Let your turkey do the talking this year — impress your friends and family with this incredible kamado smoked turkey recipe!
For the Brine:
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tbsp salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 4 oranges, quartered
- 2 lemons, quartered
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 3 Tbsp peppercorns
- 4 tsp sage
- 2 tsp celery seeds
For the Turkey Seasoning/Butter Paste:
- 1 stick butter, softened and diced
- Salt (to taste)
- Black pepper (to taste)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp freshly chopped thyme
- 2 tsp parsley
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Start by making your brine. Add water, salt, sugar, quartered oranges and lemons, thyme, peppercorns, sage, and celery seeds to a large pan, then bring mixture to a boil.
- Let the brine simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring throughout.
- Allow the mixture to cool, adding ice cubes if you need it to cool quickly.
- Place your turkey in a food-safe bag or container, then pour the brine on top. Refrigerate the brining turkey for up to 24 hours.
- Once your turkey has brined for at least 24 hours, remove it from the brine, rinse it off, and pat it dry (including under the skin and inside the cavity).
- Now it’s time to spatchcock the turkey. Place your turkey on a work surface, breast-side down, and remove the backbone by cutting it out. Spatchcocking your turkey results in a more even cook and quicker smoking time (plus it just looks good!). Set your spatchcocked turkey aside.
- Prepare your seasoned butter paste by combining the softened butter, salt, black pepper, minced garlic, chopped thyme, parsley, oregano, and rosemary. Using a fork, mash the ingredients together into a rough paste. Drizzle the olive oil over the paste and continue blending until it becomes fairly smooth.
- Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey’s internal cavity, then rub your butter paste all over the turkey’s exterior and beneath its skin.
- Lay the spatchcocked turkey breast-side up on a roasting pan or sheet pan. Tuck the wings under the breast and arrange the drumsticks and thighs so they’re flattened, but be careful not to tear them from the bird.
- Fill your Blaze Kamado with natural lump charcoal, and light the top of the pile to begin a low-and-slow burn. Once the coals are lit, add a few large, dry wood chunks to the fire. Let your kamado preheat for about 20 minutes, at which point you should see a good amount of smoke and stable temperatures between 250 degrees and 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place an empty pan underneath the top cooking grate to catch drippings, which will be used along with melted butter to baste the turkey every 20–30 minutes. Put your turkey on the cooking grate, and let that bird smoke!
- When the turkey has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees in the breast and thighs, it can be taken off the grill. Allow the smoked turkey to rest for roughly 10–20 minutes before carving. Enjoy, and prepare for compliments from your friends and family!
Images by Matt Krull @meatthecook.