Apple Smoked Barbecue Turkey

Purchase the Smoked BBQ Turkey Kit!

Whether you’re preparing for a Thanksgiving feast or a summertime cook-out, this Apple Smoked Barbecue Turkey is just what you need! First brined in the fantastic new Cattleman’s Grill Butcher House Brine with apple cider, then injected with apple infused butter, smoked over charcoal and apple wood in the Kamado Joe and served with a Cran-Apple BBQ Sauce. It’s juicy, smokey and packed full of flavor!

Apple Smoked Barbecue Turkey

About 8 servings


For the injection:

For the Cran-Apple BBQ Sauce:


Spatchcock the turkey. To take the backbone out, place the bird breast side down. Cut along both sides of the backbone with kitchen shears, from one opening of the cavity to the other. Release the skin of the turkey from the flesh, leaving it attached at the edges, but exposing the meat for seasoning.

To prepare the brine, combine the 2 1/2 quarts each of apple cider and water in a 22 quart Briner Bucket. Add 1 lb Cattleman’s Grill Butcher House All Purpose Brine. Whisk well to dissolve the brine. Add the turkey to the brine. Lock the Briner Bucket’s plastic plate in place to keep the bird submerged. Transfer to bucket to the refrigerator. Brine the turkey for one hour for every pound of the turkey’s weight.

Remove from the turkey from the brine. Pat dry with paper towels. Place on a wire rack over a sheet pan.

Combine the ingredients for the injection. Mix well. Load the injection into a pistol grip style injector. Inject the breasts, first. Then inject the thighs and wings, until the injection liquid is gone.

Season the turkey modestly with the R Butts R Smokin’ Cherry Habanero Seasoning, only under the skin and on the flesh of the bird. Return the turkey (on the sire rack) to the refrigerator and let the skin dry out for 24-48 hours.

Stabilize your Kamado Joe Classic III Ceramic Grill at 300ºF, set up for smoking. Add two large chunks of Cattleman’s Grill Competition Smoking Apple Wood Chunks.

Spray the surface of the turkey with the Cornhusker Kitchen Spray Duck Fat, to act as a binder for the seasoning. Season the backside and skin of the turkey generously with R Butts R Smokin’ Cherry Habanero Seasoning. Transfer the to the grill. Place the bird directly on the grill grates, set at the highest setting of the Divide and Conquer System.

Smoke the turkey until the internal temperature reaches 155ºF-160ºF in the breasts. The temperature of the thighs/legs should be over 170ºF.

You might also enjoy: Smoked Holiday Turkey

While the turkey is cooking, prepare the Cran-Apple BBQ Sauce. Combine all ingredients in a Lodge 10” Cast Iron Skillet. Bring to a simmer. Cook until the cranberries are tender and their skins have burst open, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Blend the sauce with an immersion blender until smooth. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Remove the turkey from the grill. Cover loosely with foil. Rest at least 15 minutes before serving/carving. Serve the Apple Smoked Barbecue Turkey with the Cran-Apple BBQ Sauce on the side.


  1. Mike
    October 29, 2019

    Definitely gonna try this thanksgiving
    Quick question. If smoking on YS-640. Would you recommend straight apple pellets, or a mixture??

    Thank you guys

  2. Tim
    October 30, 2019

    Hey Chef Tom! Thanks for the barbecued smoked turkey video. I’ll take two please. Just let me know what I owe you for them :-). You do a great job and I love watching and living vicariously through your videos. I don’t have a Kamado Joe but I do own a XL BGE. I sure wish the store were closer because I’d probably be spending my retirement “kitty” on cooking classes. Oh wait! It’s probably better that I don’t live too close. LOL!

  3. Charles Harris
    November 24, 2019

    I would like to cook this turkey recipe on my YS640. What changes or modifications should I make? How long will it take to cook a 15lb turkey by this method?

  4. Kevin Quinn
    December 7, 2019

    I made this for Thanksgiving. I followed the recipe and it was the most best turkey I have ever made. The flavor of the brine, spices, and injection gave this turkey the most amazing flavor. The apple wood smoke flavor was off the chain. For 14 years I ordered a smoked turkey locally, this turkey recipe took it to the next level. Thanks Chef Tom.


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