Ultimate BBQ Smoked Turkey Recipe Guide

Ultimate BBQ Smoked Turkey Recipe Guide

Today, I’m going to be talking about the art of crafting a mouth-watering BBQ Smoked Turkey utilizing the ultimate BBQ Smoked Turkey Recipe Guide that follows Chef Bobby Flay’s Recipe and Cooking Methods.

It’s not just a meal; it’s a culinary adventure that tantalizes your taste buds with every bite. The journey to creating this delectable masterpiece involves a blend of patience, passion, and precision in cooking methods.

I’ll walk you through the meticulous process of seasoning and preparing the turkey before it hits the grill. You’re going to find out about the importance of brining for moisture, the rubs that pack a flavorful punch, and how to truss your bird to get that even, smokey hug from your BBQ.

This isn’t just about cooking; it’s also about unearthing the complex interplay of flavors that a well-smoked turkey offers. I’ll explain why this method elevates the humble turkey into a show-stopping main course that will have your guests reaching for seconds.

You might wonder about the benefits of going for a charcoal cooking method over others. Well, there’s something unmistakably enticing about the smoky infusion that charcoal provides – a flavor that gas or electric simply cannot replicate. That’s going to include understanding the type of charcoal to use, how to control its temperature, and the role of wood chips in adding those sought-after, nuanced tastes.

And I won’t leave you hanging when it comes to comparing different recipes. We’ll look at how the BBQ smoked turkey holds its own against the spicy kick of a Cajun smoked turkey. It’s about more than heat; it’s a question of which layers of flavor you fancy and how they harmonize with the smoking process.

In my opinion, whether you’re an experienced pitmaster or a novice looking to impress, this guide will arm you with the knowledge and techniques needed to confidently barbecue a turkey that’s succulent, beautifully smoked, and bursting with flavor.

By the end of this section, you’ll have a clear understanding of the BBQ smoked turkey process, setting you up perfectly for the next section, where we dive into the actual recipe, cooking steps, and the delicate process of maintaining that ideal smoky environment.

The Importance of Brining and Rubs

Before your turkey hits the grill, it’s crucial to prepare it meticulously. Brining is the first step in achieving a moist and flavorful result. By immersing the turkey in a saltwater solution infused with herbs and spices, you enhance its juiciness and impart subtle flavors. Additionally, selecting the right rub is paramount. Whether you prefer a savory blend of herbs and garlic or a spicier kick with paprika and cayenne, the rub sets the foundation for the turkey’s flavor profile. I’ve linked below a YouTube Video from James of Barbeechoo , a UK YouTuber. The video gives you a great insight into brining and ultimately cooking your Turkey over the BBQ.

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Trussing for Even Cooking

Trussing your bird ensures it cooks evenly and retains its shape throughout the smoking process. By securing the legs and wings close to the body, you promote uniform cooking and prevent any parts from drying out. This simple yet essential step guarantees that every slice of turkey is tender and juicy, delivering a delightful dining experience.

Charcoal: The Key to Authentic Flavor

When it comes to BBQ smoked turkey, charcoal reigns supreme. The smoky infusion from charcoal adds depth and complexity to the turkey’s flavor profile, elevating it to new heights. Choosing the right charcoal and mastering temperature control are critical aspects of achieving that perfect smoky essence. Additionally, incorporating wood chips, such as hickory or mesquite, enhances the aroma and imparts distinctive nuances to the turkey, ensuring a memorable culinary journey.

Exploring Flavor Variations

While the classic BBQ smoked turkey is undeniably delicious, there’s room for experimentation. Consider exploring flavor variations such as Cajun smoked turkey, which introduces a spicy twist to the traditional recipe. By incorporating Cajun seasoning and spices, you elevate the turkey’s flavor profile, offering a tantalizing blend of heat and smokiness. Whether you opt for a classic preparation or venture into uncharted territory, the BBQ smoked turkey promises a gastronomic adventure like no other.

Recipe: Chef’s Special BBQ Smoked Turkey

Chef: Bobby Flay

BBQ smoked turkey

Ultimate BBQ Smoked Turkey Recipe Guide

Cuisine Barbecue


  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • BBQ rub of your choice
  • Hickory wood chips soaked in water


Cooking Time: Approximately 4-5 hours
Flavors: Savory, smoky, herbaceous
Cooking Method: BBQ over charcoal
  1. In a large pot, combine water, kosher salt, brown sugar, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, juniper berries, thyme, and rosemary. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool completely.
  2. Place the turkey in a brining bag or large container and pour the brine over it. Ensure the turkey is fully submerged, then refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
  3. Preheat your charcoal grill for indirect cooking at 250°F. Add soaked hickory wood chips to the charcoal for added smoke flavor.
  4. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Rub olive oil over the turkey’s skin, then generously apply your chosen BBQ rub, ensuring even coverage.
  5. Truss the turkey to promote even cooking, then place it on the grill over indirect heat. Close the lid and smoke for 4-5 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the breast.
  6. Once done, remove the turkey from the grill and let it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. Serve and enjoy the smoky goodness!
Where to Purchase Ingredients: You can find all the ingredients and equipment for this recipe at your local grocery store, butcher shop, or specialized BBQ Store. We recommend Z Grills who not only provide high-end quality Equipment, but further recipes and ingredients
Keyword BBQ Recipes, BBQ Smoked Turkey, Charcoal Smoked Turkey

By following this recipe from Chef Bobby Flay, you’ll master the art of BBQ smoked turkey and impress your guests with a mouthwatering feast.

This comprehensive guide equips you with the knowledge and techniques needed to confidently barbecue a turkey that’s succulent, beautifully smoked, and bursting with flavor. Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a novice, embrace the art of BBQ smoked turkey and elevate your culinary prowess to new heights.



  1. Hello! such a yummy article I love the recipe , the ingredients and the photo. It is very interesting that you explain how  using charcoal make a big difference in the final taste. I personally come from a country which make BBQ almost all the weekends ,and I never forget the smell and taste the grill meat  made on charcoal , Thank you for valuable insight on this article.

    1. Author

      Ela, Barbecuing is such fun and great for friends and family as an event to share and participate in. You will simply love the taste of this turkey when you get around to using the recipe. Enjoy!

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