Learn how to cook a whole turkey on a Traeger grill with this easy recipe. This method of cooking makes for one of the tastiest birds we’ve ever had!
It’s easy to cook a turkey over the grill grate of a wood pellet smoker, today we are going to show you how! Using your Traeger smoker is a great option when you are wanting to free up some oven space during Thanksgiving.
Once you have tried this Traeger turkey recipe, you may not go back to your traditional roasted turkey. This recipe makes the most tender turkey breast with a subtle, yet delicious, smoky flavor.
Too busy to make this right away?! Pin it for later! Pin this recipe to your favorite board on Pinterest and it’ll be waiting for you when you’re ready.
Our smoked turkey starts with the perfect smoked turkey brine recipe. The entire turkey is brined in this, in an airtight container, overnight at the very least.
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How to cook a turkey on the Traeger:
- 12-20 lbs, completely defrosted or fresh bird
- Smoked turkey brine recipe
- Turkey injector recipe
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1/4 cup poultry dry rub
1. Prepare the turkey in brine overnight.
2. Drain the brine solution from the turkey cavity and pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
3. Season the turkey meat with this turkey marinade injection recipe. This is an optional step, but trust us when we say it makes for the most tender meat.
4. Coat the skin with butter or olive oil, and add a turkey dry rub to the skin of the turkey.
We like to try different poultry rubs but find the best ones have a combination of brown sugar, black pepper and garlic powder.
You can add a baking sheet or aluminum foil under the grill to catch turkey drippings if you want.
5. Preheat the smoker to 175 degrees F.
6. Pin or tie the wings and drumsticks to the outside of the turkey if needed.
7. Place the whole bird in the lit smoker.
8. Smoke at 175 for 2 hours.
9. Adjust the temperature to 275 and smoke for an additional 3.5 hours or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165 degrees F.
10. In the last half an hour of cooking time, baste the bird with 2 Tbsp melted butter.
11. Remove the bird from the smoker to a cutting board. Let the turkey rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Tips & tricks:
- Total cook time will depend a lot on the size of the bird. Smaller turkeys will be done sooner and a large turkey will take longer. Use the meat thermometer attached to your grill to be 100% sure the meat is cooked properly.
- Maintaining a consistent temperature in the smoker throughout the cooking process is important. Avoid lifting the lid of the grill too often.
- Make this delicious turkey gravy from the dippings. You’ll love the subtle smoky flavor!
More of our holiday favorites:
- For Christmas we love to cook our turkey in an oven roaster.
- We’ve also smoked a turkey in a vertical smoker. It has a smokier flavour than when cooked on the Traeger.
- Do you have leftover turkey? Make these turkey and cranberry sliders – this easy recipe makes the most delicious turkey sliders that you’ve ever had!
- Looking for a low carb alternative to your standard stuffing? Try this delicious keto friendly stove top stuffing recipe!
- My mom always makes the best side dishes for Thanksgiving dinner! Try her classic yams recipe this year.
- This cranberry salsa recipe is a family favorite and makes the perfect appetizer!
This cooking method makes the most juicy turkey breast with the best crispy skin, perfect for the holiday season!
You don’t always need an electric smoker or oven roasting pan to make the best turkey. This Thanksgiving turkey makes the perfect holiday meal without the traditional roaster!
This is seriously the best smoked turkey we’ve had! Be sure to add this tasty recipe to your menu planning.
If you love this Traeger turkey recipe, please give it a five star review and help me share it on Facebook or Pinterest so that others can enjoy it too!
- 12-20 lb turkey
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1/4 cup dry rub
1. Start with a completely defrosted or fresh bird that is 12-20 lbs.
2. Prepare the turkey in brine overnight.
3. Drain the brine solution from the turkey cavity and pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
4. Season the turkey meat with a turkey injector marinade recipe. This is an optional step, but trust us when we say it makes for the most tender meat.
5. Coat the skin with butter or olive oil, and add a turkey dry rub to the skin of the turkey.
6. Preheat the smoker to 175 degrees F.
7. Pin or tie the wings and drumsticks to the outside of the turkey if needed.
8. Place the whole bird in the lit smoker.
9. Smoke at 175 for 2 hours.
10. Adjust the temperature to 275 and smoke for an additional 3.5 hours or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165 degrees F.
11. In the last half an hour of cooking time, baste the bird with 2 Tbsp melted butter.
12. Remove the bird from the smoker to a cutting board. Let the turkey rest for 10 minutes before carving.