Bourbon Turkey Brine For Smoking Turkey! Perfect With Jim Beam Apple Bourbon

This Bourbon Turkey Brine For Smoking Turkey mixes the flavor of the fruit in the brine with the Jim Beam Apple Bourbon flavor perfectly!! Now I fell in love with Jim Beam Apple in my Jim Beam Bourbon Smoked Pork Shoulder. It was logical that a bird was the next thing I did with it.

Smoked Bourbon Brined Turkey Cooked on a platter

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This Bourbon Turkey Brine paired with a butter injection is amazing! The turkey is perfect for Thanksgiving, holiday, or weekend meals! I made this on my Pit Boss Pro 1100.  Now I picked mine up from Lowes, but Walmart and Amazon carry other Pit Boss options or Pit Boss websites themselves. 

Pit Boss Pellet GrillsPit Boss Pellet GrillsPit Boss Pellet GrillsTraeger Pellet GrillsTraeger Pellet GrillsTraeger Pellet GrillsZ Grills Pellet GrillsZ Grills Pellet GrillsZ Grills Pellet Grills

 

Bourbon Turkey Brine Ingredients: 

Bourbon Turkey Brine Butter Injection Ingredients:

  • Butter-I used salted butter but you could use unsalted butter either will work.
  • Minced Garlic– You could do garlic powder in place of minced garlic. I prefer the minced as larger chunks of garlic will be in the turkey as it cooks.
  • Metal Injector-Learn from my mistakes the plastic barreled injectors break really fast.

Bourbon Turkey Brine Rub Ingredients: 

Plus have one more stick of butter on hand to stick inside the turkey cavity while it is smoking.

How To Make Bourbon Turkey Brine For Smoking Turkey:

Safely thaw your turkey and remove the innards. 

If you chose to rinse off your turkey and set it aside while you prepare the brine.

Gather your brine ingredients and cut your lemons and oranges into quarters.

Bourbon Turkey Brine Ingredients

Clean a cooler or large container to fill with water, and make sure the plug is in so it doesn’t leak. If you don’t have a cooler, a stockpot or bucket will work.

Add your brine ingredients to the cooler full of water.

Submerge your turkey, and add more water if necessary.

Bourbon Turkey Brine with Turkey In Cooler

Make sure while your turkey is brining to store, it is in the fridge or ice water. You don’t want the temperature to rise and grow bacteria. 

The day you are ready to smoke your turkey remove your turkey from the brine. I set mine in a pan to allow it to dry off a bit while I prepare the rest. 

How To Make A Butter Injection For Smoking Turkey:

Your smoking tools are just as crucial as a good smoker, I have gone thru several plastic injectors over the years! When we made the Beef Brisket With A Whiskey Injection, we broke another! This time around, the old lady had enough and order a Metal Injector from Amazon! 

Metal Injector On Counter Top

I used the big tip for the metal injector, I knew the turkey skin would be tougher.  Plus, larger areas of meat to inject and take the injection as well.

Turkey next To Metal Injector For Butter Garlic Injection

Place your turkey on a large cookie sheet; or baking sheet. The pan will catch excess butter and rub. Use the pan to carry the turkey to the smoker as well for easy transport.

In a microwavable bowl, place your stick of butter and your minced garlic.

Cover the bowl with a paper towel and microwave until the butter is melted.

Use your injector to suck up the butter and inject the turkey with the melted butter.

Repeat all over the turkey until the butter is gone. 

How Long To cook A Turkey For

Now this will vary some smoker to smoker. The most common practice is to smoke for a couple of hours at 225 and then turn the temperature up to 350 to decrease the remaining cooking time. When turning the temperature up, you can cover the turkey with foil if you like.

  • You can start smoking on a smoke setting for an hour or two before increasing the temperature.
  • 225 degrees Fahrenheit for ~30 minutes per pound of meat.
  • 250 degrees Fahrenheit for ~25 minutes per pound of meat.
  • 325 degrees Fahrenheit for ~12 minutes per pound of meat.

For Example, a 15-pound turkey at 225 pounds would be about 450 minutes. Divide that by 30 to get 7.5 hours of cook time.

The most important part is not to smoke for time but for temperature. You will want to use a meat thermometer to ensure your bird reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees before serving.

How To Thaw A Turkey

How long your turkey takes to thaw will vary based on the site. The graphic below is a general guide to thawing a turkey based on size. Be sure to always keep your turkey in food safety guidelines.

Chart Depicting how to thaw a turkey

How To Smoke bourbon brined smoked turkey:

After injecting the butter into the turkey, rub your turkey with olive oil or melted butter. 

Sprinkle your turkey with a bit of Montreal Steak Seasoning, Johnny’s Original Seasoning Salt, Thyme, and Lawrys Garlic Salt.  

Next, I placed a stick of butter in the turkey cavity, you can add in other stuffing if you want to. This will help keep the inside moist and flavor the turkey more.  

Start your smoker up, I used Mesquite Pellets in my hopper. You can use any flavor.

Money and time-saving tips from the old lady. If you order pellets online from Walmart and spend $35, they will drop them off at your door for free!! Their everyday price on pit boss pellets is amazing, plus the expert grill brand has a great price. (see them ->here)

Bourbon Brined Turkey On Smoker Rubbed To Be Smoked

Set your smoker at a smoke setting and place the turkey in the smoker once you are rolling smoke.

Place your turkey on the lower temperature side of the smoker; mine is the left side of the smoker.

Allow the turkey to smoke for 1 to 3 1/2 hours on the smoke setting.

Turn your smoker up to 225 and smoke until an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer to do this, or probes if your smoke came with them.

Remove and serve! 

Bourbon Turkey Brine For Smoked Turkey!

How Long To cook A Turkey For

Now this will vary some smoker to smoker. The most common practice is to smoke for a couple of hours at 225 and then turn the temperature up to 350 to decrease the remaining cooking time. When turning the temperature up, you can cover the turkey with foil if you like.

  • You can start smoking on a smoke setting for an hour or two before increasing the temperature.
  • 225 degrees Fahrenheit for ~30 minutes per pound of meat.
  • 250 degrees Fahrenheit for ~25 minutes per pound of meat.
  • 325 degrees Fahrenheit for ~12 minutes per pound of meat.

For Example, a 15-pound turkey at 225 pounds would be about 450 minutes. Divide that by 30 to get 7.5 hours of cook time.

The most important part is not to smoke for time but for temperature. You will want to use a meat thermometer to ensure your bird reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees before serving.

How To Thaw A Turkey

How long your turkey takes to thaw will vary based on the site. The graphic below is a general guide to thawing a turkey based on size. Be sure to always keep your turkey in food safety guidelines.

Chart Depicting how to thaw a turkey

How To Store Leftover Turkey

Once the leftover turkey is cooled, store it in an airtight container or Ziploc bag in the fridge for up to five days. You can freeze leftover turkey for up to three months in an airtight container to freezer bag.

Storing leftovers properly requires the right tools! My preferred storage method is if the leftovers can be sealed in a food saver. If not, then an air-tight container or Ziploc bag for the fridge is the way I go. The air-tight container and a freezer Ziploc bag are the next best bet for freezing the leftovers. I also use a food scale to measure portions into serving sizes.

Freezable storage ContainersFreezable storage ContainersFreezable storage ContainersFood SealerFood SealerFood SealerFreezer BagsFreezer BagsFreezer BagsFood ScaleFood ScaleFood Scale

 

What To Serve With Smoked Turkey:

Any of the classic turkey dishes will go with smoked turkey. I love to smoke versions of classics as well. You can see my full list of side dishes for smoked turkey -> here that go with smoked turkey.

Bread: Cheesy Garlic Pull Apart BreadGarlic Parmesan Biscuit Pull Part BreadEnglish Muffin Garlic Cheese BreadEasy Cheesy Monkey Bread, Honey Wheat Dinner Rolls, Honey Rolls

Smoked Appetizers: Smoked Cream Cheese, Easy Smoked Queso Dip, Easy Smoked Refried Bean Dip

Smoked Side Dishes: Smoked Baked Potatoes, Smoked Green Bean Casserole, Smoked Sweet Potato Casserole, Smoked Baked Potatoes, Smoked Loaded Cheesy Potatoes, Smoked Deviled Eggs, Smoked Loaded Baked Beans, Creamy Smoked Macaroni And Cheese, Smoked Loaded Cheesy Potatoes

Grilled Side Dishes: Cheesy Grilled Asparagus, Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms, Grilled Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes, Grilled Corn On The Cob,

Desserts: How To Smoke A Pie, Coca-Cola Chocolate CakeCrescent Roll Peach Dumplings, Pumpkin Bars

Bourbon Smoked Turkey Served

The Best Leftover Smoked Turkey Recipes:

I love to use leftover smoked turkey in other recipes! From Pot Pies to soup to a casserole, there are no limits. I even use my Pit Boss Grills and Blackstone griddle to make leftover dishes too!! Check out all my tried and true leftover turkey recipes ->HERE.  

Other Liquors To Use For Whiskey Injected Turkey:

Smoked Bourbon Brined Turkey Cooked on a platter

Bourbon Turkey Brine For Smoking Turkey!

Guy Who Grills
Bourbon Turkey Brine For Smoking Turkey! Perfect to make with Jim Beam Apple Bourbon, plus fruit in the brine and a butter injection! This bourbon brined turkey makes for perfect Thanksgiving dinner!
5 from 37 votes

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Brine 1 day
Total Time 1 day 7 hours 15 minutes
Course american
Cuisine BBQ
Servings 35 Servings
Calories 2372 kcal

Ingredients
  

BOURBON TURKEY BRINE INGREDIENTS

BOURBON TURKEY BRINE BUTTER INJECTION INGREDIENTS

BOURBON TURKEY BRINE BUTTER INJECTION INGREDIENTS

Instructions
 

HOW TO MAKE BOURBON TURKEY BRINE FOR SMOKING TURKEY

  • Safely thaw your turkey and remove the innards.
  • If you chose to rinse off your turkey and set it aside while you prepare the brine.
  • Gather up your brine ingredients and cut up your lemons and oranges into quarters.
  • Clean a cooler or large container to fill with water, make sure the plug is in so it doesn’t leak.
  • Add in your brine ingredients to the cooler full of water.
  • Submerge your turkey, add more water if necessary.
  • Make sure while your turkey is brining to store it in the fridge or in ice water.  You don’t want the temperature to rise and grow bacteria.
  • The day you are ready to smoke your turkey remove your turkey from the brine, I set mine in a pan to allow it to dry off a bit while I prepare the rest.

HOW TO MAKE A BUTTER INJECTION FOR SMOKING TURKEY

  • Place your turkey on a large cookie sheet, this will catch butter or rub plus makes carrying the turkey to the smoker a breeze!
  • In a bowl place your stick of butter and your minced garlic.
  • Cover the bowl with a paper towel and microwave until the butter is melted.
  • Use your injector to suck up the butter and to inject the turkey with the melted butter.
  • Repeat all over the turkey until the butter is gone.

HOW TO SMOKE BOURBON BRINED SMOKED TURKEY:

  • After you are done injecting the butter rub your turkey with a bit of olive oil.
  • Sprinkle your turkey with with a bit of Montreal Steak Seasoning, Johnny’s Original Seasoning Salt, Thyme, and Lawrys Garlic Salt.
  • Next, I placed a stick of butter in the turkey cavity, this will help to keep the inside moist and flavor the turkey more as well.
  • Start your smoker up, I used Mesquite Pellets in my hopper. v
  • Set your smoker at smoke setting and place in the turkey once you are rolling smoke.
  • Place your turkey on your cooler side of the smoker, mine is the left side of the smoker.
  • Allow to smoke for 3 1/2 hours on the smoke setting.
  • Turn your smoker up to 225 for about another 3 1/2 hours and remove when the internal temperate of at least 165 degrees.
  • Remove and serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 35gCalories: 2372kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 0.4gFat: 259gSaturated Fat: 76gPolyunsaturated Fat: 60gMonounsaturated Fat: 112gCholesterol: 264mgSodium: 2mgPotassium: 55mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 30IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword bourbon turkey brine, Jim Beam Apple Bourbon, Smoked Turkey, smoked turkey brine
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Bourbon Turkey Brine For Smoking Turkey! Perfect With Jim Beam Apple Bourbon

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