Skip to content

Turkey Smoked or Grilled

    This recipe can be used on a smoker, gas or charcoal grill and the oven.

    It seems we really don’t think about turkey until we are coming upon thanksgiving.  Even the supermarkets think the same.  It can be somewhat of a task to find one that sells turkey any other time.

    For some, thinking about turkey can bring back some horrid memories.  A bland overcooked bird unseasoned and just down right tasteless. This would turn of anyone to go out of their to roast one any other time of the year.

    But there is hope.  At GrillBillies we put life back into that bird to the extent you would consider it other than thanksgiving.  A few techniques and you will WOW your guests and the old turkey will win back some respect.

    OK, here are few basics:

    • Buy a bird in the 12 to 16 lbs. range.  We find them tastier.
    • If you need to cook a larger bird, cook two smaller ones and it will lessen the cook time by a lot.
    • Inject or brine? Do either but not both to insure that it doesn’t dry out.
    • If the bird is frozen, allow about 4 days for it to thaw in the fridge.
    • Don’t stuff the turkey!  If you do, you will have to cook the stuffing above 165 degrees because the juices will have soaked into the stuffing and it will result in over cooking the rest.
    • Don’t truss the bird (tie the legs). You run the risk of under cooking the dark meat.
    • Remove the pop up thermometer and throw it away.  It’s useless.  Use a good digital “poke thermometer”.


    Remove all the giblets and the neck.  If you have the time they will work well in making a turkey broth along with the carcass.

    Remove the plastic trussing by the legs and the pop up thermometer.

    No need to rinse the turkey.  You only spread around bacteria the kitchen and run the risk of one becoming sick.  Just pour off the juices.

    Brining We like to use an all purpose brine Oakridge’s Game Changer.  This brine can be used for anything.  If you want to make your own “click here”.

    Injecting We like to use Butcher’s Bird Booster.  Inject 3 times on each side of the breast under the skin and 2 times in each thigh and leg.  Due this the day before if possible.

    Season the turkey under and top of the skin at the breast and on top at the legs and thighs.

    Let the bird sit in fridge overnight.


    If cooking on a gas or charcoal grill set up the grills for an indirect cook.

    If cooking on a smoker you should be indirect.

    “A 12lb. Butterball turkey.  The night before he spatchcocked the bird, injected it with our Butcher Bird Booster Original and seasoned it.  The next day he got his Kamado Grill going, threw in a piece of sugar maple wood,  injected the bird with melted butter and immediately put it on the grill. Grill temp was set at 325 .  1.75 hours later we were served a delicious and succulent turkey like no other.  Thank you Chef!”

    Note: You do not have to own a smoker for this recipe.  You can achieve the same results on a gas or charcoal grill or in the oven.

    Yield: 8 servings

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook Time: 1.75 to 2.0 hours


    A note about injecting

    Have the legs facing away from you.  Inject from front to back with the grain of the meat.  Inject each breast evenly in 3 places.  You will see the breast rise as you inject.  Inject each thigh twice and inject the legs once or twice.  Do the same with the butter.

    Season both sides of the bird.

    Place on the grill skin side up.