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Traeger Smoked Turkey

Traeger Smoked Turkey is going to quickly become your new favorite turkey method. Put away the gallons of oil, free up your oven, and go ahead and donate that giant electric roaster that you only pull out once a year to someone else, because you’re going to want Smoked Traeger Turkey every year from here on out.

Traeger Smoked Turkey

Traeger Smoked Turkey Recipe

You guys probably made Traeger Chicken for your very first recipe on your grill. Most everyone does and for very good reason.

It just works.

Every time.

I wasn’t sure if I’d be as impressed with a whole roasted turkey as I am with the chicken, but I’m already excited for Thanksgiving this week because I have seen the light.

It was moist, and the skin was perfect. There was a hint of smoke, but it wasn’t overwhelming. We got great drippings for gravy by cooking it in a large pan, and I made bone broth with the carcass to make alllllll the gravy I want for actual Turkey Day next week, and not have to use any boxed stock.

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Side note: you are definitely going to want to make this Traeger Dressing Recipe, this Green Bean Casserole with Fresh Green Beans, and some Cranberry Sangria to go with your turkey!

More Easy Traeger Recipes here!

Traeger Smoked Turkey

Why should you smoke your turkey?

I might start doing turkey dinner more than once a year now that I have a foolproof way of cooking it. Turkey dinner is up near the top of my “favorite food” list, right after spaghetti and meat sauce.

I had turkey dinner AT MY WEDDING, you guys. In August. (Many Augusts ago, but still August. In Northern Minnesota. Not your typical turkey time of year!) My poor family was cooking for days, but I (and all of our guests) had one of the best turkey dinners ever put together.

Awwwwww. <3 We were so cute!

Anyway, we smoke a turkey for a lot of different reasons, the main one being the FLAVOR that wood fire gives poultry, but also to free up oven space. That’s always at a premium on Thanksgiving!

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Traeger Smoked Turkey
Make trusting your bird a SNAP with the Turbo Trusser!

How to make turkey in the pellet grill

For this turkey, we did it very simply. Traeger pellet grill. Good quality pellets. Fresh bird, no brine, no injections, no stuffing.

Massage the bird with olive oil, cover with seasonings, and cook in your Traeger, uncovered at 250°F for 2 hours, and then covered at 325°F for another 2-4 hours (depending on the size of your bird.)

It doesn’t get much easier than that when it comes to turkey.

I do suggest doing a couple of smaller turkeys if you have a lot of guests coming over. The rule of thumb is 1 – 1/2 pounds per person, but if you want leftovers I’d push that to 2 pounds a person. I like leftovers though, a LOT.

Serve with Traeger Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Traeger Turkey

Tips For A Delicious Turkey


Always cook to temperature and never to time! A good instant-read thermometer is essential here. Bonus points if you have a WIFI version. We love the Thermoworks Smoke for this!

ThermoWorks Smoke

For all of your wireless grilling needs, the Smoke is the most reliable wireless thermometer I’ve ever used.


You’re seasoning a HUGE piece of meat here. You’ll need a lot of seasonings to get the job done. Don’t forget to season UNDER the skin, too!


Make trussing your bird SIMPLE with a Turbo Trusser! It is pictured in almost all of these photos and is my favorite gadget for turkey day. I love these things so much that I got them for the whole extended family for Christmas last year. They make chicken versions, too, and they work so well!

Try my Traeger Spatchcock Turkey!

Traeger Smoked Turkey

Make a spare bird for leftovers!

If you really want to make your family happy, just make the extra bird and send everyone home with leftovers. That’s the worst part about not hosting Thanksgiving. I might love Thanksgiving leftovers more than the 1st-day dinner!

Get all my favorite Traeger Holiday Recipes here!

To brine or not to brine

This one comes up a LOT in the foodie Facebook groups, and for many many years I was pretty anti-brine. It is substantially more work than not, and I wasn’t really convinced it actually made a difference.

This year we did a dry brine method for one bird and a wet brine for another, and they were both moist, juicy, and incredible, so I might have been converted over to the brine side.

Whatever you decide to do, it is ESSENTIAL when you are smoking a turkey to let the bird sit uncovered in the fridge for at least 24 hours before cooking. Otherwise, the skin will be a disaster, and that’s never ideal.

For Dry Brine, I recommend this one from The Grill Guys via Spiceology.

Leftover turkey dinner? Get great ideas for those here!

More Thanksgiving Dishes For You To Enjoy!

Traeger Smoked Turkey
Yield: 12 people

Traeger Smoked Turkey

Traeger Turkey

Traeger Smoked Turkey is going to quickly become your new favorite turkey method. Moist, tender, and with just enough smoke to keep it interesting - you'll be coming back for seconds.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 10-13 pound turkey, thawed, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground poultry seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Traeger Chicken Rub (or your favorite chicken rub)


  1. Mix together the oil and seasonings, and then get to rubbing. You want it alllll over the outside of the turkey. Bonus points for getting a little between the skin and the breast too.
  2. Place the turkey on a rack to raise it off the bottom of the pan, breast up.
  3. Fire up the Traeger according to factory instructions, and preheat to 250. Place the turkey + pan on the grill, uncovered. Close the lid of the grill and set your timer for 2 hours, because you don't want to peek before then.
  4. After two hours have passed, increase the temp to 325 and cover the turkey.
  5. Roast another 2-4 hours (depending on the size of your turkey) until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  6. Remove from grill, carve, and make gravy with the drippings!


If you stuff your turkey:

Do so at your own risk. I think we're all pretty aware of the dangers of this at this point. Make sure to temp your stuffing and ensure it is fully cooked, and DON'T PACK IT IN. 

If you can swing it, scoop all the stuffing out for the last hour of cook time, and cook separately (covered) in a baking dish in the oven at 375. I've also done it in a cheesecloth bag in the turkey so I can pull it out easily near the end to cook in a casserole dish the rest of the way.

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 418Saturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 591mgProtein: 58g

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Nicole Johnson
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Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

David Archuleta

Monday 18th of July 2022

What flavor of pellets did you use?

Nicole Johnson

Monday 18th of July 2022

Whatever was in the hopper. ;) We usually run fruit woods like apple or cherry, or the Traeger Gourmet Blend.


Wednesday 21st of October 2020

You mentioned to cover the last two hours. Cover with what, foil?

Which brand of poultry seasonings?

Nicole Johnson

Wednesday 21st of October 2020

Yup! Foil works for the cover, or a large lid if you use a roaster. It is pretty flexible, in that way. I love the Spiceology brand of poultry seasoning, but any good quality poultry rub should work!


Wednesday 20th of November 2019

Is the turkey spatchcocked ? Don’t see that in the recipe but in the pictures it is.

Nicole Johnson

Wednesday 20th of November 2019

It isn't. The spatchcocked turkey photo was in reference to my spatchcock turkey recipe, that is linked in the post. Here's the link!


Saturday 16th of November 2019

You said to begin uncovered. What temperature is/was it where you live when you did this? If it’s too cold, what ever temp that might be, perhaps keep cover closed the entire time?

Nicole Johnson

Sunday 17th of November 2019

Hey James! I didn't mean uncovered as in, with the grill lid open. That would definitely be a recipe for disaster. ;) I meant you should keep the pan uncovered.


Tuesday 29th of October 2019

Do you wrap it in foil?

Nicole Johnson

Wednesday 30th of October 2019

Nope! Only cover it if it starts to get too brown.

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