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.

Ratings & Reviews

Mikey1956's Review

November 24, 2011
I love this receipe! We have cooked our turkey like this for the last several years and the entire family loves it. We cook ours on The Big Green Egg and it is the best!

vze39n8v's Review

December 01, 2008
This recipe is absolutely the best way to cook the turkey. I have made it for the last 4 years and my friends and family always say it is the best they have tasted. The skin on the turkey gets a beautiful red color and the meat comes out juice and tender. I strongly recommended. .