Grilled Smoked Turkey

Yield: 8 Servings

Chef: Chef Brian Streeter

Grilled Smoked Turkey


  • 2 gal. water
  • 2 c. salt
  • 1½ c. sugar
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half
  • 2 tsp. cracked black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 whole allspice
  • 1 Navel orange, cut in sections
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 turkey, about 12-15 lbs.
  • 2 c. apple wood smoking chips


Bring one gallon of water to a boil with the remaining ingredients for the brine. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from the heat and add another gallon of cold water. Allow to cool to room temperature. Place turkey in a large plastic garbage bag and set in the bottom of an ice chest. Pour the brine over the top of the turkey and tie the bag in a knot to close. Set another bag of ice on top and close the lid on the cooler. Brine overnight. The next day remove the turkey from the brine and set on a resting rack. Pat the bird dry and allow to come to room temperature while you prepare the grill.

Soak the wood chips in cold water for an hour. Fill a fire starter chimney three quarters full with charcoal. Place newspaper underneath and light. Once coals have turned white, place around the edges of the grill kettle. Set the grill grate on top and set the turkey in the middle. Add a handful of the wood chips to the coals. Place the lid on top and make sure the vents are open. Cook the turkey at around 350°F. When coals start to die down, start another small batch of charcoal in the chimney to add to the fire with another handful of wood chips (do not add unlit charcoal directly to the existing fire. The fumes from the charcoal as it burns initially can give an off flavor to the turkey.) Continue cooking until the turkey registers 165°F around 2 ½ -3 hours. Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.

Enjoy with a glass of Cakebread Cellars Annahala Pinot Noir.

If you're joining us for Cooking with Cakebread and plan to cook along with our chefs, we recommend you complete the following steps prior to the beginning of our class:

• Brine Turkey • Remove Turkey from brine, pat dry and allow to come to room temperature • Soak apple wood smoking chips • Start charcoal fire in grill