How To Smoke A Turkey On An Offset Smoker?

How To Smoke A Turkey On An Offset Smoker
How To Smoke A Turkey On An Offset Smoker

Are you craving some delicious, smokey, and juicy turkey on your weekend? If yes, you might want to smoke turkey on an offset smoker. After all, smoking can significantly reduce fat, making it juicier and tastier. But how do you smoke a turkey on an offset smoker?

Once you have seasoned the turkey, place it on the rack. Let it sit for several hours. Always maintain a constant temperature throughout the process. Once the meat has reached your preferred temperature, let it out and rest it for up to 20 minutes.

In this context, we have disclosed the best recipe for smoking turkey at home. Our premium smoking tips will definitely impress your friends & family. So, are you ready to smoke mouthwatering turkey right away?

Firstly, choose a fresh and high-quality turkey of adequate size. We will suggest going for a turkey of 12 to 14 lbs. Once you have chosen the bird, clean it up both inside and outside thoroughly. 

You may prefer to brine or rub the turkey afterward. Some cooks may also prefer to marinate them before smoking. It will make the meat tender, moist, and juicy indeed.

How To Brine Turkey For Smoking?

First, you have to prepare a Brine with – 

  • Two-gallon water.
  • Two cups of salt.
  • Two tsp thyme.
  • Two tsp savory & rosemary.
  • 1 tbsp mustard seed.

Prepare Brine in a large gallon and submerge the turkey into it. Keep it in the refrigerator and let it rest overnight.

Can You Apply BBQ Rubs On Turkey:

After bringing the turkey, it’s time to add some flavor to it. Marinating is a good option to infuse extra flavor. However, brining and marinating at once may retain excess moisture. Thus, rubbing BBQ sauce/paste is the best option after brining. 

So, how do you prepare the BBQ rub? First, mix ingredients, including – 

  • 2 tbsp paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper and black pepper.
  • 1 tbsp thyme, garlic powder, table salt.
  • 1 tbsp onion powder.

Prepare the rub in a small bowl and apply it thoroughly on the bird skin.

What Ingredients Do You Need To Smoke A Turkey?


Firstly, and obviously, you need a smoker that is large enough to accommodate the bird. There should also be enough space around to radiate excess moisture away. Thus, always pay attention to the grate size. The drip tray should also be large enough to catch extra droppings. Are you smoking for the first time? If yes, go for a medium smoker of 12 lbs to 13 lbs.


Maintaining a constant temperature is a must for smoking. You also need to monitor the internal temperature of the meat continuously. After all, you have to smoke it continuously until the meat temperature is safe. 

In the market, you will come across smokers with ready-made thermostats as well. But, we will specifically recommend going for an instant-read thermometer. After all, most built-in thermostats are really inaccurate and unreliable. A high-end instant-read thermostat comes with two probes. So you can easily monitor the ambient and meat temperature at once.


Once you have got the smoker, it’s time to power it up. Some may prefer to use briquettes as they are super cheap. However, be aware! Briquettes can significantly worsen the flavor of your meat. So, we always prefer charcoal, especially lump charcoal. Firstly, they give off a good flavor. They will also burn for a prolonged time. So you don’t have to refill it again and again.

Chimney Starter: 

We prefer to use a chimney Starter as well. However, it’s not really mandatory. It basically adds up to your convenience by making it easier to light up the charcoal.

How To Smoke A Turkey On An Offset Smoker? Check Our Step-by-step Guidelines Now!

Light Up The Smoker:

You have seasoned the turkey skin thoroughly. Now, it’s time to prepare the smoker.

  • Light up the smoker.
  • Lit up the coals and place them on the offset smoker.
  • Place a thermostat to measure internal temperature. 
  • Shut off the smoker door and keep the dampers open.
  • Let the smoker heat up over time. Once the ambient temperature reaches 225°F to 250°F, the smoker is ready to go.

Prepare Wooden Chips: 

  • First, bring out the wooden chips & chunks. Hickory and apple wood are also popular for their sweet and smokey flavor.
  • Soak them in cold water for around 4 to 6 hours.
  • Remove the chips from the water and let it dry.
  • Add dried chips to the smoker. You can use a separate smoker box for the chips.

Smoke The Turkey: 

  • Now, let the turkey out of the refrigerator. Set it on a drying rack and soak excess moisture using a kitchen towel. Let it rest for 30 min more to dry up extra drippings.
  • Set up the turkey on the smoker grates.
  • Cook every pound of meat for around 30 minutes. Check the internal temperature continuously. 
  • Place the turkey out of the smoker once the internal temperature is around 165°F.

Let It Rest:

Once the turkey is cooked, let it rest for around 30 minutes. Now, your mouthwatering turkey is good to go!

How Long Does It Take To Smoke A Turkey On An Offset Smoker?

Honestly, there is no hard and fast rule to smoke the turkey. The duration of smoking will completely depend on the size and internal temperature of the meat. Usually, chefs recommend cooking every pound of meat for around 30 minutes at 110°C. However, make sure to monitor the internal temperature as well. Once the internal temperature of the turkey is around 165°F, remove it right away. The turkey will indeed be tender, juicy, and safe to eat.


275°F temperature is great for smoking in an offset smoker. It may take around 20 minutes to smoke a pound of turkey. So, for a 12-pound turkey, smoke the meat for 4 hours maximally.

If you set the temperature at 225°F, smoking the turkey may take up to 45 minutes. It’s certainly very lengthy. After all, a medium-sized turkey of 12 lbs will need more than 6 to 7 hours. So, we suggest smoking at 250°F or 275°F instead.

Classically, most chefs use hickory and apple wood in their smokers. They give off a distinctively robust flavor. If you want to add up a sweet flavor, maple wood is indeed the best option.

Final Verdict:

How to smoke a turkey on an offset smoker? As a first-timer, you must have been confused. But I believe our turkey recipe can be your ultimate savior. Just be wary about temperature maintenance, preferably by an instant-read thermostat. Just follow our premium guidelines thoroughly to achieve the best out of your turkey now!

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