How Do You Smoke a Turkey?

To smoke a turkey in a water smoker, thaw it and remove the giblets, place it on the top smoking rack, add soaked wood chips, and cook the turkey for up to 12 hours. When the breast and thighs reach the proper internal temperature, take the turkey out of the smoker, rest it for 15 minutes, and carve it. The supplies needed include a water smoker, charcoal, wood chips, vegetable oil and a basting brush.

Open the smoker lid and vents, lift out the center ring, and arrange 10 pounds of charcoal on the bottom of the smoker. Light the coals. Cover the smoker's water pan with foil, and set it inside the center ring.

Remove the giblets and neck from a thawed turkey. Rub the turkey with paper towels, brush it with vegetable oil, and push a meat thermometer into one of the thighs.

Lay the center ring on the hot coals, and fill the water pan. Set the cooking rack over the water pan, and put the turkey on it with the breast up. Set an oven thermometer on the rack next to the turkey. Lower the smoker lid, and open the vents slightly.

Soak five hardwood smoking chips in water for 60 minutes. When the turkey has been inside the smoker for 90 minutes, lay the chips on the coals. Add 12 to 14 fresh charcoal pieces to the smoker at 90-minute intervals.

Cook the turkey until its internal thigh temperature is 175 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, and its breast temperature is approximately 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This takes up to 12 hours, depending on the size of the turkey. Lift the turkey out of the smoker, let it rest for 15 minutes, and then carve it.