Bourbon and Herb Smoked Turkey Recipe

Bourbon and Herb Smoked Turkey Recipe

Turkey is a very versatile protein.And, in my opinion, while a roasted turkey can be delicious if treated right. A Smoked Turkey Recipe can reach results that surpass even the stuffed and roasted holiday bird.

I had an opportunity this year to secure a second turkey from a local turkey farm. It was a 16 pound, all natural range raised bird. I saw it as the perfect opportunity to do some smoking. And then to vacuum pack and freeze a number of cuts – especially a lot of sliced meat for sandwiches (see recipe below).


One range raised, natural turkey

For the Dry Brine:

Put together a mixture of either dry or fresh herbs.

Remember dry herbs will bring a more intense flavour. I used mostly fresh herbs.

Four sprigs of fresh rosemary (strip needles from stem)

Four sprigs of fresh sage

10 - 12 sprigs of fresh common thyme

Four cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

Two teaspoons of fennel seeds

One teaspoon of lemon zest

One teaspoon of red pepper flakes

One half of a cup of kosher salt

Two teaspoons of turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)

Put all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a paste forms.

For the Smoke:

Two apples - cut in half

One large onion - cut in half

Three or four whole garlic cloves

Four sprigs of fresh rosemary

One cup of your favorite Bourbon

Whiskey Oak Bisquettes

Recipe for a Delicious Sandwich:

One demi-baguette

Triple cream Brie cheese

Hot pepper jelly


Sliced smoked turkey


Rub the Dry Brine mixture all over the turkey - top, bottom and inside the cavity.
Chill the turkey, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Thirty minutes before smoking, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and rinse the brine off – take your time with this and get the brine off of the bird. Use cold running water.

Dry the turkey well and put the apples, onion and garlic cloves into the cavity along with the rosemary sprigs.

Rub the Bourbon all over the exterior of the turkey.


Smoke the turkey on the Whiskey Oak Bisquettes at 220 - 225ºF for 6 - 8 hours.

Baste with the Bourbon no more than three times during the entire smoking process.

Look for an internal temperature of 150 - 160ºF.

When the Turkey has reached temperature and is done, remove it and let it rest on a cutting board for 15 - 20 minutes.

Remove the fruit and vegetables from the cavity.

Carve, slice and enjoy!


Slice the baguette open and spread the Brie on one side of the bread.

Spread the pepper jelly on the other side of the bread.

Layer slices of the smoked turkey on top of the cheese.

Lay the arugula over the turkey, close the sandwich and enjoy!