How To Smoke A Turkey With A Pellet Grill

How To Smoke A Turkey With A Pellet Grill

How To Smoke A Turkey With A Pellet Grill? The first step is determining the ideal turkey size for your anticipated guests. The safest size is 14-16 pounds since it covers a huge part while also easier to cook than really large ones. Brining the turkey is the last step before smoking it. In the next section, you’ll learn more about the brining process, including the two types of brining to utilize, the materials needed, and how to perform it. All you need to know in this phase is that brining takes 24-28 minutes to complete.

You should have also started preparing the wood chips for the pellet grill at this time. Apple, cherry, maple, and pecan wood pellets are the best wood chips or pellets to use for smoked turkey. You can also use hickory or oak pellets to enhance the scent of the smoked turkey without dominating the applewood’s sweet and savory flavor.

Why Turkey Legs on the Grill

Turkey leg is delicious, smoky, sweet, and tangy. Turkey legs tend to be less dry than the other parts of the turkey such as turkey breast. If you want to grill a turkey you would be removing a lot of water from the meat, but you want it to taste juicy and flavorful instead of being dry. So the best choice for grilling a piece of turkey is going to be turkey legs. 

How to Fire Up a Grill

Pile up the coals in a pyramid or a mound because it increases the coal-to-coal contact and help the fire spread easier. Then you can add some lighter fluid on the pile of coals and fire it up immediately. Make sure to do it immediately and be careful to not spill it in unwanted places. You should never pour lighter fluid on flaming or hot coals. Coals will be ready when they are covered in grey ash. This whole process of lighting up the grill can take up to 15 minutes.

How To Brine Turkey Legs

You need to have a certain list of ingredients for brining the turkey legs those are:

  1. 1 gallon water
  2. 1 cup kosher salt
  3. ½ cup Brown sugar
  4. 2 tablespoon Garlic powder
  5. 2 tablespoon onion powder
  6. Also 2 tablespoon peppercorns
  7. 1 tablespoon paprika 

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and boil them. Once they reach the boiling point then turn off the heat and bring the temperature down. Submerge the turkey legs in brining solution for 4 hours. This will make the turkey legs flavorful from the inside an it will be way more delicious when you bite into it. You can add other herbs such as Bay leaves, sage, and thyme to add more flavors. Once the time for brining is up you can take out the turkey legs from the pot and discard the brining solution. 

Brining How To Smoke A Turkey With A Pellet Grill

There are two forms of brining, and which one you use depends on the sort of turkey you purchased. Turkeys that have been pre-brined just need to be dry brined, whereas those that have not been pre-brined should be wet brine. When you wet brine your turkey, it’s a different story. A gallon of brine is required for a 12-14 pound turkey, whereas 2 gallons is required for a 16-20 pound bird.

Steps To Smoke A Turkey With A Pellet Grill

The procedure for wet brining the turkey is outlined below. This applies to a 14-16 pound turkey:

  1. Dissolve 2 cups salt in 2 gallons of water. 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix the fluid thoroughly until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved.
  2. Take almost 8 cups of water to a boil, then add the salt and sugar solution, as well as the remaining ingredients.
  3. Stuff the turkey with stuffing. Remove all giblets from the turkey cavity and make sure any fine hairs are gone as well. Let the cooked brine solution cool for a few minutes before placing the turkey in to avoid bacteria infection.
  4. Get the brining bag ready. The brined turkey is normally kept in a big zip lock bag.
  5. Fill the bag with the chilled, moist brine.
  6. Pat the turkey dry. You should never rinse it. Place it in the bag containing the wet brine when it is entirely dry. Before sealing the bag, add extra herbs.
  7. Double-check that the brine bag is airtight and securely sealed. Keep it in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours. After that, take the turkey out of the bag, rinse it completely with water, wipe it dry with paper towels, and refrigerate it for another 12-24 hours.

The Temperature Of Smoked Turkey

For the first 3 hours of cooking a smoked turkey on a pellet grill, you should keep the temperature within 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be elevated at 300F for the following 4 hours to be cooked evenly on the interior and exterior. The weight of the turkey is also a factor in determining the temperature. Foiling may be required if the turkey’s wings get a dark hue.

What Maximum Duration Does It Take To Smoke A Turkey In A Pellet Grill

It takes roughly 3 hours to complete the first round of smoking. After that, raise the temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for another 4 hours on the pellet grill. Wait until the thickest section of the thigh reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Allow 20 minutes to settle and cool before removing it from the pellet grill. A smoked turkey takes 7 hours to cook on a pellet barbecue in total. The turkey is done if the thickest section of the thigh registers at 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a thermometer. Use a digital thermometer to check on your smoked turkey for increased accuracy.

Stuffing And Basting To Smoke A Turkey With A Pellet Grill

This is not a popular smoked turkey choice. Turkeys are basted and stuffed before being roasted in the oven. We can see why you’d want to do that, even if it’s only for the smoked turkey.

If the problem is moisture, you won’t have to worry about the meat becoming dry if you properly brined it and chilled it for at least 24 hours.


Nonetheless, some home chefs continue to do so, bathing the turkey with oil or covering it with a second layer of dry rub before stuffing it with herbs, lemon, and other spices and cooking it in the smoker. While it is not required, it is a viable alternative if it works for you or if you have done it previously.

The turkey is done if the thickest section of the thigh registers at 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a thermometer. Use a digital thermometer to check on your smoked turkey for increased accuracy.

There are affiliate links in this post. At no cost to you, I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.