Print Options:

Cooking A Full Turkey On A Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker

Yields1 ServingPrep Time30 minsCook Time3 hrs 30 minsTotal Time4 hrs

To brine or not to brine. Then if you decide to brine is it a wet brine or a dry brine? Having cooked Turkey all three ways I now do a dry brine. Here is a great article "The Quick and Dirty Guide to Brining Chicken or Turkey" that will explain the whole subject.


 1 Eighteen Pound Turkey
Dry Brine
 6 tbsp Kosher Salt
 2 tbsp Baking Soda
Turkey Rub
 1 cup Kosher Salt
 1 cup Granulated Garlic
 1 tbsp McCormick Poultry Seasoning

Combine 6 tablespoons Morton's kosher salt with two tablespoons of baking powder in a bowl. Carefully pat your turkey dry with paper towels.


Generously sprinkle it on all surfaces with the salt mixture by picking up the mixture between your thumb and fingers, holding it six to ten inches above the bird and letting the mixture shower down over the surface of the turkey for even coverage. The turkey should be well-coated with salt, though not completely encrusted. Leave in refrigerator for 24 hours.


Prepare the smoker loading it up with either Apple or Cherry wood pellets but use whatever you think will work for you.


Prepare an 8 to 18 lb. thawed or fresh turkey by removing the giblets and neck, draining the juices, and drying with paper towels. The turkey should be completely thawed for even, safe cooking. Do not stuff your turkey. Brush the skin with olive oil and insert an oven-safe meat thermometer deep into the lower thigh.


Preheat the smoker to 275F degrees. Place the turkey breast side up on the grill. Place an oven thermometer alongside the turkey to monitor its temperature. I use a remote thermometer so you can monitor the temperature and also set an alarm when it hits 165 degrees (done).

Try to plan for about 15-18 minutes per pound when you smoke at around 275F-300F degrees. If you like the skin to be crispy raise temperature to 300F.


Check the temperature of your turkey after 3½ hours. Your turkey must pass through a critical range of 40F to 140F in 4 hours or less. If the internal temperature is low after 3½ hours, take your turkey off the smoker and finish it in the oven.

When done, remove the turkey from the smoker, protecting your hands with BBQ Gloves, and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.