Whether you have Thanksgiving day coming up or want to host a housewarming party, you should know how to smoke a turkey on a pellet grill.
You surely don’t want to serve a poorly smoked or undercooked turkey; that’s why this article discusses how to smoke a perfect juicy turkey.
Table of Contents
Checklist for Smoking Turkey in Pellet Smoker
First, you need to make sure you have the following things available with you:
Obviously, but we just want you to be extra sure. You can have a fresh or frozen turkey thawed. Make sure to remove the neck or any giblets before cooking.
A frozen turkey requires two to three days to defrost in the fridge. Another word of caution is not to defrost the turkey on the kitchen countertop as it may lead to bacterial or fungal growth.
Furthermore, you can let the turkey brine overnight in the refrigerator if you like brined birds since it adds more flavor and moisture to the turkey. You need to add half a cup of salt and a half cup of sugar in equal parts for one gallon of water and submerge the turnkey for around 12 to 14 hours.
Lastly, always rinse the turkey after you have brined it to remove the excessive salt.
The Camp Chef is one of the best pellet grills you can find in the market.
Why Camp Chef? It’s because of its simple operations. You can turn it on, add the wood pellets, and select the desired temperature. Voila, and you are done.
By the way, you should know that smoking a turkey requires more cooking time as compared to roasting it.
Best Wood Pellets for Briskets
Turkey is undoubtedly a big bird; that’s why you should have enough pellet bags in your bag for long smoking hours. Additionally, you can buy different flavors. For instance, hickory, applewood, or cheery are the best wood pellets for smoking turkey.
However, there is another alternative to wood pellets, and that is smoking brisket in electric smoker.
Additional Drip Pan
Although Camp Chef Pellet Grill comes with a drip tray, smoked turkey is exceptionally juicy, and you don’t want to create a mess at your cooking counters. As a precaution, always have an additional drip pan to catch all the moisture dripping while smoking the big bird.
Do you know the secret of cooking a perfectly smoked turkey? It’s consistent cooking temperature and even heating. That’s why it’s essential to have a reliable smoker thermometer with you to monitor the temperature.
Of course. Perfect seasoning simply elevates the taste of your smoked turkey. All you need are a few ingredients already available in your pantry:
- One and a half tablespoon minced garlic
- One cup sugar
- Half a cup Worcestershire sauce
- Two tablespoons of canola oil.
Other than canola oil, mix the rest of the ingredients until sugar dissolves.
How to Cook a Turkey
You should preheat the Camp Chef pellet grill at a temperature of 225F degrees for approximately 15 minutes with the lid closed while coating the turkey’s outer skin with the seasoning.
Next, evenly coat the canola all over the outer skin of the turkey, including the breast, wings, and legs to enjoy brown and crispy skin. Alternatively, you can also use melted butter, depending upon your preference.
Lastly, sprinkle some dried herbs to add color, flavor, and herby aroma to the turkey.
It’s important to learn the technique of placing the turkey on the pellet grill. You need to place the turkey with the breast side faces up on the indirect heat side of the grill.
Why indirect side? Because you are smoking it and not grilling it. That’s why you don’t require a roasting pan either.
How Long to Cook a Turkey on a Pellet Grill
It’s the most crucial question. The good news is that we have compiled a series of simple steps and following them will make you an expert in smoking turkey:
- Let the turkey smoke on the Camp Chef pellet grill for two and a half hours to three hours.
- After that, increase the temperature from 225F degrees to 300F degrees.
- Next, cook at the set temperature for three and a half to four hours, depending upon the turkey’s size.
- Another tip to measure the cooking time is to check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast using a probe thermometer. Once it reaches a temperature of 165F to 270F degrees, you can safely stop smoking the turkey.
- Lastly, remove the turkey from the grill and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Other Useful Tips to Smoke a Turkey
- If you select 225F degrees as the preheat temperature, you must run the Camp Chef pellet grill for 30 minutes per pound of turkey. It means for a turkey of 15 pounds; you require a cooking time of 450 minutes or seven and a half hours.
- Conversely, for a preheat temperature of 250F degrees, you can have a cooking time of 25 minutes per pound of turkey.
- Once the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 125F degrees, you can spray it with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and apple juice at an interval of 30 minutes. This way, the turkey retains the moisture during smoking.
- It’s up to you to cover the turkey while smoking.
You require a lot of patience to smoke a turkey on the pellet grill; however, it’s such a rewarding task once you taste the delicious and juicy turkey.
This article lists down the smoking procedure in detail to facilitate you in calculating the cooking time. A simple rule of thumb is that you need to allocate a cooking time of 30 minutes per pound of the turkey.
The above guide covers all the basics, including the ingredients, brining, seasoning, and most importantly, smoking on the Camp Chef pellet grill.
Enjoy smoking your turkey!