Brenda Kaye’s Smoked Turkey


  • 1 (20 pound) thawed whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 6 tablespoons lemon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 quarts apple juice
  • 4 quarts white wine (such as Carlo Rossi White Rhine)
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • Seasoned pecan wood chips, soaked in water
  • 2 bags charcoal


Place turkey in a large roasting pan and remove or tie back wing tips. Mix lemon pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and seasoned salt into softened butter in a bowl. Massage butter onto turkey skin and inside cavity until turkey is thoroughly covered.

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Combine apple juice and wine in a large pitcher or bowl. Pour enough into the smoker's water pan to fill it; add rosemary.

Place charcoal in the bottom pan of smoker and light according to manufacturer's directions. Wait until charcoal is covered in white ash, about 20 minutes. Place turkey in the smoker, add a handful of wood chips to the charcoal, and close the lid.

Check smoker every 60 to 90 minutes to add more charcoal or wood chips. Top up water pan with apple juice and wine as needed. Cook turkey until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), 13 to 15 hours.

Remove turkey from the smoker, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area before slicing, 15 to 30 minutes.