Easy Masterbuilt Turkey Smoked in an Electric Smoker

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A well-done turkey with all the fixings is a sight to see. The centerpiece of every Thanksgiving feast.

Cooking a 15lb thunder bird takes up a lot of kitchen space, leaving very little room in the oven for anything else.

Enter the humble electric smoker.

Smoking your turkey frees up your oven for other recipes and transforms your ordinary bird into a smoky barbecue beauty.

So, if you’re short on kitchen space but big on dishing up delectable new twists on holiday classics, keep reading for the entire turkey recipe and instructions on how to smoke a turkey in an electric smoker.

This recipe is intended for electric smokers that utilize wood chips, such as the Masterbuilt; if you have a pellet grill, try our pellet grill smoked turkey instead.

Choose the perfect turkey

How to Smoke a Turkey in an Electric Smoker: Easy Masterbuilt Turkey

The first thing to consider is how many hungry turkey eaters you will be entertaining. After you remove the bones and giblets from a pound of turkey, you’ll have around half a pound of wonderful smoked turkey flesh per adult.

So, if you’re serving 10-12 people, you’ll need a turkey weighing 10 to 12 pounds.

Porter Road’s pasture-raised turkeys are highly recommended.

Smaller turkeys in that range are often ideal for smoking.

At low cooking temperatures, a bigger turkey might develop germs on the inside of the flesh. If you have a 20-pound turkey and want that smoky taste, smoke it at 275°F for 60 minutes before finishing it in the oven at 350°F. It may not have as much smoke taste, but you won’t make people ill.

Always keep your smoker’s size in mind. Most electric smokers have detachable racks, so you should have plenty vertical room, albeit this does take up space if you also smoke other products.

Turkeys are also available in a variety of varieties, ranging from self-basting to heritage. Check out our turkey purchasing guide for a detailed explanation of each phrase.

If you’re like most Americans, you’ll purchase your turkey frozen, so the first step is to defrost it while preventing food sickness.

Thawing your turkey

How to Smoke a Turkey in an Electric Smoker: Easy Masterbuilt Turkey

It is critical that your turkey be properly thawed out in order for it to smoke at a regular pace and not produce unsightly colonies of day-ruining germs.

If you want to brine your turkey for a few days, give enough time for the turkey to thaw and then brine, which may necessitate starting the procedure up to a week before Thanksgiving.

We’ve put up a full guide on thawing your turkey to make things as simple as possible, but here are some crucial points to remember:

  • Allow about 24 hours of defrosting time for every 4-5lbs (1.8-2.2kg) of turkey to ensure optimal thawing.
  • It is not a good idea to defrost your turkey at room temperature. Bacterial colonies, such as Salmonella or Campylobacter, grow every 20 minutes at this temperature.
  • Washing your turkey in the sink accomplishes nothing except coat everything with germs, including you.

Brining your turkey

Brining is a process of tenderizing meat by soaking it in a combination of water, salt, and seasonings. This is known as wet brining.

The salt in the brine enters the flesh of the turkey, breaking down proteins and flavoring the meat. A good brine increases the flavor of smoked turkey while also keeping it moist.

The typical brine recipe calls for 1 cup of kosher or sea salt for 1 gallon of water.

Now that the foundation is finished, it’s time to add some flavor. You may use any herbs and spices you choose in your brine, but some of the most frequent for chicken include garlic, paprika, sugar, vinegar, and thyme.

You may make your own brine, purchase anything off the store, or use our turkey brine in the recipe below.

Simply put all ingredients in a saucepan with water, bring to a mild boil, and whisk to blend.

Allow the mixture to cool before adding extra cold water and placing it in the refrigerator until it is cold.

You may use a sealed container or a brine bag. To minimize messy spillage, I use a brine bag and then lay it inside an aluminum roasting pan. If you’re using a brine bag, be sure to properly remove all of the air before closing it.

My bird was brined for three days. You don’t have to leave it for this long, but I believe it adds more moisture and taste.

If your refrigerator is too small, use an insulated cooler and keep filling it up with ice as it melts.

When the timer goes off, remove the turkey from the brine and thoroughly clean it inside and out before patting it dry with paper towels. If you neglect this step, the finished dish may turn unpleasantly salty when cooked.

Smoking your turkey in an electric smoker recipe

Today is the big day. This is the moment when all of your planning pays off and you wow your family with a smoked turkey.

You should have a thawed and brined turkey ready to go into the electric smoker.

1. Season your turkey

After your turkey has been brined, cleaned, and dried, it is time to apply the final touches.

You may be as adventurous as you like here, making a spicy jerk smoked turkey, a deep south cajun turkey, or just keeping to classic favorites like I did here with a combination of herbs and basic spices.

Remember that you went to the bother of brining your turkey to properly distribute the salt throughout the flesh, so you don’t need to add any additional salt to it now, so avoid adding any highly salty store-bought rubs.

I prefer to load the cavity with aromatics before applying the rub. Consider thyme, rosemary, and garlic.

Spray the turkey with cooking spray to help the rub stick (and the skin crimp up). You may also use olive oil or soft butter. I’ve discovered that spraying is the simplest technique, followed by applying the rub evenly all over, making sure to get the rub into those hard to reach spots.

I also prefer to tie the turkey legs together with butcher twine, tying the legs as near and tight to the breasts as possible. This ensures that everything cooks evenly.

2. Smoking your turkey

Once your turkey has been seasoned, place it in the smoker.

I smoked my turkey on a Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker set to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

To obtain great crispy skin, smoke at 300-350F, but you can always smoke until the turkey hits 135F internal temperature and then finish it in the oven at 350F until it reaches 165F.

This has the added benefit of saving you time when cooking.

If you don’t have enough oven space, don’t worry; 275F will enough; your skin will simply be less crispy.

Fire up your smoker and add woodchips to let it balance itself before placing the turkey inside. Fill the water pan with 1 cup of water or apple juice.

Once it begins to regularly produce smoke, put the turkey inside and insert a flesh probe into at least one breast. Set a timer for 30 to 40 minutes per pound of smoked turkey.

This timetable is only a recommendation. Check the bird at the end of the cooking time with an instant-read thermometer (or leave a probe in the thigh and breast).

Close the smoker and leave a portion of the vent open. Because the vent on my Masterbuilt is a circular, I prefer to leave it a quarter open.

I also set a timer every hour to add additional wood chips and spritz or baste the turkey with liquid or cooking oil.

When the thermometer reaches 165F in the thickest portion of the breast flesh, remove it from the smoker.

After removing the bird, place it on a clean baking sheet and tent it gently with aluminum foil for approximately 30 minutes before cutting.

And there you have it beautifully smoked turkey.

Looking for more electric smoker recipes

  • Electric smoker pork ribs recipe
  • Electric smoker brisket
  • How to Use an Electric Smoker to Smoke Chicken Breasts

Why smoke a turkey in an electric smoker?

Why is it electric? We can hear you sobbing. Why not use a classic charcoal smoker or a sophisticated offset smoker?

The easy approach is to utilize what you have if you just have an electric smoker!

Using an electric smoker to smoke your turkey frees up space, allowing you to prepare a large bird in a setting with limited cooking space, such as a trailer or RV.

While this is true for any smoker, the electric smoker has the advantage of not requiring additional fuel and electricity being the most widespread and readily accessible power source on the world.

Its all about convenience!

Top tips for smoking a turkey in an electric smoker

As you can see, smoking a turkey in an electric smoker is really simple, and following the instructions outlined above will provide excellent results. We do, however, offer some optional accessories that you may utilize to truly make your smoked turkey stand out.

What are the best types of rubs?

There are two types of rubs: dry rubs and moist rubs. Dry rubs are created from finely ground components such as herbs and spices. Wet rubs are often produced from the same ingredients as dry rubs, but with the addition of a liquid component such as oil, fruit juice, beer, or vinegar.

Because smoked turkey cooks for a long period at a low temperature, a wet rub is an excellent method to infuse your bird with a rich, deep flavor.

The smoker’s low temperature will not instantly dry out or char the rub, and the liquid in the rub will collect a little more of those smokey tastes.

Check out our collection of the greatest turkey rub recipes for some ideas for your rub recipes.

You could even try a wet rub on the exterior and a dry rub in the turkey’s cavity for a true flavor explosion.

Should you inject the turkey before smoking?

It’s exactly what it sounds like: injecting a turkey. Fill a specially constructed syringe, known as an injector, with ingredients such as melted butter, duck fat, cognac, maple syrup, and lemon juice, and then inject it into the flesh of the turkey to flavor it.

Injection is often mentioned as an alternative to brining. Still, there’s no reason why you can’t brine a turkey and inject it, as long as you don’t add more salt with the injections.

The main difference between the two is that brining takes around 24 hours, and if you don’t have that much time, injecting your turkey is a far speedier approach to add flavor.

If this is your first time smoking a turkey, you should definitely go with a brine and rub or a brine and injection. You’ve already added a layer of flavor from the smoking, and you don’t want to dominate the turkey. After a few trial runs, you can easily tweak the tastes.

What would chips are best for smoking turkey

Wood chips with a somewhat sweet taste pair nicely with fowl, so try apple, apricot, cherry, peach, or maple, or any of the other turkey smoking woods on our list.

Throughout the smoke, I prefer to use a combination of apple and hickory wood chips. The combination of applewood’s sweetness and hickory wood’s powerful smoky flavor complements turkey flesh quite nicely.

Although turkey flesh is not as delicate as fish, I believe that utilizing just hickory or mesquite may be overbearing.

Hickory and mesquite have stronger tastes that might dominate the turkey flavor.

Wrapping it up

Smoking a turkey in an electric smoker is simple and gives excellent results. You can simply set your temperature, place your well-brined chicken in the smoker, and go about your business, knowing that supper will be excellent.

Do you have a favorite rub to use with smoked turkey? Perhaps you prefer brining to injecting, or vice versa. We’d appreciate it if you could tell us about it in the comments section below.

FAQs

How long does it take to smoke a whole turkey in an electric smoker?

Preheat the smoker to 225°F. Cook the turkey for 8 to 12 hours, or until the inner thigh temperature reaches 180° F, on a cooking rack. After 312 hours, check the temperature of your turkey. Your turkey must cross a crucial temperature range of 40° F to 140° F in 4 hours or less.

What temperature do you smoke turkey in an electric smoker?

To obtain great crispy skin, smoke at 300-350°F, but you can always smoke until the turkey hits 135°F internal temperature and then finish it in the oven at 350°F until it reaches 165°F. This has the added benefit of saving you time when cooking.

How long does it take to smoke a 20 pound turkey in an electric smoker?

Cook for 40 minutes each pound of turkey, for a total time of 8-10 hours. Aim for a temperature of 165°F on the inside. Remove the turkey from the smoker.

How long to smoke a 15 lb turkey at 225?

2 hours at 225 deg F. I always leave myself an additional 30 minutes just in case.Close the cover and smoke the turkey by placing it directly on the grill grates. You may expect the turkey to smoke for around 30 minutes per pound at 225 degrees F. For example, a 15-pound turkey will need 7 and 1

How to smoke a whole turkey in a Masterbuilt electric smoker?

Instructions
Preheat the smoker to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Coat the turkey with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place the turkey on the lowest rack of the smoker.
Cook for 3.5-4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Is it better to smoke a turkey at 225 or 250?

Temperature of Grilled Turkey

The objective is to maintain the temperature as near to 225 degrees Fahrenheit as feasible. If you’re using a manual smoker or a gas grill, maintain the temperature between 225 and 250 degrees F. Whatever technique you use, make sure the smoke from the grill is thin and has a faint blue hue.

Is it better to smoke a turkey at 225 or 350?

Low & Slow Time and Temperatures

Some cook at 225 degrees Fahrenheit (usually recommended), which implies 35-40 minutes per pound. Others roast their turkey at temperatures as high as 300 degrees Fahrenheit, which may reduce cooking time.

Do you wrap a turkey when smoking?

SHOULD YOU COVER THE TURKEY IN FOIL WHILE SMOKING? Unlike when cooking a turkey in the oven, you won’t want to cover your smoked turkey with aluminum foil. You may cover your turkey’s wings with foil if they are baking too rapidly, but there is no need to do so otherwise.

Is it better to smoke a turkey at 250 or 350?

Maintain a temperature of 225 to 250 degrees F (110 to 120 degrees C) when cooking and basting the turkey for the best results.

How long to smoke a 22 pound turkey at 225?

Low and Slow Smoked Turkey – Smoke your turkey at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 6-8 hours for a 22-pound bird. Remove the turkey from the brine and wipe it dry with paper towels (this is a critical step that should not be skipped).

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