Happy Thanksgiving!!! Or in my house, we say Happy Turkey Day because this Smoked Maple Bourbon Brined Turkey is the star of the holiday.

Here’s our family pic this Thanksgiving! Yes, my oldest seriously showed up in a blue dinosaur outfit! Normal is overrated, right?!

For the past few years we have smoked our turkey for the amazing flavor. Bonus that it also frees up oven space for the other yumminess being cooked.

This year as I was brining the turkey I added some bourbon and maple syrup. I had bourbon left from when I smoked Jim Beam and Coke Glazed Chicken Wings.

Jim Beam and Coke Glazed Chicken Wings

I happen to have an enormous soup pot that is big enough to hold a 16 pound turkey. Add water, kosher salt, maple syrup, bourbon, brown sugar, peppercorns, rosemary, and fresh thyme.

Bring this mixture to a boil for a minute and then let cool.

Carefully put the turkey in the brine, breast side down, and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Smoked Maple Bourbon Brined Turkey

Fast forward overnight and remove the turkey. Pat dry with paper towels and stuff it with wedges of apple, lemon, orange, onion, and also some fresh thyme and rosemary. I did have a few wedges leftover, just couldn’t make it all fit.



Smoked Maple Bourbon Brined Turkey
Smoked Maple Bourbon Brined Turkey

We have a Traeger smoker, so it’s super easy to regulate the temp. Set it to 225 degrees and place the turkey in the smoker. I always use the Signature Blend pellets. Click below to buy them from Amazon!



Plan for 30 minutes per pound, so about 7 hours for this 14 pound bird.

Use a thermometer to check that the dark meat is at least 175 degrees to be certain it’s fully cooked.

I am a peeker when it comes to smoking things, then I do a little happy dance once I get to see the yumminess that is happening in the smoker. This was a peek after about 3 hours.



Smoked Maple Bourbon Brined Turkey

But just look at that gorgeous golden brown color after 7 hours! Holy Deliciousness, Batman!!!

Smoked Maple Bourbon Brined Turkey
Smoked Maple Bourbon Brined Turkey

Thanksgiving leftovers??? Try these Leftover Turkey Balls!



Leftover Turkey Balls

More recipes for the smoker include…

Smoked Mexican Chicken and Smoked Jerk Chicken with Caribbean Rum Sauce.

Smoked Jerk Chicken with Caribbean Rum Sauce

Sweet Tea Brined Chicken is another must try recipe.



Sweet Tea Brined Chicken

Subscribe to my email list and YouTube channel HERE for weekly meal plans!

Lots more holiday recipes for you with my Thanksgiving Meal Plan!



Print

Smoked Maple Bourbon Turkey

A maple bourbon brine that makes for the juiciest turkey!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings 8
Calories 355 kcal
Author Cheri Renee

Ingredients

For the Turkey Brine

  • 1 1/2 gallons water
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 2 springs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 14-16 pound whole turkey

Smoking the Turkey

  • 1 apple cut into wedges
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • 1 orange cut into wedges
  • 1 onion cut into wedges
  • 2 springs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 3 Tbsps melted butter

Instructions

For the Turkey Brine

  1. In a very large pot (big enough for the turkey to fit into) combine the water, salt, maple syrup, bourbon, brown sugar, peppercorn, rosemary and thyme. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute and let the brine come to room temperature.

  2. Once the brine is at room temp add the turkey, breast side down. Refrigerate at least 24 hours.

Smoking the Turkey

  1. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. 

  2. Stuff the turkey with the wedges of apples, oranges, lemons, and onions and the fresh thyme and rosemary.

  3. Brush the melted butter over all sides of the turkey.

  4. Place the turkey in a smoker set to 225 to 250 degrees. Smoke the turkey for 30 minutes per pound (approx. 7 to 9 hours for a 14 to 16 pound turkey) or until internal temperature is 175 degrees in the dark meat.