My moist and tender Traeger Smoked Turkey is the perfect main course – not just for the holidays, but anytime of the year! This tasty turkey is simply seasoned and smoked to perfection to make the holidays as easy and delicious as possible!
Juicy, tender, and full of smoky flavor – my Traeger Smoked Turkey is an amazing main course!
The holidays are just around the corner, so now is the time to start perfecting your recipes! This Traeger smoked turkey is an amazing way to shake up the typical holiday turkey.
A Traeger smoker is the perfect way to get that delicious smoky flavor all the way through the bird! Try something new this holiday season with a delicious, succulent smoked turkey.
This turkey is simply seasoned with rosemary, garlic, and a delicious seasoning blend! I If you desire, you can add your own touches to make this turkey taste exactly how you want.
Experiment with flavors and perfect this recipe now so you can make Turkey Day a breeze!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
- It’s Simple! This recipe uses a smoker, so you’re able to set it and forget it for 4 hours. When you return, it’ll be perfectly cooked and smoked to perfection.
- Incredibly Flavorful! I love the savory, smoky flavor of this turkey. Smoking turkey really adds that special something!
- Perfect for the holidays! The best part of the holidays is food and family! This smoked turkey is the perfect way to make your loved ones smile during a big holiday meal.
Smoking a turkey couldn’t be any easier! This recipe has just 5 ingredients and a simple seasoning blend to really highlight the delicious smoky flavor.
- Turkey – This recipe uses a 12-pound turkey, which will serve about 12 people. Make sure the turkey is completely defrosted before smoking. (See Tips & Recipe Notes)
- Olive Oil – I prefer extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for this recipe! We’ll use this to coat the turkey and keep it moist.
- Seasoning Blend – We used paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, and ground black pepper which simply highlight the delicious flavor of the turkey. You can add your own touches here – I have more suggestions in the FAQs!
- Garlic – Garlic will add a delicious, distinctive flavor to the meat of the turkey. I use fresh, whole garlic cloves for the best taste.
- Rosemary – I also add fresh sprigs of rosemary to the cavity of the bird to give a bright, fresh flavor and extra deliciousness.
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
The Traeger smoker turns this beautifully simple turkey into a golden-brown, smoky masterpiece! You’re never going to want to cook turkey another way again!
- Preheat and prep turkey. Preheat your Traeger smoker to 300° F (150° C). While that preheats, rinse your turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Be sure to sanitize your sink and wash your hands!
- Season. When the turkey is completely dry, rub olive oil and 2 tablespoons each of Kosher salt and paprika, 1 tablespoon of pepper, and ½ tablespoon each of onion powder and garlic powder all over the bird (including inside the cavity). Add 4 whole cloves of garlic and 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary inside of the cavity.
- Smoke. With clean hands, place the turkey breast up in the smoker (you can use a pan if you want to capture any juices for gravy), insert probes if using, and smoke at 300° F (150° C) for 3 ½ to 4 hours. The turkey is done when it hits at least 160°F (71°C) in the breast and 170°F (77°C) and juices run clear when you remove the thermometer.
- Rest. Cover the turkey loosely with foil and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. The temperature will continue to increase as the turkey rests.
- Check temp and serve! After the turkey has rested for 30 minutes, check the temperature, and make sure it’s at least 165°F (74°C) to be safe to eat. When ready, slice, serve, and enjoy!
A great turkey needs amazing side dishes! Serve with my creamy smoked mac and cheese, my delicious garlic green beans, my delightful Parmesan roasted mashed potatoes, my soft and fluffy oat rolls, or all the above if you’re having a holiday feast! Happy Eating!
💭 Tips & Recipe Notes
Be sure that your turkey is fully defrosted before smoking.
You’ll want to be sure to give yourself plenty of thawing time! The refrigerator is the best and safest way to defrost a large turkey.
Thawing times for the refrigerators are about 3-4 days for a 10-16 lb., 4-5 days for a 16-20 lb., and 5-6 days for a 20-24 lb turkey.
The best way to make sure your turkey is done is by checking the temperature with a built-in probe or instant-read thermometer!
The turkey is done when it hits at least 160°F (71°C) in the breast and 170°F (77°C). The juices should run clear.
If the turkey is getting too brown, simply cover with a piece of foil! This will help it to brown more evenly and not scorch.
I don’t recommend stuffing the turkey for this recipe.
Adding stuffing will drastically alter the cooking times, absorb all of the juices, and increase the risk of food-borne illness. If you want to serve this with stuffing or dressing, it’s best to serve it on the side.
To prevent dryness, let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes.
Patience is key so all your beautiful work doesn’t go to waste! Let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes to keep all the juiciness inside.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
This delicious smoked turkey can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Make sure you carve all of the meat off the bones to make storing easiest.
Save those bones for an amazing turkey stock to make my turkey soup!
Turkey also keeps well in the freezer. The meat should also be removed from the bones and placed in an airtight container or sealed in a plastic freezer bag. This delicious turkey will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reheating Smoked Turkey
To reheat, preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C) and place the turkey in a baking dish (if reheating frozen turkey, thaw first in the fridge overnight). Then, use leftover pan juices, gravy, or stock to lightly coat the turkey and then cover with aluminum foil to keep it moist.
Cook the turkey for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the temperature reaches at least 165°F (74°C). *Smaller portions can be reheated in a shorter time.
You can use our seasoning blend of 2 tablespoons each of Kosher salt and paprika, 1 tablespoon of pepper, ½ tablespoon each of onion powder and garlic powder. Dried thyme, rosemary, and sage are excellent herbs to add as well! You can also try using a Cajun or BBQ seasoning for an extra kick!
I prefer pecan, apple, or cherry wood for smoking this amazing turkey, but you can use whatever you prefer!
If you don’t have a Traeger smoker, that’s totally okay! You can also make this recipe using any pellet smoker, electric smoker, charcoal smoker or wood smoker. Whatever you’re using, just make sure to preheat it according to the manufacturer’s instructions!
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Traeger Smoked Turkey
- 12 lbs turkey (thawed)
- 4 Tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 sprigs rosemary
Poultry Seasoning Blend
- 2 Tbsp paprika
- 2 Tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
- ½ Tbsp onion powder
- ½ Tbsp garlic powder
Poultry Seasoning Blend
- Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
Smokin' The Bird (Prep, Smoke, Rest, Eat)
- Preheat your Traeger smoker to 300°F (150°C).
- Meanwhile, rinse your turkey and pat dry using paper towels.
- When the turkey is completely dry, rub olive oil and seasoning all over the bird (including inside the cavity).
- Add a few cloves of garlic and sprigs of fresh rosemary inside the cavity.
- Place breast up in the smoker (use a pan if you wish to capture juices for gravy), insert probes (if using) and smoke at 300°F (150°C) for 3 ½ to 4 hours. The turkey is done when it hits at least 160°F (71°C) in the breast and 170°F (77°C) in the thigh.
- Rest the turkey (loosely cover with foil), while the turkey is resting the turkey temperature will increase.
- After the turkey has rested for at least 30 minutes, again check the temperature, the turkey needs to be at least 165°F (74°C) to be safe to eat. Slice, serve, eat and enjoy!
- Do not stuff the bird, this will throw off your cooking times.
- Check temps periodically. You may need to rotate it to get an even browning. If over browning occurs, just cover with a piece of foil.
- Use a probe if your smoker has one, or instant-read thermometer.
- The turkey is done when it hits at least 160°F (71°C) in the breast and 170°F (77°C) in the thigh. While the turkey is resting the turkey temperature will increase.
- Place the turkey on the smoker and set a timer for 1 ½ hours to start checking temperatures and browning.
- Don't flip the turkey, keep it breast up the entire cook time.
- When you probe the turkey the juices should run clear.
- Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes minimum or all of the juices will run out and you'll have a dry turkey.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!