Smoked Turkey Without the Smoker?

Our outdoor living spaces have become our favorite part of the home for entertaining guests. There’s an inexplicable but good feeling you get, sitting around the patio with friends while food cooks on the grill.

This Thanksgiving – the “Super Bowl” of dinner parties – will be no different. I don’t have a smoker, but with my grilling prowess, I’m going to impress my family and friends with the juiciest, smoked turkey they’ve ever had.

If you don’t have a smoker – fire up the grill and follow this recipe for a crazy good Thanksgiving bird:

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 
4 hours, 30 minutes
Serves 6 to 8


  • 1 turkey, 12 to 14 pounds
  • 2 quarts apple juice
  • 1 pound brown sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 3 oranges, quartered
  • 4 ounces fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 15 whole cloves
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 6 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • cooking string for trussing turkey
  • roasting rack
  • heavy-gauge foil pan
  • hickory chips


Combine apple juice, brown sugar and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove and discard any foam that forms on the top and let the mixture cool. In a large (5 gallon or more) stock pot, combine your apple juice mixture, 3 quarts of water, oranges, ginger, cloves, bay leaves and garlic. Wash the turkey. Remove any fatty deposits you might find and everything from the body cavity. Place turkey in brine mixture and refrigerate for 24 hours. Make sure that the turkey remains completely submerged.

Place hickory chips in water and prepare grill for indirect grilling on a medium heat. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Tie legs together with string and lightly brush turkey with vegetable oil. Preheat your grill to about 325 degrees F. Place turkey on roasting rack inside a foil pan. Place on grill away from direct heat. After 30-40 minutes you will need to wrap the wings in foil to keep them from burning. Brush with vegetable oil periodically. If the breasts start to get too brown cover with foil. Your turkey’s internal temperature needs to reach 175 degrees F. in the thigh or about 165 in the breast to be safely cooked. (Calculate roughly 12-14 minutes cooking time per pound.)

When the turkey is properly cooked, remove from the grill and let rest for about 15 minutes before carving.

Your outdoor living spaces offer a great atmosphere for all of your get-togethers, including Thanksgiving. And don’t forget – EasyTurf, the authority in artificial grass, compliments your outdoor living spaces perfectly. Check out EasyTurf for the latest!

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