Pecan Wood Smoked Turkey: A Tender and Flavorful Delight

Pecan wood smoked turkey is a true culinary delight, offering tender, juicy meat with a subtle, nutty flavor that perfectly complements the natural sweetness of the turkey. Smoking the turkey with pecan wood infuses it with a rich, smoky aroma and adds depth to its flavor profile. Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, hosting a summer barbecue, or simply craving a delicious meal, this pecan wood smoked turkey is sure to impress your family and friends with its irresistible taste and aroma.

Preparation Time:

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Brining time: 8-12 hours (optional)
  • Smoking time: 6-8 hours
  • Total time: 14-20 hours (including brining and smoking)


  • 1 whole turkey (10-12 pounds)
  • For the Brine (optional):
    • 1 gallon (4 liters) water
    • 1 cup kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
    • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
    • 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
    • 4 bay leaves
  • For the Rub:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
    • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
    • 1 tablespoon dried sage
    • 1 tablespoon black pepper
    • Salt, to taste
  • Pecan wood chips or chunks, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes


1. Brine the Turkey (optional):

  • In a large pot or container, combine the water, kosher salt, brown sugar, black peppercorns, cloves, allspice berries, and bay leaves.
  • Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
  • Submerge the turkey in the brine, making sure it is fully covered.
  • Cover the container and refrigerate for 8-12 hours (or overnight) to allow the turkey to brine.

2. Prepare the Smoker:

  • Preheat your smoker to 225°F (107°C) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Add soaked pecan wood chips or chunks to the smoker box or charcoal for smoking.

3. Prepare the Turkey:

  • Remove the turkey from the brine (if brined) and pat it dry with paper towels.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, smoked paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried sage, black pepper, and salt to create the rub.
  • Rub the mixture all over the turkey, ensuring it is evenly coated.

4. Smoke the Turkey:

  • Place the seasoned turkey on the smoker rack breast-side up.
  • Close the smoker lid and let the turkey smoke at 225°F (107°C) for 6-8 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the thigh.
  • If using a charcoal smoker, monitor the temperature regularly and add additional charcoal and wood chips/chunks as needed to maintain a consistent temperature and smoke.

5. Rest and Serve:

  • Once the turkey reaches the desired temperature, carefully remove it from the smoker and transfer it to a cutting board.
  • Tent the turkey loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.
  • Carve the smoked turkey into slices and serve hot with your favorite sides and sauces.

Cooking Tips:

  • If you prefer a stronger smoke flavor, you can increase the amount of pecan wood chips or chunks used for smoking.
  • To prevent the turkey from drying out, you can baste it with melted butter or chicken broth every hour during the smoking process.
  • For added flavor, you can stuff the turkey cavity with aromatics such as onions, garlic, citrus fruits, and fresh herbs before smoking.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • Rich Flavor: Smoking the turkey with pecan wood imparts a rich, smoky flavor that enhances the natural taste of the meat.
  • Tender and Juicy: Slow smoking the turkey at a low temperature ensures that it remains tender and juicy, with perfectly cooked meat that melts in your mouth.
  • Impressive Presentation: Pecan wood smoked turkey makes for an impressive centerpiece at any holiday gathering or barbecue, showcasing your culinary skills and tantalizing the taste buds of your guests.


Pecan wood smoked turkey is a delicious and flavorful dish that’s perfect for special occasions or any time you want to enjoy a succulent and aromatic meal. With its tender meat, rich smoke flavor, and irresistible aroma, this smoked turkey is sure to be a hit with family and friends alike. Fire up the smoker, follow this recipe, and treat yourself to the deliciousness of pecan wood smoked turkey today!

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