Smoked Holiday Turkey

Smoked Holiday Turkey Recipe

Chef Tom fires up the Yoder Smokers YS640s Pellet Grill for his Smoked Holiday Turkey. The recipe features classic holiday flavors like apple, sage and garlic, as well as a touch of smoke from the grill and a modern seasoning technique that you may have never imagined!

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Smoked Holiday Turkey Recipe

Yield: About 8 servings


For the mayo slather:

For the bed of vegetables:

  • 1 lb Yellow onion, large dice
  • 1 lb Baby red potatoes
  • 1 lb Butternut squash, large dice
  • 8 oz carrots, large dice
  • 8 oz turnips, medium dice
  • 8 oz parsnips, large dice
  • 4 oz celery, large dice
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 tbsp Saica Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Noble Saltworks Hickory Smoked Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


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.

Place the spatchcocked turkey in a large Briner Bucket. Pour the Sweetwater Spice Classic Holiday Turkey Bath over the bird along with two cups water. Dissolve the kosher salt into one quart of cold water. Pour the mixture over the turkey. Add up to one gallon of water to the bucket to cover the turkey. Lock the brining plate in place to keep the bird submerged. Refrigerate the turkey in the brine, one pound per hour.

Remove the turkey from the brine. Pat the bird dry with paper towels. Place on a sheet pan and place in the refrigerator to dry out the skin. Let rest for at least two hours.

Preheat your Yoder Smokers YS640s Pellet Grill to 275ºF, set up for indirect grilling/smoking.

Combine all ingredients for the mayo slather in a food processor and process until well distributed and broken down.

Pull back the skin from the turkey and season the flesh of the bird with Cattleman’s Grill Ranchero Seasoning. Pull the skin back in place.

Combine all vegetables in a bowl. Coat with the olive oil. Season with the smoked salt and black pepper. Toss well to coat and transfer to a half sized sheet pan. Spread out evenly and nestle the herbs into the diced vegetables.

Place the turkey on the bed of vegetables. Slather the surface of the turkey with the mayo mixture. Spread evenly.

Place the pan with the root vegetables and turkey on the main cooking grate inside the grill. Smoke at 275ºF until the internal temperature reaches 135ºF, about two and a half hours.

Increase the temperature of the grill to 425ºF. Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 155ºF in the breasts, 175ºF in the thighs, about 45 minutes. Remove from the grill. Rest the Smoked Holiday Turkey for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Strain off the liquid from the pan. Reserve those drippings to add to your gravy, or for soaking the sliced turkey meat.


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