote thermometer into the breast in the thickest part as deep as I can without hitting the breast bone. Then I put it on the grill that is regulated at 250 degrees. Just before I put the turkey on, I add wood or wood chips to the top of the lump to begin a good smoke buildup.
  3. I like to smoke them while setting on a turkey setter over a lump containing Pecan or Apple or sometimes using some Hickory. I have also used Mulberry.
  4. I like to bring my GD up to 250 dome temp. and get it well stabilized, then add wood chunks on top of the lump just before I put the turkey on the grill. I also mix some wood chunks into the lump before I light it.
  5. I smoke the turkey at 250 degrees dome temp. until I get a temp of 165 degrees in the thick part of the breast, then pull it off of the grill and wrap in aluminum foil for 1/2 hour or so until everything else is ready to eat. The turkey will be nice and moist and will have a good smoke flavor all the way through the meat including the breast.
  6. You can put the turkey on the setter with the breast down if you like to get it a little more done, but I usually stand it upright.
  7. I have also pulled the turkeys off of the grill when they reached 155 degrees and ran the dome temp. up to 400 or so and put them back on until I got a breast temp. of 165 – 170 to make the skin more crunchy and that seems to work good also. I do turkeys like anything else that is done low and slow; I use a cast iron skillet that I hang under the grill to cause the heat to be even rather than having the hot spots of having the grill directly over the lump.
  8. Actually, the cast iron skillet will catch any juices that cook out of the bird but I ave never tried to use the drippings for anything.
  9. Sometimes I use Pecan hulls to start with as they make a real good smoke that doesn’t get bitter.
  10. Once the turkey is on the gill, I try to never open the grill until the turkey reads 165 – 170 on the thermometer. I have never had a problem with the thighs not getting done, but you can bring the temp up to 175 – 180 if you prefer it to be more done. I personally like to leave any meat fairly rare except for Boston Butts or Brisket or something that I want to fall apart. That is why I usually pull mine at around 165 degrees.
  11. Cooking a turkey on the grill rather than on a setter works a little different as on the setter, you are getting heat and smoke both on the inside and the outside of the turkey and it will cook a lot more even.
  12. Due to the height limitations of the medium GD, one has to lay the turkey down on the grill. Laying the turkey down breast down will help the thick meat of the breast to cook clear through without overcooking the rest of the bird.
  13. The breast will stay moist and the legs and thighs will get done also. If you lay the turkey on its back you seem to have to get the rest of the bird too done before the breast is done.
  14. By the way, I do chickens pretty much the same way except for not using sage in the rub and not leaving them in the brine more than an hour or so. I put chickens in the brine in a big pan and put them in the refrigerator as they don’t take up so much room. Instead of cups of salt, I use a couple of table spoons.
  15. You can get chicken setters at Wal Mart; they call them beer can setters, but I never use beer, sometimes I will use 1/2 can of 7UP or something like that in the can.
  16. It usually takes about 30 minutes a lb at 250 degrees, but that is why I use a remote thermometer.
  17. I like to use turkeys that weigh around 14 lbs
  18. You can purchase a turkey setter from several different suppliers; T. K. may have them or Pampered Chef, or Williams Sonoma, I am not sure. I got mine from Cabela’s several years ago.

Recipe submitted by: Larry Peterson

Cook time will vary upon cooking temperature and size of turkey.


Tagged with →