Smoked Turkey – The Best Ever!

Smoked Turkey Injected with Rub and Butter

We’ve smoked turkeys for years and they are always great, but this year we took it to a whole new level.  Like our fried turkeys we decided to inject the turkey with a bbq style injection that is super easy.  As a matter of fact the whole process is easy and you probably have everything in your pantry already.  You will be super happy with this smoked turkey.



  • 1/3 cup of bbq rub – we used a homemade rub that was low in salt and heavy on paprika, pepper, garlic and onion powders and some sugar
  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • 1 cup of water


  • 12 pound turkey – you can go much bigger but you may need to make more injection

Under Skin:

  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of cracked pepper


  • Prepare the injection by adding the butter to a microwave safe bowl and melting.  Add rub and hot/warm water and wisking all 3 together to dissolve the rub.  Make sure it’s warm but not so hot that it cooks the meat.
  • For the under skin “rub”, get the stick of butter to room temp and mix in the pepper.  It should be a peanut butter consistency.
  • Fully defrost the turkey and dry it inside and out and be sure and remove the neck and “parts” in the back in the front of the turkey under the skin.
  • Inject the turkey using a meat injector – start with the breast.  Try and make as few holes as you can.  Insert the injector and pull part way out and move the needle to a different location in the breast.  WATCH OUT!  I MAY SQUIRT OUT! (don’t wear anything you don’t mind getting dirty). Don’t forget to inject the legs and thighs.  The amount of the injection should be enough for one turkey.
  • Pull skin over breast up and rub the butter / pepper mixture under the skin as evenly over the breast as you can.
  • Pull the skin back to cover the breast.  You can pin with toothpick if it won’t stay.
  • Rub a light amount of olive oil over the entire turkey and sprinkle with cracked pepper.
  • Put in aluminum pan and cover with aluminum foil and put in fridge overnight to further dry out skin.  (I think this is key to the color we got this time)
  • Heat your smoker to 250 degrees.
  • I used Hickory chips and the results were excellent.
  • Smoke until the breast is 160 degrees.  I actually pull when it’s about 156/157 degrees and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
  • Cut and enjoy.

This smoked turkey really was the best ever.  The breast meat was so juicy and flavorful.  I’ll never smoke another turkey with out injecting it first.  Once you try this smoked turkey recipe you won’t go back!