How Do You Cook Turkey in a Smoker?

Smoke a turkey using a water smoker by cooking it to an internal temperature of 175-180 degrees Fahrenheit in the thigh and at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the breast. In an electric smoker, set the smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. With both smokers, it takes up to 12 hours to smoke a turkey.

If using a water smoker for the turkey, let briquettes burn in the bottom of the smoker for about 30 minutes. Put foil in the water pan, and place it in the center of the smoker ring. Remove the giblets from the turkey and drain the juices before smoking. It should be thawed prior to smoking in a water smoker. Instead of stuffing the turkey, rub it with vegetable oil. Make sure there is a meat thermometer inside the turkey to check the internal temperature often. Put the turkey breast side up on the top rack. Add more briquettes every 1 1/2 hours, and check the turkey's temperature every few hours. The turkey should stand at least 15 minutes before carving.

In an electric smoker, follow the same instructions for preparing the turkey, including not using stuffing. After setting the smoker to the right temperature and inserting the turkey into the smoker, check the temperature after the first 3 1/2 hours. It needs to go from 40 degrees to 140 degree Fahrenheit in no more than four hours. Let the turkey sit for 20 minutes before carving when it is done in the smoker.