Apple, Thyme & Sage Smoked Turkey

apple thyme sage smoked turkey recipeIt’s been said that once you’ve had smoked turkey, you can never go back to the oven-roasted variety, and I have to admit that I agree with the sentiment. In addition to reveling in the fact that smoking the bird leaves the oven free for all kinds of baked vegetables and side dishes, nothing beats the presentation that a perfectly smoked, mahogany skinned turkey makes when served on a platter.

In this preparation, the turkey is first brined with brown sugar, soy sauce, salt and peppercorns, then stuffed with aromatics like onion, apple, garlic, sage and thyme and finally smoked with apple wood. It all comes together to create a perfect marriage of flavors and a gorgeous, delicious, tender and moist turkey.

Methods of Cooking this Recipe

large Low & Slow smoker cooker recipes

Low and Slow

large Fast & Hot smoker cooker recipes

fast and hot

Recommended Smoker Cooker Fuel

Hard wood from your region

Add some Apple Wood Chunks for flavoring


5 from 1 reviews
Apple, Thyme & Sage Smoked Turkey
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 1 14-18 pound turkey
  • 2 gallons hot water
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 onion cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 apple cut into 6 wedges
  • 7-8 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
  • 8 ounces (1 stick) butter, divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons black pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage, minced
  1. Begin by removing the neck and giblets. They can be used for making a gravy if desired but won't be necessary for this preparation.
  2. In a container large enough to fully submerge the turkey in liquid (a canner works perfectly), combine the hot water, brown sugar, soy sauce, kosher salt and peppercorns. Stir the mixture until all the sugar is dissolved. Let cool completely.
  3. Carefully add the turkey to the brine, submerging completely. Cover the pot and refrigerate overnight.
  4. The next morning, remove the turkey from the brine (dispose of the brine) and use paper towels to pat inside and outside of the turkey. Let the turkey sit on a wire rack placed in a baking sheet for one hour to dry out a bit.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare your Lang BBQ Smoker cooker. If available use some apple wood chunks. Heat the smoker cooker. Cook Fast & Hot at 350 degrees for 3-3½ hours. Cook Low & Slow at 250 degrees for approximately 5 hours.
  6. Prepare the turkey. Combine 4 tablespoons of the butter with 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, the garlic powder, thyme and sage. Rub the compound butter under the skin of the breast and thigh.
  7. Season the inside of the turkey with some salt and pepper then stuff the bird with the onion, apple, garlic, thyme and sage sprigs.
  8. Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter, then brush it all over the turkey. Season the outside of the turkey with the remaining salt and pepper.
  9. Truss the turkey's legs if desired and cover the wings with foil so they don't char. Lay the turkey, breast side up on the hot smoker.
  10. Cook the turkey until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 160º. (Hot & Fast 350º for 3 - 3½ hours, Low & Slow 250º for about 5 hours). Remove the turkey from your smoker cooker to a board, tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 30-45 minutes before serving.



6 Replies to “Apple, Thyme & Sage Smoked Turkey”

  1. Thank you for posting. Great timing. I am doing my first Thanksgiving turkey on the Lang. This recipe look perfect. I will be doing low and slow @ 250 degrees

  2. Pingback: Thanksgiving Turkey | Lang Smoker Cookers's Blog

  3. Pingback: Apple, Thyme & Sage Smoked Turkey – BBQ Recipes

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