Yield
Makes 12 to 14 servings

We gave this recipe our highest rating, which says a lot for this delicious bird. This turkey recipe is sure to make waves at your next Thanksgiving gathering.

How to Make It

Step 1

Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for other uses, if desired. Rinse turkey thoroughly with cold water, and pat dry.

Step 2

Add water to a large stockpot, filling half full; stir in maple syrup, bourbon, and pickling spice. Add turkey and, if needed, additional water to cover. Cover and chill turkey 2 days.

Step 3

Soak hickory wood chunks in fresh water at least 30 minutes. Prepare charcoal fire in smoker; let fire burn 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 4

Remove turkey from water, discarding water mixture; pat dry. Cut carrot and celery in half crosswise. Stuff cavity with carrot, celery, and onion. Pierce lemon with a fork; place in neck cavity.

Step 5

Combine salt and pepper; rub mixture over turkey. Fold wings under, and tie legs together with string, if desired.

Step 6

Drain wood chunks, and place on coals. Place water pan in smoker, and add water to depth of fill line. Place turkey in center of lower food rack; cover with smoker lid.

Step 7

Cook 6 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of turkey thigh registers 180°, adding additional water, charcoal, and wood chunks as needed. Remove from smoker, and let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Garnish, if desired.

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