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Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey - "Lots of Butter" Method

A smoked Thanksgiving turkey recipe with seasoned real butter stuffed under the skin, rubbed onto the skin and then brushed on while it cooks in the smoker.
Course Entree
Cuisine Hot Smoking
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Servings 12
Author Jeff Phillips


  • 12-14 lb turkey*
  • 3 sticks of butter ¾ lb
  • 1/2 cup Jeff's original rub
  • Turkey brine recipe


  • Thaw turkey in fridge 2-3 days before needed.
  • Remove turkey from package and remove giblets, neck, etc from cavity and set aside.
  • Remove and discard popup timer
  • To a medium pot add 1 quart of water, 1 TBS of course ground black pepper, 1 TBS of red pepper flakes, 2 long sprigs of thyme, 2 long sprigs of rosemary and 8-10 garlic cloves smashed with the side of a knife.
  • Bring to a boil then remove it from the heat and let it steep covered for 20-30 minutes.
  • Place the mixture in the fridge for several hours to cool.
  • To make the brine, add 3 quarts of cold water to a gallon sized pitcher and 1 cup of kosher salt.
  • Stir the mixture until the salt is dissolved.
  • Add the cooled mixture from the fridge into the brine and stir to combine.
  • Place the turkey into a brining container and pour the brine over the turkey to cover and then into the fridge for 8-10 hours.
  • After brining is complete, rinse the turkey under cold water.
  • Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel and set aside.
  • Mix 3 sticks of softened butter with 3 heaping tablespoons of Jeff's original rub to create the rub butter mixture.
  • Stuff 1/3 of this mixture under the loosened skin of the breast on both sides.
  • Rub 1/3 of the rub butter mixture onto the outside of the turkey breast, legs, wings and back.
  • Season the outside of the turkey generously with Jeff's original rub.
  • Setup smoker for cooking at 240°F with indirect heat.
  • Place turkey on smoker grate and cook until internal temperature of breast reaches 162°F.
  • Brush with remaining rub butter (melted) a couple of times during the last hour of the cooking process.
  • Remove from heat and rest turkey under foil for 20 minutes.
  • Carve and serve.