Products recommended in the post contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission when you buy something through our posts.
Smoking turkey on a pellet grill is a delicious and popular way to prepare this holiday staple. Using a pellet grill allows you to infuse the turkey with a smoky flavor while keeping it tender and juicy. Whether you’re preparing Thanksgiving dinner for your family or hosting a summer barbecue, smoking turkey on a pellet grill is a great way to impress your guests with your cooking skills. With the right preparation and techniques, you can create a mouthwatering and flavorful turkey that will be the star of your meal.
Which kinds of turkey can you smoke on a pellet grill?
When it comes to smoking turkey on a pellet grill, you can smoke a variety of turkey types, including:
- Whole Turkey: You can smoke a whole turkey on a pellet grill. This is a great option for Thanksgiving or other holiday gatherings.
- Turkey Breast: If you don’t want to cook a whole turkey, you can also smoke a turkey breast. This is a good option for smaller gatherings or if you prefer white meat.
- Turkey Legs: Turkey legs can also be smoked on a pellet grill. They are great for a barbecue or outdoor party.
- Turkey Wings: Smoked turkey wings are a delicious and unique option for a backyard cookout or game day snack.
No matter which type of turkey you choose to smoke, make sure to follow safe cooking practices, such as cooking the turkey to an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C).
Why should you use a pellet grill for smoking turkey?
There are several reasons why a pellet grill is a great option for smoking turkey:
- Consistent Temperature Control: Pellet grills use a digital controller to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process. This is important for smoking turkey, as it ensures that the meat is cooked evenly and to the desired level of doneness.
- Versatility: Pellet grills can be used for smoking, grilling, roasting, and even baking. This makes them a versatile option for cooking a variety of foods, including turkey.
- Smoky Flavor: Pellet grills use wood pellets as a fuel source, which imparts a smoky flavor to the meat as it cooks. This is especially important when smoking turkey, as the smoky flavor complements the meat’s natural flavor and enhances its overall taste.
- Convenience: Pellet grills are easy to use and require minimal maintenance. They also have a large cooking surface, which makes them a great option for cooking a large turkey or multiple turkeys at once.
Overall, a pellet grill is a great option for smoking turkey because of its consistent temperature control, versatility, smoky flavor, and convenience.
How to smoke a turkey on the pellet grill
Here are the general steps for smoking a turkey on a pellet grill:
- Preheat the Pellet Grill: Preheat your pellet grill to 225°F (107°C).
- Prepare the Turkey: Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey cavity and pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Season the turkey with your desired rub or marinade.
- Place the Turkey on the Pellet Grill: Place the turkey on the pellet grill, breast side up. If you have a meat probe, insert it into the thickest part of the turkey breast.
- Smoke the Turkey: Smoke the turkey at 225°F (107°C) for approximately 30 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey reaches 165°F (74°C).
- Baste the Turkey: Baste the turkey with your desired basting sauce every hour or so.
- Rest the Turkey: Once the turkey is cooked, remove it from the pellet grill and let it rest for at least 20-30 minutes before carving.
- Carve and Serve: Carve the turkey and serve with your desired side dishes.
Note: The cooking time may vary depending on the size of the turkey, so it is important to use a meat probe to monitor the internal temperature of the turkey to ensure it is fully cooked. Also, make sure to follow safe food handling practices when preparing and cooking the turkey.
Types of wood for smoking turkey on the pellet grill
There are several types of wood pellets that are commonly used for smoking turkey on a pellet grill. The type of wood you choose will impact the flavor of the turkey, so it’s important to consider which flavor profile you prefer. Here are some popular options:
- Apple: Applewood pellets produce a sweet and mild smoke flavor that is perfect for turkey.
- Cherry: Cherrywood pellets produce a mild and slightly fruity smoke flavor that pairs well with turkey.
- Hickory: Hickory pellets produce a strong and smoky flavor that can be a bit overpowering if used in excess, but in moderation can add depth to the flavor of the turkey.
- Maple: Maplewood pellets produce a sweet and slightly smoky flavor that is great for turkey.
- Pecan: Pecan pellets produce a sweet and nutty smoke flavor that complements the natural flavor of turkey.
- Mesquite: Mesquite pellets produce a strong and bold smoke flavor that is best used in moderation, as it can be overpowering.
Ultimately, the type of wood you choose will depend on your personal taste preferences. You can also experiment with different wood combinations to create unique flavor profiles for your smoked turkey.
How long does it take to smoke turkey on pellet grill?
The cooking time for smoking a turkey on a pellet grill will depend on several factors, including the size of the turkey, the temperature of the pellet grill, and the type of pellet grill used. However, as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to smoke a turkey on a pellet grill for approximately 30 minutes per pound at 225°F (107°C) until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey reaches 165°F (74°C).
For example, a 10-pound turkey would take approximately 5 hours to smoke on a pellet grill at 225°F (107°C). However, it’s important to use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the turkey to ensure that it is fully cooked and safe to eat.
Note that if you want a crispier skin on your turkey, you can increase the temperature to 350°F (177°C) during the last 30 minutes of the cooking process. This will help to brown and crisp the skin.
Tips for smoking turkey on the pellet grill
Here are some tips to help you smoke a delicious turkey on a pellet grill:
- Brine the Turkey: Brining the turkey before smoking can help keep it moist and flavorful. You can use a basic brine solution of salt and sugar, or add additional seasonings and aromatics for extra flavor.
- Use a Meat Thermometer: Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the turkey is fully cooked and safe to eat. The internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey should reach 165°F (74°C).
- Don’t Overdo the Smoke: While smoke adds flavor to the turkey, too much smoke can be overpowering. Use a mild wood pellet like apple or cherry to avoid overpowering the turkey.
- Baste the Turkey: Basting the turkey with a flavorful liquid like melted butter or a mixture of chicken broth and herbs can help keep it moist and add extra flavor.
- Let the Turkey Rest: Let the turkey rest for at least 20-30 minutes after smoking to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. This will result in a more moist and flavorful turkey.
- Use a Drip Pan: Place a drip pan under the turkey to catch any drippings and prevent flare-ups in the pellet grill.
- Consider Spatchcocking: Spatchcocking (removing the backbone and flattening the turkey) can help it cook more evenly and reduce the overall cooking time.
Overall, smoking a turkey on a pellet grill can result in a flavorful and moist turkey that is sure to be a hit at your next gathering. With these tips in mind, you can achieve great results on your pellet grill.
Why Trust Us
You will find what you are looking for at Largo Bar and Grill. From classic to luxury brands, you'll find both. We will help you to select appliances that fit your needs, budget and lifestyle. Whether you want to stop by to learn more — or plan to make a major purchase — we’ll treat you like family and assist you every step of the way. Shop with us today to receive friendly and experienced help along the way.