Smoked Cajun Turkey

29:30 - Prep 24:30 / Cook 5:00
Beginner

This Smoked Cajun Turkey is generously seasoned with a spicy rub with cayenne powder and smoked paprika. It’s brined to retain juices and smoked with apple wood to infuse the tender white meat with wood-fired flavor. You could reserve this recipe for your holiday bird, but you’ll want to eat this Smoked Cajun Turkey all year round.

We made this recipe on the Rider DLX Pellet Grill, but you can make it on your grill or smoker.

8-12 Servings
Ingredients
Turkey
  • 1 (10-16 pound) whole turkey
  • > apple wood pellets
Brine
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme and oregano sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorn
  • 2 gallons ice water
Cajun Rub
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
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Preparation
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Step 1 Of 11
1. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, salt and water. Boil until sugar and salt are dissolved.
2. Pour liquid into a large stock pot. Add thyme and oregano sprigs, red pepper flakes, peppercorn and ice water.
3. Submerge turkey in brine, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
4. Remove turkey from brine, rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
5. Fill the hopper with wood pellets and preheat the pellet grill to 250°F in smoke mode.
6. In a small bowl, combine paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne powder, oregano and thyme. Mix with fingers to break up any lumps.
7. Generously season turkey on all sides with Cajun rub.
8. Place the turkey onto hot grill grates, insert temperature probe and close the lid.
9. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 4 to 6 hours.
10. Remove turkey and let rest for 15 minutes.
11. Serve with Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese.
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