Maple Bourbon Smoked Turkey

Maple Bourbon Smoked Turkey

(3 reviews) Write a Review




Robert A. Wirt


  • 10 to 12lb turkey
  • 5qts hot water
  • 1½ cups kosher salt (if using table salt, cut the amount down to ¾ cup)
  • ¾ cup bourbon
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered through the root end
  • 3 to 4 strips of orange peel
  • 3 bay leaves, broken into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 3 quarts ice
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • Pork/Poultry seasoning, or salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Sprigs of fresh sage and thyme for garnish
  • Orange wedges, lady apples, or kumquats for garnish
  • Prepared turkey gravy for serving
  • You’ll also need: Butcher’s twine (sometimes called kitchen twine)
  1. In a large stockpot or container combine the hot water, kosher salt, bourbon, ¾ cup of the maple syrup, brown sugar, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, and cloves and stir until well mixed.
  2. Add the ice.
  3. Rinse the turkey, inside and out, under cold running water.
  4. Remove giblets and discard or save for another use.
    • Some turkeys come with a gravy packet as well; remove it before roasting the bird.
  5. Add the turkey to the brine and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours, or overnight.
    • Weight with a a bag of ice to keep the bird submerged.
  6. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
    • Discard the brine.
  7. Fold the wingtips behind the back and tie the legs together with butcher’s twine.
  8. Combine the melted butter and the remaining ¼ cup of maple syrup.
  9. Brush combination onto the bird and sprinkle lightly with pork/poultry seasoning or salt and black pepper.
  10. When ready to cook, start the REC TEC grill on smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 350ºF and pre-heat with lid closed for 10 to 15 minutes.
  11. Roast the turkey for 2½ to 3 hours or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh is 165ºF.
    • Use an instant-read meat thermometer.
  12. Brush with the remaining butter/maple syrup mixture within the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  13. Let the turkey rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

3 Reviews

  • BEST Turkey I've ever eaten

    Posted by Meg on 25th Jun 2018

    This was THE best turkey my husband and I have ever eaten. I very much regret getting the smallest size smoker. I'll have to do 2 turkeys for thanksgiving separately. Talk about juicy and so much flavor. Incredible!! Thank you!

  • Best Turkey ever

    Posted by Markus on 13th Nov 2017

    So I did this turkey and it came out excellent! I made the brine like in the recipe, but cooked it differently:

    - I put the rec tec to Xtreme smoke at 180 degrees and smoked the turkey for three hours.
    - I than took it out and let it cool for 30 minutes.
    - I than set the grill to 350 degrees and until the temperature of the turkey was 160 degrees. for a 20 pound turkey that took roughly 3 1/2 hours.

    the meet had a smoke ring and everything was very juicy and tasted amazing!

  • great

    Posted by Unknown on 30th Oct 2017

    Turned out great.

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