“I always cook up two birds for Thanksgiving. One cooked in the oven (see my aluminum football recipe) and one either smoked or fried. This is my smoked recipe. It's not easy, but smoking turkeys is not for the faint of heart. Prep time does not include time spent in the brine. Unless you want turkey jerky, please don't attempt this recipe without brining the bird first--it will be very, very dry.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine first 12 ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Let cool.
  2. Rinse turkey, pat dry and brine over night, completely submerged in the brine.
  3. Rinse turkey and pat dry.
  4. Using a syringe, inject your favorite marinade. I use a store-bought Cajun sauce, made for injectors, but you could certainly make your own.
  5. Coat with oil, and season liberally with Cajun seasoning.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge overnight.
  7. Remove and bring to room temperature while you're getting the smoker ready, following the manufacture’s directions. Bring smoker up to 240 degrees. I like pecan or hickory. You could use almost any hard wood, but I do not recommend mesquite. It's too oily, and will be bitter after that long of a cooking period.
  8. Smoke bird for 6-8 hours, keeping the temperature between 220--240 degrees, until internal temperature of the bird reaches 180 degrees.
  9. Mop, rotate, and turn bird every 40-50 minutes. Add pieces of wood to keep temp up and smoke going.
  10. For the mop: Combine cider vinegar, water, celery salt, salt, pepper, and butter in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove and set aside.
  11. Remove, wrap in foil and let rest for 30 min before carving.

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