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Pumpkin Beer Brined Smoked Turkey

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!

Cooking a turkey doesn’t have to be hard or over-thought.

First, let’s start with the brine. Brining your turkey will not only help infuse flavor, but it will also help ensure a juicy bird. The brine for this turkey is made up of a few simple ingredients:

  • Pumpkin Beer
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Peppercorns
  • Bay leaves

Submerge the turkey into the brine and refrigerate overnight. Not too bad so far, right? PS: if you don’t have large enough refrigerator space to brine a turkey, you can use a large cooler! Just make sure it’s clean, pour the brine into it, submerge the turkey and then cover with some ice. I’ve done it before and it worked like a charm!

The next day, pull the turkey out of the brine, pat it dry with a paper towel and cover completely with an herbed butter. Then the fun part comes! Smoking the turkey infuses the bird with even more flavor. We love the way it turns out! However, if you don’t have a smoker, you can still make this turkey! I’ve made this recipe several times in the oven as well. Either way, you are going to have one delicious turkey!

Finally, after the turkey cooks low and slow, you get to put a perfectly golden brown turkey down on the table. What a great feeling that is! The skin gets golden brown and crispy, while the meat stays tender and juicy. The pumpkin beer brine adds a bright taste, while the smoker adds a succulent taste. It’s the perfect turkey match made in heaven. 

Whether it’s your first time cooking a turkey or your 100th time, this recipe is for you. When cooking a turkey, just keep these couple things in mind:

  • Give yourself enough time. You don’t want to rush it!
  • Have an accurate thermometer on hand so that you know when the turkey is done.
  • Carve it with a sharp knife, but I’d stear away from the serrated ones.
  • Don’t freak out – you’ve got this 🙂 

Pumpkin Beer Brined Smoked Turkey is the perfect show stopper for your holiday table. 

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Pumpkin Beer Brined Smoked Turkey


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  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 12 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10-14 servings 1x

Description

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!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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
  • 1620 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

Instructions

For the brine:

  1. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Let the turkey set for 10-15 minutes before carving. Carve and enjoy!

Notes

  • 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.

Share the love!

If you make this recipe and love it as much as I do, I’d love to hear from you! Comment below, rate the recipe, or share a picture tagging @kjandcompany or using #kjandcompany so that I can see your fun pictures 🙂

Thanks for following and cooking along with me!

 

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2 Comments

  1. Ali Rexilius

    This recipe turned out great! We don’t have a smoker but we just put ‘er in the oven and it was so tender and delicious!!! Kate’s recipes are so simple to follow and please everyone’s taste buds!! Making our second turkey for my family’s thanksgiving!

    I turn to Kate’s recipes all the time!! Every one I have made has been amazing. ♥️

    Reply
    • KJ

      Thank you so much, Ali! It was so fun to get to see how your turkey turned out – you rocked it!

      Reply

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