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Kamado Joe Smoked Turkey

Today, we’re diving into the world of smoked turkey, and let me tell ya, it’s a taste bud adventure you won’t want to miss. I recently fired up my trusty Kamado Joe and decided to tackle this classic dish. Let me walk you through the smokin’ process and some tips to make your turkey turn out plump, juicy, and flavorful!

kamado joe smoked turkey

How to Make Smoked Turkey on Kamado Joe

Alright, folks, let’s get this poultry party started! Here’s a quick rundown of the steps you’ll want to follow:

  1. Prep that Bird: Rinse your turkey inside and out, then pat it dry. Gotta get rid of any excess moisture, you know what I mean?
  2. Seasoning Sensation: Rub it down with your favorite seasoning blend. Don’t be shy! Get those flavors in every nook and cranny.
  3. Get the Joe Fired Up: Prep your Kamado Joe. I like to use a combo of charcoal and wood chunks for that smoky goodness. Set it up for indirect cooking, aim for around 250°F, and let it stabilize.
  4. Smoke ‘Em if You Got ‘Em: Place that beautifully seasoned turkey on the grill grates, away from the direct heat. Close the lid and let the magic happen.
  5. Keepin’ it Moist: Toss a water pan in there to keep the humidity up. Moisture is your turkey’s best friend!
  6. Thermometer Tango: Keep an eye on the temp. You’re lookin’ for about 165°F in the thickest part of the bird. Patience is key, my friends!
  7. Rest and Carve: Once it’s hit that golden temp, take it off, cover it with foil, and let it rest. This gives those juices time to redistribute. Then, it’s carving time!

To Brine or Not to Brine?

Ah, the age-old question! In my opinion, a good brine can take your turkey to the next level. It’s like a spa day for the bird, infusing it with flavor and ensuring it stays juicy throughout the smoke. If you’ve got the time, go for it! But a solid seasoning rub will still give you a fantastic result if you’re in a pinch.

turkey on a kamado joe

Moisture Mastery: Tips for Juicy Turkey

Now, let’s talk moisture, folks. We don’t want no dry, sad turkey on our hands. Here are a few tips to keep that bird nice and juicy:

  • Butter Baste: Give your turkey a little love during the smoke by basting it with melted butter. It adds a rich, luscious flavor and helps lock in moisture.
  • Water Pan Wonder: I mentioned it earlier, but it’s worth saying again. That water pan is a game-changer. Keeps things nice and humid in there!
  • Don’t Peek!: I know, it’s tempting to lift the lid and check on your masterpiece, but every time you do, you’re lettin’ out heat and moisture. Trust the process!

Sides to Complement

Now that you’ve got that mouthwatering turkey, what’s gonna round out your feast? Here are a few ideas:

  • Classic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy, dreamy, and a perfect match for that smoky goodness.
  • Roasted Veggies: A colorful array of roasted vegetables adds a pop of flavor and a touch of elegance.
  • Cranberry Sauce: Tangy, sweet, and a classic turkey companion.


Got some turkey hangin’ around after the feast? Fear not, my friends! Here are a couple of ideas to keep the deliciousness going:

  • Turkey and Cranberry Panini: Stack that turkey with some cranberry sauce and cheese between two slices of bread, then grill it up for a melty masterpiece.
  • Turkey Pot Pie: Toss that turkey into a creamy, veggie-packed filling, top it with a flaky crust, and bake it to golden perfection.

kamado joe turkey

And there you have it, folks! A smokin’ hot guide to Kamado Joe turkey perfection. I hope you give it a whirl and let those taste buds dance. Thanks a million for joining me on this flavorful journey. Remember, it’s not just about the turkey, it’s about the memories you make along the way. Happy smokin’!

Gobble ’til you wobble, my friends!

Kamado Joe Smoked Turkey

Impress your guests this holiday season with our Kamado Joe smoked turkey recipe. Unleash a symphony of flavors that will leave them wanting more.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings 8


  • 1 whole turkey 12-14 pounds
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons your favorite poultry seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • Wood chunks or chips for smoking hickory, apple, or cherry work well


Prepping the Turkey

  1. Start by thawing your turkey in the refrigerator for 24 hours for every 4 pounds.
  2. Rinse the turkey inside and out. Pat it dry with paper towels.
  3. Mix the poultry seasoning, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl. This will be your seasoning blend.
  4. Gently separate the skin from the turkey breast, thighs, and legs, being careful not to tear it.
  5. Rub the softened butter underneath the turkey skin, spreading it evenly.
  6. Season the outside of the turkey with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Preparing the Kamado Joe

  1. Fill the Kamado Joe with charcoal and light it up. Allow it to preheat to about 250°F.
  2. While it's preheating, soak the wood chunks or chips in water for about 30 minutes.
  3. Set up your grill for indirect cooking. Place a drip pan under the grill grate, directly below where the turkey will go.

Smoking the Turkey

  1. Place the soaked wood chunks or chips on the hot coals. This will create that lovely smoky flavor.
  2. Put the turkey on the grill grate, breast side up, directly above the drip pan. Close the lid.
  3. Maintain the grill temperature at around 250°F. Add more charcoal and soaked wood chips as needed to keep the temperature steady.
  4. Baste the turkey with melted butter every 30 minutes using a basting brush.
  5. Keep smoking the turkey until the internal temperature reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh. This should take around 3.5 to 4 hours.

Resting and Carving

  1. Once the turkey reaches the desired temperature, carefully remove it from the grill. Place it on a cutting board, tent it with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.
  2. During this time, the juices will redistribute, and the turkey will continue to cook slightly, reaching a perfect, juicy doneness.
  3. Carve your smoked turkey, and you're ready to serve!
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