How to Season Grill & Smoke a Turkey: Expert’s Personal Kitchen Recipe

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Although Turkey consumption is most popular during the holidays, it’s also a favorite sandwich meat and a good alternative to ground beef throughout the year.

This report provides a detailed breakdown of its nutritional benefits and explains how to prepare healthy turkey recipes. It also identifies any potential health risks associated with eating the popular bird’s meat.

Quick Facts About Turkey

  • The internal temperature should be at least 165° Fahrenheit.
  • The majority of dark turkey meat has more vitamins and minerals than white turkey meat but also contains more calories and fat.
  • The epidermis is also removed from turkeys.
  • Pasture-raised turkeys have a higher level of omega-3 than factory-farmed turkeys.

Credit: HowToBBQRight 

Nutrition Fact


According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture

(USDA) National Nutrient Database, 3 Oz or 85 G (g) of non-enhanced, Roasted Turkey Breast comprises:

  • 135 calories
  • 0 grams Carbohydrates
  • 26 grams of fat
  • 70 grams of protein

The Exact Same quantity of dark roasted turkey meat has:

  • 173 calories
  • 0 grams Carbohydrates
  • 13 grams of fat
  • 55 grams of protein

Turkey Also Includes:

  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamins B-6
  • Zinc
  • Niacin
  • Choline
  • Selenium

Salmon’s dark meat will have more vitamins and minerals, but also more calories and fat. It also has tryptophan.

According to some, this is why people want to sleep after large Thanksgiving dinner.

While turkey does contain tryptophan, the amount is not sufficient to cause sleepiness. All meats contain tryptophan. You shouldn’t feel any more tired eating turkey on Thanksgiving than you would if you ate a pork chop on a normal evening.

How to Smoke a Turkey Breast Over Charcoal



  • Seasoning salt: 1 tsp
  • 5-6 lb bone-in turkey breast
  • One teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • One-half teaspoon dried basil
  • Seasoning salt 1 tablespoon



  1. Split the turkey breastbone so that it will lie flat on the grill.
  2. Mix together one teaspoon of seasoned salt with crushed red pepper and sprinkle the mixture on top of the turkey breast.
  3. Add one tablespoon. Sprinkle over turkey breast with seasonings of peppermint and paprika.
  4. Use cooking spray to coat both sides of the chicken breasts.
  5. Place charcoal fire on one end of the grill and let it be there for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Put hickory chips into the water for at least 15 minutes.
  7. Place turkey breast on the end of the grill reverse coals—close grill hood.
  8. Cook for 2.5-3 hours, or until a meat thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 170°F.

An Important Note

The turkey will be deliciously juicy and tender when it is dried out before being cooked.

You can brine the turkey for up to 12 hours in a mixture of salt and spices. It is a good idea to cover the turkey with a cooler containing more brining liquid. The ice keeps the bird safe by keeping it cool.

Season Your Turkey

In the cavity, add some chopped aromatics like garlic, onions, lemon juice, or apples. To achieve a mahogany-like skin or crispy exterior, apply a light coating of olive oil and spices.

Season the turkey with salt, pepper, fresh or dried herbs, or a barbecue rub. Salt the turkey if it is brought in brines.

Smoke Wood Can Be Added to Enhance the Flavor

Turkey gets a great flavor from smoked wood. You can use 2 cups Kingsford(r), Wood Chips with large wood chunks, or Hickory.

After soaking it in water for 30 minutes, spread it on coals. You can also use milder fruit-woods like cherry or apple to make turkey tender.

If necessary, replenish the smoke wood, but don’t overdo it. Don’t overcook your bird.

Grilled Turkey Tools

When grilling turkey, add the following:

  • High-quality charcoal briquettes, approximately twenty pounds
  • If desired, soak wood chips.
  • Aluminum roasting pans that can be used as disposables
  • Heavy-duty oven mitts and tongs
  • A precise meat thermometer
  • Recommendation: Place a thermometer under the grill, or use a deep fat fryer by removing the lid.


Would You Like to Give the Turkey More Flavor?

  • Although this is not a necessary section of the turkey, you can let it soak in the brine before cooking. This will ensure that you get the best flavor and juiciness.
  • Use butter or oil to make the turkey’s skin crispy or brown.
  • Before you smoke, use a dry rub.


The grill is being used in an outdoor oven. Instead of sitting down, you prefer to set the grill at an even or moderate temperature.

On one side of the grill, place the coals . The empty side of the deep saucepan can be used. Cover the coat with white ash. Use damp wood chips. You can use more Charcoal by adding more wood chips.

  • You can oil the grill’s grates with a little oil. To prevent the turkey from sticking, lightly oil it and rub it with butter.
  • After heating the coals, place a disposable aluminum roasting tray on top. It will not spit out dripping and won’t flare up.
  • To open the halfway, add the grill’s vents.
  • Some recipes call for roasting the turkey in a second disposable pan. To bake the turkey, you can use wine, water, or aromatics in your roasting pan.
  • Notice if the thermometer is attached to the grill. 350 degrees is a good temperature, but don’t keep it at a constant or perfect level.
  • Heat until temperature reaches 160 degrees F. This will depend on how large the turkeys are and how hot the fire is.
  • Keep the lid closed. Keep heat at a minimum. Cook the turkey in a rotating manner when necessary.

Tips and Notes on Smoked Turkey

An Electric water smoker keeps the meat moist and doesn’t burn.

Two (2) racks are the norm for physicians. Make sure to distribute pieces evenly across each stand. This is how I feed my small army at Christmas and Thanksgiving. I cut the meat into pieces and then smoke it, which took about half the time.

The smoke from a smoker makes smoked turkey look more appealing. The flavor is the enhanced, and you will impress your mother-in-law!

For those who use electric gas or smokers, follow the instructions provided by your smoker. They may take less time than charcoal-smoked turkeys, but I doubt they will be as good.

Types of Charcoal Used

People have used inexpensive Charcoal along with some of the best and most important things, but the key difference is how often you want to use Charcoal. You should cover the Charcoal in as many instances as possible.

To get a turkey weighing between ten and fourteen pounds, you might need to use 10 lbs of Charcoal or more.

If you use hot Charcoal, you won’t need to check the temperature for more than three hours. This gives you the moment to enjoy a game of soccer or to be with your guests. Or you can just relax and enjoy eggnog or brandy if you desire.

You can’t see the gauge when you are checking the temperature of your smoker. They will have a “secure zone” or a readout that displays numbers. However, it is important to keep the temperature within this zone.

To ensure that the water does not run dry, you should check it every time you add Charcoal. If you run out of water, add more water to the pan. This will ensure that you don’t have a burning sensation in your hands, face, or skin.

Fill a standard 2-liter bottle with 3/4 water. Wait in the ground before adding it to the oven. This keeps you away from the toaster until you spill any. It simply sends out the steam in the air away from you.

You can also use hickory chips or mesquite chips to flavor your Charcoal. Let them rest for 1-hour minimum before putting them on the Charcoal. They will smoke, adding that flavor to your turkey.

Smoker Temperature and Smoked Turkey

The temp has never been a trouble . You can add Charcoal to the smoker and then stir the ash around. The hot lava will be brought from the ash. This will help you start the additional Charcoal quicker and keep the heat right.

You can add lots of Charcoal to the pan at the beginning. If you want more, increase it as much as you can. This will allow you to move the pan around after adding Charcoal. It doesn’t matter how much Charcoal you use, as long as the smoker is still hot.

It takes approximately 5 hours to cook. For those who are not experienced, take the lid off to check the recall.

Joy Klassen

Joy Klassen is an avid home cook and editor at who has been combining his passion for writing, cooking, editing, and leading teams of testing products. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2002. He’s been working with us for the past 4 years, leading the testing team to test and generate honest reviews & guides on the most trending and famous kitchen cooking appliances. He knows over 800 different recipes and cooks the most delicious chicken dishes, which the entire JoyfulFryer team likes.

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