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Apple-Brined, Hickory-Smoked Turkey

This juicy, amber-colored turkey imbued with wood smoke is a benchmark of pride every Thanksgiving. If the bird darkens too quickly, loosely cover with foil, then remove the foil in the final minutes of cooking. For more delicious recipes like this one, check out our latest cookbook Weber’s Greatest Hits. 

Apple-Brined, Hickory-Smoked Turkey
By Jamie Purviance

Prep time:  15 minutes
Brining time:  24 hours
Grilling time:  2 1/2 to 3 1/4 hours


2 quarts unsweetened apple juice
1 pound light brown sugar (2 cups packed)
1 cup kosher salt
3 quarts water
3 oranges, quartered
4 ounces fresh ginger, thinly sliced
15 whole cloves
6 bay leaves
6 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 turkey, 12 to 14 pounds, thawed if frozen

Vegetable oil 


1. In a saucepan over high heat, combine the juice, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Cook for 1 minute, remove from the heat, and skim off the foam. Let cool to room temperature.

2. In a 5-gallon food-grade plastic bucket or other large container, combine the water, oranges, ginger, cloves, bay leaves, and garlic. Add the apple juice mixture and stir well. Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity of the turkey and reserve for another use, then remove and discard any fat from the cavity. Submerge the turkey in the brine, topping it with a heavy weight if needed to keep it completely immersed. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

3. Soak 4 large handfuls hickory chips in water for at least 30 minutes. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium-low heat (350°F).

4. Brush the cooking grates clean with your grill brush. Set a roasting rack in a large, heavy-gauge disposable foil pan. Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Tie the legs together with butcher’s twine. Brush the turkey all over with oil and place it on the roasting rack. Brush the cooking grates clean. Drain 2 handfuls of the wood chips, add to the charcoal briquettes or the smoker box of a gas grill, and close the lid. When smoke appears, place the pan with the turkey on the cooking grates and cook over indirect medium-low heat, with the lid closed. When the wings are golden brown, after about 40 minutes, wrap them with aluminum foil to prevent them from burning. Brush the rest of the turkey with more oil. If using a charcoal grill, replenish the charcoal as needed to maintain a steady temperature of 350°F and monitor with your iGrill. When the turkey breasts are golden brown, after about 1 hour, cover the turkey with aluminum foil to prevent the skin from over-browning. Drain the remaining wood chips, add to the charcoal or the smoker box, and close the lid. Cook the turkey until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thighs away from bone is about 165°F, 12 to 14 minutes per pound.

5. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 20 minutes before carving. Use the drippings to make gravy

©2017 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Recipe from Weber’s Greatest Hits™ by Jamie Purviance. Used with permission