Smoked Whole Turkey

Smoked Whole Turkey
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Prep Time

3+ hours


Total Time

3+ hours

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Fork and knife



Per Serving

Gluten Free


½ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon packed lime peel

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons minced garlic

½ teaspoons ground black pepper

2 cups water

2 limes, sliced crosswise about 1/2-inch thick

(12-pound) BUTTERBALL® Fresh or Thawed Frozen Whole Turkey


  • 1.
    In a medium bowl, stir together butter, lime peel, salt, garlic, and pepper until well combined.
  • 2.
    Remove outer packaging from turkey. Discard neckbone and gizzards. Pat turkey dry with paper towels.
  • 3.
    Place a wire rack in a large, rimmed baking pan. Place turkey on rack. Rub butter mixture all over turkey, front and back, making sure to get under wings and around legs. Refrigerate overnight.
  • 4.
    Soak wood chips according to package instructions.
  • 5.
    Pile about 10 pieces of charcoal around edge of a disposable foil baking pan. Place pan in bottom of grill, under grill grates, off to one side. Place a second empty disposable foil baking pan on opposite side of grill to use as a drip tray, if desired. In a charcoal chimney starter, place 15 to 20 pieces of charcoal. Using paper towels or newspaper, light bottom of chimney, and let coals ash over. Add lit coals to center of unlit coals. Place a few soaked wood chips on lit coals. Return grill grates, over pan(s). In a small disposable foil loaf pan, add 2 cups water, and place pan on top of grill grate over pan with coals and wood chips. Close grill lid. Open top vent three-fourths open; open bottom vent completely. Wait for smoke and allow grill to reach 250°F.
  • 6.
    Place lime slices in cavity of turkey. Add turkey to grill over drip pan. Close lid, and smoke turkey, keeping temperature around 250°F by adjusting vents, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest portion of the breast (near but not touching bone) registers 170°F, about 4 hours. Let smoked whole turkey stand for 30 minutes before carving.
  • 7.
    Tip: Smoke the turkey the day before serving. It can be served with leftovers and BBQ sauce as a sandwich or on a baked potato.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving

Total Fat54g
Trans Fat1g
Saturated Fat20g
Dietary Fiber0g