Honey Brined Smoked Turkey

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2004 See this recipe on air Tuesday Nov. 13 at 12:00 AM ET/PT. Show: Food Network Specials Episode: All Star Thanksgiving Show more

Ready In: 4 hrs 15 mins

Serves: 10-12


  • 1  gallon hot water
  • 1  lb kosher salt
  • 2  quarts vegetable broth
  • 1  lb honey
  • 1 (7 lb) bag  ice
  • 1 (15 -20 lb)  whole turkey, with giblets removed
  • 2  tablespoons  vegetable oil, for rubbing


  1. Combine the hot water and the salt in a 54-quart cooler. Stir until the salt dissolves. Stir in the vegetable broth and the honey. Add the ice and stir. Place the turkey in the brine, breast side up, and cover with cooler lid. Brine overnight, up to 12 hours.
  2. Remove the turkey from the brine and dry thoroughly. Rub the bird thoroughly with the vegetable oil.
  3. Heat the grill to 400 degrees F.
  4. Using a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil, build a smoke bomb. Place a cup of hickory wood chips in the center of the foil and gather up the edges, making a small pouch. Leave the pouch open at the top. Set this directly on the charcoal or on the metal bar over the gas flame. Set the turkey over indirect heat, insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast meat, and set the alarm for 160 degrees F. Close the lid and cook for 1 hour.
  5. After 1 hour check the bird; if the skin is golden brown, cover with aluminum foil and continue cooking. Also, after 1 hour, replace wood chips with second cup.
  6. Once the bird reaches 160 degrees F, remove from grill, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 1 hour. Carve and serve.
  7. Recipe Summary.
  8. Difficulty: Easy
  9. Prep Time: 15 minutes
  10. Inactive Prep Time: 13 minutes
  11. Cook Time: 4 hours
  12. Yield: 10 to 12 servings.
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Most Helpful Review

I have used this recipe several times (the brine). I don't smoke the turkey, I just rinse the turkey and cook as usual. I've given this recipe to several people and this is the only way they do their turkey now! See all activity

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