Pumpkin Beer Brined Smoked Turkey is a showstopper turkey! Brined in a pumpkin beer overnight, the turkey is then rubbed down with an herbed butter and smoked low and slow until juicy and succulent. This is a turkey recipe that we keep coming back to year after year!
- 6 pack pumpkin ale (12 oz bottles or cans)
- 10 cups water (or enough to completely cover the bird)
- 1/3 cup salt
- 1/4 cup peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 16 – 20 pound turkey, properly thawed
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
For the brine:
- Place the turkey breast side down in a large enough stock pot to be able to cover the bird with the brine. Pour the beer, water, salt, peppercorns and bay leaves over the turkey. If you need more liquid to cover the turkey, add in more water. Brine the turkey overnight, or for 8 hours, in the refrigerator.
To cook the turkey:
- Preheat your smoker to 300 degrees. Remove the turkey from the brine and place in a large aluminum foil baking pan (one large enough for your size of turkey) inserted with a turkey roasting rack. Pat the turkey completely dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, rosemary, thyme, garlic and seasoned salt. Rub herbed butter all over the turkey.
- Place the turkey on the smoker and smoke for 2 hours. At the 2 hour mark, rotate the turkey (180 degree turn) to ensure even browning. Smoke for another 2 hours or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 165 degrees.
- Let the turkey set for 10-15 minutes before carving. Carve and enjoy!
- This recipe can still be made even if you don’t have a smoker! Simply follow all the same instructions, except that you will preheat your oven. Tent the turkey with foil for the first 2 hours, then remove the foil for the last 2 hours of cooking. Baste occasionally during the last couple hours until a thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the meat reaches 165 degrees.
- This recipe can be used for a 16 – 20 pound turkey. Cooking time may vary depending on the size of turkey you select. This is why it is important to have an accurate thermometer on hand.
- If you can’t find a pumpkin ale, use a light beer instead.
- Make sure the size of bird you select will fit on your smoker – I’m speaking from experience on this! If the turkey hits the top of the smoker, it will not cook properly.
- The yield on this recipe is dependent on what size of turkey you get.