Primo Smoked Turkey

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. Use a basic ratio of 1/2 cup 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 the Goyo Mojo to be a great flavor base to add to the brine. Alternatively we would recommend citrus (orange/Lemon) garlic and herbs. Brine 8 to 24 hours.

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. A thermapen is a helpful tool here. Depending on the size of the bird this usually takes 3-5 hours. Towards the end of the cook brush on the rosemary butter from the cavity. Let the bird rest for 20 minutes or so before carving. Enjoy!

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 Alarm Thermometer.

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 with a Thermapen to make sure both sides are done.

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. We hit our target of 165 in the breast!

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!

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.

There is plenty of room to add some oysters for an appetizer towards the end of the smoke.

Primo Smoked Turkey!

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.

Let the turkey rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

We recommend removing the entire breast from the bird to carve.

We recommend removing the entire breast from the bird to carve.

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

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 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.

24 thoughts on “Primo Smoked Turkey

  • Tried a honey/raw sugar glaze yesterday. I kept the bird brushed down every 1/2 hour or so, the glaze hardened, it was tough to cut through without coming off the meat. The bird was a hit………..I expect some more Primo’s to be purchased by my family. Happy New Year !!!

  • I have a Primo Large . Will a 20 lb
    turkey fit ok? Also where would I get brine bags.

    P.S. After my son and Nephew got a look at my Primo and a taste of a pork butt I smoked. They ran out and each got a Primo large with the table 🙂

    • Dennis,
      A 20lb turkey will fit easily on the large. I don’t have a good source for brine bags- I’d recommend getting a container large enough to brine turkey- you will use it again.

  • First time cooking a turkey on a primo with my Dad! we have a 22 pound turkey what temp? also how do we keep it at a consist heat? Should we use the heat deflectors? Thanks!

    • You certainly could- our experience has been that any drippings will hit the deflectors and evaporate creating moist heat. When smoking the bird, typically any drippings caught in a drip pan would be too smokey to use. Also, we find leaving a gap between the deflectors under the bird’s open cavity really helps cook the bird evenly and take advantage of the Primo’s convection.

    • I’d estimate 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I would lay the turkey down, breasts facing up, centered on the oval. I would keep the cavity open and keep a 1/2″ or so gap between the d plates in the center – this will allow good airflow through the cavity and will help it cook evenly inside and out.

  • What’s the largest turkey for the primo jr just smoked a chicken could not put it on my stand it touched top of dome. Looking forward to doing my fist turkey thanksgiving. Thanks for your help.

  • I have had a primo oval for years. Our method of smoking our Thanksgiving turkey is pretty simple. We thaw the bird in the fridge. On Thanksgiving morning I remove the divider and load up the grill with charcoal wood. We clean the bird and remove the gibletes. Dry the bird with paper towels. With a plastic gloved hand, we rub the bird genereously with a brick of butter. We sprinkle with salt and pepper. We have tossed a whole apple inside the bird on occasion. I fill a chimney lighter with charcoal and lite it with paper. When the chimney is lit, I pour those briquetts over the others in the grill and put the racks in their lower position.

    We use an aluminum roasting pan with a rib rack V sitting in it. We position the bird on the rack, breast up. We gather all of our old bottles of wine, especially those that have turned to vinegar. If we don’t have any old wine we just buy a gallon of sweet wine like Mogan David. We buy a good quantity of chicken broth in cans or boxes. We pour a bottle of wine and enough chicken broth into the roasting pan so that there is at least an inch in the bottom fo the pan. We try to keep the grill temp at 225. If it goes to 250 or 260, that’s OK but try to get back to 225. About every 45 minutes check on the fluid level in the bottom of the pan, replenish as necessary to keep about an inch in there as it will boil and bubble. I use a weber thermometer with a remote. We remove the bird from the grill at 175 degrees and let it sit for 30 minutes before carving. This bird will have a paper think crusty skin sealed all around it. When you carve it the juices will squirt from it. It has the best, moist flavor. A 14 lb bird will take 4 to 5 hours.