Smoking a turkey on a charcoal grill is quite simple, yet the flavors are complex and make for a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving table. This method works great for whole birds or bone-in breasts and the leftover sandwiches are masterpiece-level delicious thanks to the punch of smoky goodness.
Charcoal kettle grill
Charcoal and chimney starter
Disposable aluminum tray
About 5 Wood chunks or chips (Maple, Apple, Cherry, or Hickory are my favorites. I do not recommend mesquite in this recipe as it is too overpowering for poultry.)
Bone-In Turkey Breast, about 7-8 pounds, fresh or thawed from frozen
3 tablespoons Diamond Crystal Kosher salt
½ teaspoons dried thyme
½ teaspoon rubbed sage
½ teaspoon rosemary
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
A note about cook times: My rule of thumb when grilling and smoking turkeys is 1 ½ hours per 5lbs. of meat. A 7-8 pound bone-in turkey breast is typically done in about 2 hours. For a 12-14 pound whole turkey, plan for about 4-5 hours of cook time. Tip- Spatchcocking the bird can help cut down on the cook time. Do not use time as the judge for doneness. The only way to ensure safe cooking temperatures is by using a thermometer.
A note about cooking temperatures: More air = Higher heat. Less air = Lower heat. Adjust vents on your grill accordingly as needed to control cooking temperature.
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