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A whole turkey being smoked on a pellet grill, covered in spice rub, with wisps of smoke behind it on the pellet grill

How To Smoke a Turkey on a Pellet Grill

Would you like to impress your dinner guests with the best-tasting turkey they've ever had? Then follow this easy recipe for how to smoke a turkey on a pellet grill. This is hands down the easiest turkey recipe you will ever make. Smoked turkey is incredibly juicy, tender, and infused with a unique smoky flavor. The bird is seasoned with a dry spice rub that adds fantastic flavor and leaves a crispy exterior on the turkey. So, if you want to smoke a turkey, you have to try this delicious smoked turkey recipe; you will be so glad you did!
4.88 from 81 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people
Calories 392 kcal



  • 8.5 pound turkey remove the neck and giblets
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 2 tablespoon dry spice rub link for homemade is in the notes.


  • Preheat the smoker to 225°F. Make sure it is topped up with wood pellets.
  • Rinse the turkey inside and outside with cold water and dry the turkey with a paper towel. Place the turkey on a large platter or roasting pan. If using homemade dry spice rub, mix the ingredients together with a spoon.
  • Next, add butter or olive oil underneath the skin on the turkey breast. Rub the butter all over both breasts with your fingers. This helps to keep the breast moist, and it doesn't get dried out. Next, rub oil over the entire turkey. Sprinkle spice rub over the whole turkey. Don't forget underneath!
  • If you want to make gravy, place an aluminum pan or baking sheet on the grill rack and a wire cooling rack inside the pan. This will catch all of the drippings. Next, place the turkey on the wire rack. Then, add a few cups of water to the pan at the beginning of cooking to ensure the drippings do not evaporate before the turkey is fully cooked. The water may evaporate during cooking, so refill the pan as needed to keep a few cups of water in there at all times.
  • If you are not going to make gravy, place turkey directly on the rack of the grill.
  • Place a temperature probe into the thickest part of the breast meat and the thigh. When the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165 degrees F, the turkey will be cooked. The cook time for the turkey is 30 minutes per pound at 225 degrees F, or 25 minutes per pound at 250 degrees F. Start checking the turkey about one hour before you think it should be done. If the turkey is done earlier, just shut the grill off and cover the turkey with aluminum foil. I would then place it in the oven on the keep warm setting.
  • Allow the turkey to rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • Enjoy!


Nutritional information is approximate and is meant as a guideline only.
Homemade dry spice rub recipe
Note: For food safety reasons, it is not safe to place stuffing inside of the turkey. Cook stuffing on the stove or in the oven separately.
Fridge: Leftover smoked turkey can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Freezer: Leftover smoked turkey can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. We love using a Foodsaver to freeze our food, it keeps so much longer!
If you have lots of leftovers, slice up the turkey and place it in a Ziploc bag, and pop it in the freezer for meal prep for school or work lunches. 


Calories: 392kcalCarbohydrates: 0.3gProtein: 51gFat: 19.1gSaturated Fat: 5.4gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 170mgPotassium: 508mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 3mg
Keyword how to smoke a turkey on a pellet grill, pellet grill turkey, pellet smoked turkey, smoked turkey, smoked turkey on pellet grill
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!