Looking to smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving? If you own a Primo Grill & Smoker it’s a no brainer. Smoky, tender, & juicy- you won’t go back to the oven! Here is an easy method on how to smoke a turkey on your grill.
Start by brining your turkey breast side down. Use a basic ratio of 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of water- from there the flavors are up to you. You will just need sufficient liquid contingent on the size of your bird and container. For ease of use, we have found Goyo Mojo (contains salt) or Goya Bitter Orange (no salt) to be great flavor bases to add to the brine. For this we used two bottles of the Mojo and about a gallon of brine. Add sufficient ice to keep the brine cold before adding the bird. Alternatively, if making a homemade brine, we would recommend citrus (orange/lemon) garlic and herbs. Brine 12-24 hours.
When ready, prepare your Primo for smoking. For turkey we would recommend a mix of apple and hickory chunks or chips- the turkey will only need a few handfuls of wood. We recommend keeping the cavity open for more even cooking- if only cooking one turkey on a Primo Oval center the turkey over the two ceramic plates so the hotter air will flow through the cavity. Optionally, you can add a few sprigs of rosemary and/or thyme, sage, etc and a stick of butter that can be used to baste the turkey at the end.
Cook at 275 or so until the internal temp of the breast is around 165 and the leg 180. Depending on the size of the bird this usually takes 3-5 hours. Towards the end of the cook brush on the herb butter from the cavity.
We recently smoked another turkey utilizing the ThermoWorks Smoke 2-Channel Remote Alarm Thermometer. The Smoke allows you to remotely monitor the both the pit and meat temps up to 300′ away. It also allows you to set high and low alarms to let you know when the grill needs attention. For turkey we set the pit high alarm at 290 (target temp 275) and the meat high alarm at 162. This will allow for a few degrees of carryover while resting.
We probed the breast, targeting the “thermal center” We would recommend spot checking the other breast and the thighs with a Thermapen to make sure everything is done.
A Thermapen is THE tool needed to ensure a perfect turkey – an accurate digital thermometer lets you know if your turkey is both safe to eat and not overcooked! We hit our target of 165 in the breast after a short rest.
This method also works well on turkey breasts!
There is plenty of room to add some oysters for an appetizer towards the end of the smoke.
Our Primo Smoked Turkey is looking good and ready to come off the grill!
Let the turkey rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving.
We recommend removing the entire breast from the bird to carve.
Here is a plate of love from last Thanksgiving. As an alternative to traditional gravy, try using a French style Dijon sauce to compliment the smoked turkey.
Here’s how to make the Dijon sauce:
In a sauce pan over medium heat, cook 3 diced shallots and a bouquet of thyme in a small amount of butter until the shallots are translucent. Deglaze the pan with the juice of 2 lemons. Bring it to a quick boil then cut the heat to low and whisk in 2 sticks of butter, one tablespoon at a time. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons of honey. Cut heat and add 1 cup of cream and a teaspoon each of kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Remove the thyme bouquet and pass through a chinois strainer before serving.
Also, here is an easy cranberry sauce we love:
Add together in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often:
12 oz bag of cranberries, the zest and juice of two oranges, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup of white sugar, a tablespoon of grated fresh ginger, and 2 tablespoons or so of freshly chopped mint.