Applewood Smoked Turkey Recipe – Recommended For Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is around the corner….and you’ve been asked to prepare a turkey!

And you ask yourself.. how the hell I make a turkey? 

Well, it doesn’t matter if this is your first time and you have never made one before or if you are already making them every year. this Applewood Smoked Turkey recipe is something different. 

It’s a gamechanger… it’s going to take your turkey to another level and you are going to pick all the compliments. 

Thanks to Brad Woods who shared with us this awesome recipe!

We know it’s going to be so tasty and you are going to get addicted. IT’S OK! you can also cook this turkey on other special occasions… not only thanksgiving! 

Applewood Smoked Turkey Recipe - by Brad Woods


  • 12 to 14 pound Turkey.
  • Kosher salt.
  • Coarse black pepper.
  • 1 stick of softened butter.
  • Disposable or glass pan.
  • Injection. (Tony Chachere’s Injectable Butter or Homemade Injection).
  • Charcoal.
  • 2 to 3 chunks of Applewood
Smoked Turkey Recipe


  1. Make sure Turkey is completely thawed, neck giblets etc. removed.
  2. You can truss or just tie legs together (personal choice).
  3. Rub the whole outside of Turkey with kosher salt and coarse black pepper.
  4. Place Turkey in a pan and inject it.
  5. Carefully pull the skin from the breast with the handle of a spoon, butter knife or your fingers.
  6. Stuff the whole stick of softened butter under the skin on the breast and press down the skin onto the breast.
  7. Place injected Turkey in the fridge and allow it to rest for 1 to 3 days. (This is important as it allows the skin to become dry).

Homemade Creole Butter Injection

  • 1 stick real butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth or vegetable stock
  • 1 TBS Hot Sauce (Red Hot or Texas Petes)
  • 1 tea Granulated Garlic
  • 1 tea Cajun Seasoning

Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the chicken broth, hot sauce, garlic, and Cajun seasoning. Whisk the ingredients together and remove from heat when ingredients are all dissolved. It doesn’t need to come to a boil.

Let it cool and inject Turkey.

Smoking the Turkey

  1. Light coals, place coals for indirect cooking and get temperature to 350°(Coals on each side of the bird works best).
  2. Add two applewood chunks.
  3. Remove Turkey from pan and place directly on the grill rack.
  4. Cook Turkey at 350 checking at the 90-minute mark.
  5. Turkey should reach 165° in the breast and 175° in the thighs within 2.5 to 3 hours.
  6. Let Turkey rest 15 minutes before slicing.

Carving the Turkey

  1. Remove legs, thighs, wings, and breast.
  2. Separate breast, remove all bones and slice against the grain into 1/4 inch slices. Lay arranged slices in warmed chicken or Turkey broth to prevent it from drying out if needed.
  3. Legs, thighs, and wings can be served whole, pulled or sliced as needed.
Carving the Turkey

Note-I never brine my birds. You want to dry the skin as much as possible before cooking it, not add more moisture to it. This is where the injection plays an important role in adding flavor and moisture.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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