Turkey Day with a Twist: Applewood Smoked Turkey in a Weston Smoker

Remember that Apple Sausage Stuffing I made last week? Well hopefully you didn't already eat yours - because it goes perfectly with today's main course: Applewood Smoked Turkey. You can smoke a whole 10-12 lb. turkey or you can smoke a large turkey breast, which is what I did. If you do smoke a whole turkey, don't be tempted to stuff it. While this dish is perfect with the Apple Sausage Stuffing, the stuffing gets cooked ahead of time and stuffed into the turkey afterward if you really want it in the bird. Otherwise, the stuffing will get a smoky flavor that simply doesn't taste good in stuffing - and it may pick up some bacteria from the bird.

First things first. Brine your turkey by soaking it in salt water for 18-24 hours. I put the frozen turkey into a garbage bag and cover it with the salt water, then I place it in a small cooler (in case the bag leaks) and set it outside. If it's warmer than 40 degrees where you are, I recommend putting it in the fridge.

To flavor the turkey, you'll need to purchase apple wood chips. I found them at True Value, where they have a wide selection of chips, but you may also find them online. Soak the chips in water for at least a half hour before use.To smoke your turkey with applewood, you'll need a Weston smoker. I used Weston's 36" Gas Smoker.

The woodchip box needs to be taken out during the preheating process and the smoker needs to be preheated to 240 degrees. It takes about a half hour to get it smoking properly so that you can put in your bird. 

It also takes about a half hour to precook your turkey. Bake the turkey at 375 degrees for 30 minutes on a Weston Baking Mat. This gets the cooking process started.

The most efficient way to get this all done is to preheat your oven, then put your wood chips in water and preheat the smoker. As soon as your oven is preheated, put your turkey in for a half an hour.

After a half hour, the smoker will be heated and your turkey and wood chips will be ready to be put in. This makes your prep time about a half hour, which is really not bad considering that the smoker will take over from here.

How long you smoke your turkey depends on its weight. The rule of thumb is 25-40 minutes per pound. For my 8 lb. turkey breast, I smoked it four hours.

For help with using a smoker, visit the Cooking with Weston Recipe Book.

Take it out, slice it, and serve it with Apple Sausage Stuffing.

Here are some other recipes that go well with Applewood Smoked Turkey:
Cranberry Chutney
Zucchini Fries
Sweet Potatoes Au Gratin

Applewood Smoked Turkey
Apple Sausage Stuffing

How to Use a Smoker

Weston Baking Mat
Weston Smoker

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