Wood Pellet Grill Smoked Turkey

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Wood Pellet Grill Hickory Smoked Turkey
Wood Pellet Grill Hickory Smoked Turkey

Just smoked my last frozen turkey lost leader that I picked up last Thanksgiving. Don't you just love it when your local grocery store practically gives the turkeys away just to get you in the door? It allows us to have some wood pellet grill smoked turkey every month or so for the rest of the year. But this year I didn't plan ahead well enough. Now the next turkey will be costing me around $1.50 or more per pound. It's still a great price when compared to other meats, poultry, and fish.

Seasoned 14 pound Turkey
Seasoned 14 pound Turkey
Turkey Smoked for 2 hours
Turkey Smoked for 2 hours

This time of year it's almost impossible to find a fresh young 13 to 15 pound turkey so I started with my last frozen turkey. Make sure to properly thaw out the gobbler in the refrigerator. This will take you about 3 to 4 days. Nowadays I don't do anything with the giblets anymore cause I don't make fresh gravy like the old days. I use a quick and easy mix.

Remove the neck and bags of giblets from the cavity. Rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Trim the excess fat & skin from the bird. I take time to peal back the skin of the breast and drumsticks while leaving it intact. Rub under the skin of the breast and drumsticks with roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) before applying a medium dusting of Jan's Original Dry Rub. Lightly rub EVOO on the skin of the turkey and lightly dust with Jan's Original Dry Rub. Wrap the turkey in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Hickory smoking a young 13 to 15 pound turkey is extremely simple on any wood pellet smoker-grill. My personal choice of grill is the MAK 2 Star General. Preheat your wood pellet smoker-grill with hickory wood pellets to 200ºF and smoke the turkey for 2 hours. After 2 hours of hickory smoke increase the grill pit temperature to 350ºF and roast until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the breast reaches 170ºF. Should take a total time of about 3½ to 4 hours to fully come to temp. Rest the turkey loosely under a foil tent for 20 minutes before carving and serving.

Smoked Turkey Resting
Smoked Turkey Resting
Smoked Turkey with sides
Smoked Turkey with sides

5 Responses

  1. […] was searching on the internet for a way to use a leftover smoked turkey breast, from a previous turkey cook, in a casserole when I came upon a recipe at Campbell's Kitchen for a turkey noodle casserole. The […]

  2. glen
    | Reply

    When you say “should take a total time of 3 1/2 to 4 hours to fully come to temp” do you include the 2 hours of smoking at 200 degrees or is it 3 1/2 to 4 hours after raising to 350 degrees?

    • smokerpete
      | Reply

      Yes Glen the 3 1/2 to 4 hours does include 2 hours of smoking at 200ºF and raising the pit temp to 350ºF. It does not however include 30 minutes up front to pre-heat the pellet grill. It also does not include resting the smoked turkey loosely under a foil tent before carving and serving. My pellet grill actually takes less than the 30 minutes to pre-heat but I like to give it time since factors like ambient temps may come into play. Let me know if you have any other questions … Pete

      • glen
        | Reply

        Great Pete, thanks for the reply and thanks for being so quick with it!
        I figured as much and I was expecting the heat up and setting time, but thanks for clarifying.
        Can’t wait till Thanksgiving to taste this!

        • smokerpete
          | Reply

          Glad I could help Glen. I like to experiment with different temps to see how it changes the flavor profiles. The last 14 lb turkey I smoked was smoked for 3 hours instead of 2 hours but I smoked it at 225ºF instead of 200º. Then bumped the pit temp to 325ºF instead of 350ºF. Still took about the same amount of time. Don’t fret if the turkey is done a little ahead of time of all the sides and trimmings. Usually the turkey is not still “hot” by the time you carve the bird and serve it.

          I turned my pellet grill ON at 11:30 am. Placed the bird IN at Noon and smoked the turkey for 3 hours. At 3 pm bumped the temp to 325ºF and at 4:30 pm the internal temp at the thickest part of the breast reached 170ºF. Rested the smoked turkey for 20 minutes, carved and served … Remember that these numbers are for a 14 lb turkey.

          Enjoy!!

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