Home » Turkey » Cajun Smoked Turkey

Cajun Smoked Turkey

Cajun Smoked Turkey makes a great centerpiece and main dish for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s so tender, juicy and flavorful that you’ll be adding it to the menu for more than a holiday dinner.

NEW Save the Recipe

Send Me The Recipe

Enter your email below and we will send it straight to your inbox!


Grilled Turkey has so much more flavor versus an oven roasted turkey and with our simple brine and seasoning methods, this is a meal that is sure to please a hungry crowd.

Cooking turkey on a grill.

Smoked turkey is also one of our favorite meal prep recipes on the grill to make several dinners throughout the week. It makes amazing sandwiches, the best turkey gumbo and we use the carcass to make homemade turkey stock

Serve grilled turkey up with our favorite grilled Sweet Potato Casserole and Smoked Chicken and Dressing for a delicious holiday meal.

Ingredients Needed

For the Brine

  • hot water
  • kosher salt
  • Ice
  • lemon
  • peppercorns

For the Turkey

  • turkey
  • salted butter
  • smoked paprika
  • brown sugar
  • granulated garlic
  • dried oregano
  • dry mustard
  • coarse black pepper
  • ground cumin
  • kosher salt

Start with a Simple Turkey Brine

Brining a turkey with lemons and peppercorns.

  • Mix hot water and kosher salt together in a stock pot until kosher salt is dissolved.  Then throw in some ice to chill it down. Mix in the peppercorns, squeeze the juice from a whole lemon, and toss in the rinds.  Garlic and any fresh herbs you have on hand are also great additions. 
  • Place the turkey in the brine, cover and refrigerate 4 hours up to 24 hours.
  • Drain and discard the brine. Dry the turkey, inside and out with paper towels and place on a baking sheet.

Season the Turkey

Bowl of butter and seasonings.

  • In a bowl, combine smoked paprika, brown sugar, garlic, oregano, dry mustard, black pepper, ground cumin and kosher salt. 
  • Mix with softened butter. 
  • Carefully separate the skin of the turkey from the breast and thigh areas. Rub butter mixture between the skin, inside the cavity and over the outside. 

Grill or Smoke the Turkey

  • Prepare grill or smoker using hickory or pecan for smoke flavor. 

Turkey on a grill.

  • Cook turkey with the lid closed about 15 -20 minutes per pound for grilled turkey, keeping the grill temperature between 300° and 350°.  A total cooking time between 3 and 4 hours total for 12- 15 pound turkeys.

Cooking turkey on a grill.

  • Use a digital meat thermometer to test the turkey around the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone, cooking until it reaches 160°.

Overhead view of smoked turkey.

  • Remove from grill and allow to rest 15 minutes before slicing. 

How to Store and Reheat

Keep sliced turkey in an airtight container or plastic zip top bags and refrigerate up to 4 days. To Freeze, place in a vacuum sealed bag or wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap plus a layer of aluminum foil and freeze up to 3 months.

Reheat turkey slices in a pan with a bit of broth or water and cook, covered over medium heat for about 5- 8 minutes.

Sliced turkey with lettuce and sliced tomatoes.

Add this Cajun Smoked Turkey to your holiday dinner menus or any occasion to feed a crowd. It’s tender, juicy and full of delicious flavor and so easy to cook on your backyard grill. 

If you love this recipe as much as we do, please leave a comment and a five star review. Help us share on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook!

Cajun Smoked Turkey
Yield: 16 servings

Cajun Smoked Turkey

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 10 minutes

Cajun Smoked Turkey makes a great centerpiece and main dish for Thanksgiving dinner. It's so tender, juicy and flavorful that you'll be adding it to the menu for more than a holiday dinner.

Ingredients

For the Brine

  • 4 quarts hot water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • Ice
  • 1 lemon, sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns

For the Turkey

  • 12 pound turkey
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Make the brine by whisking hot water and kosher salt until is dissolved.
  2. Cool the water down by adding ice until cool.
  3. Squeeze lemon juice into water and add the rinds. Stir in the peppercorns.
  4. Place turkey in water, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24. 
  5. Remove turkey and discard brine. Pat turkey pat dry with paper towels and place on a baking sheet. 
  6. In a bowl, combine smoked paprika, brown sugar, garlic, oregano, dry mustard, pepper, cumin and salt.
  7. Mix with softened butter.
  8. Rub butter mixture between the skin, over the outside of the turkey and inside the cavity. 
  9. Prepare grill or smoker to about 250- 300° with hickory or pecan.
  10. Cook turkey for about 15- 20 minutes per pound with the grill closed until internal temperature reaches 160°.
  11. Remove from grill and allow to rest 15 minutes before slicing. 

Notes

Store leftover turkey in an airtight container up to 4 days in the refrigerator. To freeze, vacuum seal or wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap and a layer of foil up to 3 months.

Reheat turkey in a pan with broth or water, covered over medium heat until heated through.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 695Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 386mgSodium: 1251mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 97g

Nutritional Information is estimated and may not be accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag us on Instagram @outgrilling

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One Comment