How to Smoke a Turkey on a Traeger? Good Tips in 2021
We’ve all been there before, dinner is coming up and you were told to bring the turkey. You are not sure how to cook it but don’t want to disappoint your family. Well, we have a solution for you! Check out these easy steps on how to smoke a turkey on a Traeger in 2021!
We will show you just what equipment you need, what temperature setting will work best and the approximate cooking time. We hope that this blog post is helpful when preparing for your next big gathering with friends or family around Thanksgiving in 2021!
1. What is Smoke?
First, we need to understand what smoke is. Smoke is a result of the pyrolysis process. This means that hydrocarbon molecules create gases when they are exposed to additional heat sources and break down into carbon dioxide and water vapors.
The light brown color that you see from these gases comes from the addition of nitrogen oxide or other compounds in the mixture that have high levels of energy (heat) such as sodium nitrate or potassium nitrite.
Smoke generally has 8 different flavor profiles:
1) apple, 2) bacon, 3) campfire, 4) hickory 5) maple 6) mesquite 7 ) pecan 8 ) oak. Each wood variety will produce its own unique flavor profile. When smoking your turkey, you can decide which flavor profile you would like to go with, but we personally love the maple and pecan smoke profile!
2. How many types of Traeger in the market?
There are many different types of Traeger smokers on the market! They vary in size and color, but there is a smoker out there for everyone. We need to know what type of smoker we have so that we can maximize our cooking time by using proper temperature settings. Which setting should be used when smoking a turkey?
If you have a digital elite, then setting your temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit will work best.
If you have a digital Pro 18 , set the temperature around 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have an original Traeger select or Pro 22, try setting it to 200-275 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to check with your owners manual if it’s been awhile since you’ve read through this information! It could change with each model.
3. What is the Best Temperature to Smoke a Turkey in 2021?
The best temperature to smoke your turkey in 2021 depends on our personal preference. If you have never smoked before, then 200-275 degrees Fahrenheit is where we would recommend starting out at. This allows the meat to cook slowly and infuse itself with its own natural juices. (Also, make sure that you are using wood chips such as maple or pecan for flavor!).
If you want crispy skin, 325 degrees Fahrenheit will work best! Be careful not to overcook these types of meats because they can easily become dry and flavorless! Also, depending on the weight of your turkey it could take anywhere from 4 hours up to 8 hours of cooking time!
4. What is the Best Cooking Method for Cooked Turkey?
Once you have finished your smoking experience, it’s now time to finish up by cooking our meat. If you are looking for a moist and delicious turkey, then we recommend cooking at around 300 degrees Fahrenheit until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. We typically give it another ten minutes past this point just to be sure its cooked properly!
Since this process can take awhile, make sure to check back periodically during this cooking time so that you don’t overcook your bird. Another way that people love to cook their turkey is by deep frying it in peanut oil or other high heat oils! Be careful though because one mistake can lead to accidents starting fires or even burns in some situations!
5. What is the Best Way to Reheat a Turkey in 2021 After it’s been Cooked?
There are many different ways that you can keep your turkey warm after its already been cooked. We recommend putting aluminum foil over your roasting pan and setting this on 50% heat (your lower range) until it gets up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also simply throw it back in the oven at 300-325 degrees for 15 minutes or until desired temperature is reached.
6. Steps by Steps on How to Smoke a Turkey on a Traeger?
a. Make sure your meat is fresh and properly thawed.
b. Season your turkey to taste with spices, rubs, salt, pepper, etc.
c. Let the turkey sit out for roughly 30 minutes so that it comes back to room temperature
d. Plug in your smoker and set the temperature around 200-275 degrees Fahrenheit or lower if you have a larger sized bird!
e. Place the seasoned turkey breast side down onto the attachment provided by Traeger
f. Wait until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit and remove from smoker (usually takes about 4 hours)
g. Add more wood chips if desired and let cook for another 10-15 minutes on 325 degrees Fahrenheit to get crispy skin!
h. Let the turkey rest before cutting into it!
Above are Steps by Steps on How to Smoke a Turkey on a Traeger. Now, let’s see some tips and guides on How to Smoke a Turkey on a Traeger as below:
Tips and Guides on How to Smoke a Turkey on a Traeger
1. What is The Best Turkey To Smoke on A Traeger Grill?
While everyone has their own opinions, here are some high quality turkeys that we recommend you try out to find your favorite flavor! Heritage White Turkey which is a heritage breed that can be found at Whole Foods. Another popular choice is the Corvus Belli which you can order online for pick up or delivery. This bird brings an amazing flavor to your table with its deep purple color and great taste!
2. Where Can You Order A Turkey To Smoke on A Traeger Grill?
There are many different options out there for those looking to purchase a turkey! One of our favorite websites to order from is PoultryDuck.com who provides high quality birds for those looking to expand their horizons in the kitchen. We also love buying from The Grateful Palate and La Tienda as well! (Side note: make sure you stock up on all of your spices and rubs before attempting this!)
3. How Long Does It Take To Smoke A Turkey On A Traeger Grill?
It takes roughly 4 hours (give or take depending on weight) to smoke a quality bird. We recommend checking back every hour or two during this time period to make sure that it isn’t overcooking. You can also start this process at night and let it cook all night long as well!
4. How Do I Keep A Turkey Warm After On A Traeger Grill?
The best way to keep a turkey warm after cooking is by wrapping it with aluminum foil and setting the oven on 50% power. This will keep the internal temperature around 165 degrees Fahrenheit until its ready to be served and eaten! Another good option is letting it rest and putting it back in the oven at 325 for 15 minutes or so to make sure its crisp up nicely!
5. What are the Best Wood Chips to Use for Smoking a Turkey?
We recommend using Maple or Pecan wood chips for smoking your meat. We also like to mix it up every time we smoke by adding in some apple, cherry, and hickory as well. (All of these flavors will go great with turkey depending on what you are cooking!).
6. What are the Best Spices to Use for Turkey?
We recommend using some salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano- if you have other spices that sound good to you feel free to mix it in as well! Just make sure you season your turkey to taste before putting it onto the grill.
7. Do I Need To Add Any Vegetables or Sides With The Turkey?
Yes! While many people love their turkey by itself others enjoy inviting family over and baking potatoes. You can also do onions, carrots, broccoli – however you like vegetables around your meat is perfectly fine! Another great side option is stuffing tastes amazing with an oven roasted turkey!
8. Do I Need To Brine My Turkey Before Smoking It On A Traeger?
No, a brine is not necessary for smoking a turkey. However you can make one if you like to create some extra flavor in your meat! We recommend using Kosher salt, brown sugar, and apple juice as your ingredients to make the perfect brine!
9. What Temperature Should I Set The Grill at When Smoking A Turkey on Traeger?
This all depends on what type of bird you are planning on smoking. If it’s a Heritage White we recommend over time setting the temperature between 250-300 degrees Fahrenheit however if its an alternative or heritage breed we would raise this temperature up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and then let it cook until internal temperature reaches 165!
10. Steps of How to Smoke a Turkey on a Gas Grill?
a. Make sure your meat is fresh and properly thawed.
b. Season your turkey to taste with spices, salt, pepper, etc. (you can also inject these flavors!).
c. If you are adding vegetables or sides make sure to do this before placing your meat onto the grill.
d. Transport your turkey around back of the grill – making sure to place it in a safe area that is up off any flames.
e. Depending on what type of bird you have you will want to set the temperature at 250-450 degrees. Fahrenheit for either white or alternative breeds.
f. Now that you have everything ready all there is left to do is sit back relax and enjoy the tasty meal!
A traditional thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without smoked turkey so if you are planning on trying out some new flavors this season, give these tips a shot! We are very confident that these tips will help ensure that your turkey comes out perfectly!
Have fun with it and enjoy your thanksgiving! If you are looking for other ways to cook your turkey check out our article on how to smoke a turkey in an electric smoker here .
11. How long does it take to smoke a turkey in a pellet grill?
Smoking a turkey in a pellet grill takes roughly 3-4 hours for bone-in and 4-6 hours for boneless.
What temperature do you smoke a turkey on a pellet grill?
It’s best to smoke the turkey at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for roughly 4-6 hours
How do you know when it’s done cooking?
A meat thermometer inserted into the center of the breast should read 165 degrees F (74 C). You can also use an instant-read thermometer, which you can check periodically throughout the process. Other telltale signs that your smoked turkey is ready are: an internal temperature of 170 degrees F (77 C) and juices that run clear rather than pink.
Can you cook whole turkey in pellet grill?
Yes, you can easily cook whole turkey in pellet grill with some adjustments. The best way would be cooking with indirect heat at 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
13. Some Tips on Smoking a Turkey on a Traeger
a. Make sure you have an external thermometer on hand so that you can monitor the temperature of the turkey while cooking.
b. After you put your turkey onto the grill make sure to properly season it – this will enhance your meat flavor!
c. Ensure there is no flame by keeping a small amount of space between your grill and whatever fuel source you are using.
d. If you are doing an hour for each pound of bird encouraged, try putting them in for 5-6 hours on average.
e. Taking off the skin makes turkeys less juicy but if that’s what you want feel free to do so! This is also great if doing buffalo style or something with similar flavors however we recommend leaving it on if just doing traditional flavors!
f. Make sure to spray the grill every 30 minutes with water or some other type of liquid so that it doesn’t catch on fire.
g. Transfer your bird around the back part of the grill so you don’t have to worry about flame ups.
h. You can baste if you’d like but we recommend only doing this towards the last 5-10 minutes after checking for proper internal temperature.
i. Ensure your turkey is thawed properly before placing onto any heat source.
j. When everything is all said and done, enjoy a tasty meal!
14. Steps by Steps on How to Use a Traeger Smoker
Prepare the Traeger Grill
Make sure you have all of your supplies. Set up your grill with some sort of fuel source – this can be wood chips, pellets, etc. Ensure that the temp is on low and let it warm up to at least 200 degrees Fahrenheit which will allow for enough time for smoking without using more than necessary.
After everything is ready, turn off the heat source and cool down until temperature levels around 150-200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Season Your Turkey
After making sure your turkey is thawed properly, remove any giblets or neck from inside of turkey itself. Using a brine injector (optional step), inject roughly 1/2 cup of water into each breast followed by another 1/2 cup into the turkey.
Using a brine injector will give you a juicier bird but it is not required. If you do not have one, just use 1/2 cup of water for each breast and the remaining amount in the rest of your turkey if needed or add 1-2 tablespoons to cavity if no injection needed. Do this around 30 minutes before beginning to smoke your turkey so that it can set inside.
Place Your Turkey on Grill
After everything is prepared including rubbing butter over turkey itself, place your turkey onto the grill carefully making sure that all parts are exposed evenly to heat source with some space between them. After making sure that all parts are exposed evenly, rub butter over top of whole bird again with some salt and pepper and other spices if you want to.
This will ensure that the skin is kept intact while cooking and won’t turn into a burnt mess while at it! Next, open up your grill lid and let turkey heat up for roughly 30 minutes to get fully exposed before checking internal temperature.
Monitor Internal Temperature
Use an external thermometer to take your turkey’s internal temperature every 30-45 minutes until 165 degrees Fahrenheit – this should take around 2 hours depending on how hot your grill gets and what type of thermometer you use.
If using a probe style thermometer, put into breast and thigh area where it meets without touching bone or any other part of turkey itself. Make sure that you do not over otherwise the meat may dry out and not be as tasty while also ruining the juiciness of the meat itself.
After checking turkey’s internal temperature and it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, we recommend spraying the grill with water every 30 minutes until desired cook time is over – this is often 5-6 hours for a 12 pound bird on average depending on how hot your grill gets. Make sure to check back regularly!
After everything has completed cooking, place turkey onto a pan and cover it with foil before putting into a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven for around 20-45 minutes just to keep things warm while you eat. Before serving, remove skin carefully so that your guests can see or leave if doing buffalo style or similar flavors/ of cooking.) Enjoy!
15. How to Clean a Traeger Smoker?
You already know How to Smoke a Turkey on a Traeger but you Didn’t know the Traeger smoker needs cleaning? Don’t worry. You can essentially use water to clean it after each use!
Here are the steps that you need to follow:
15.1. Burn off any grease or ash residue around the fire trough around 10 minutes with grill on highest setting while pulling down middle damper above fire bowl fully open for maximum airflow. Use a spray bottle of water filled half way to avoid flare ups while at it.
Make sure not to put anything on top of pellet box while cooking since this could cause smoke loss and risky flare ups for your food. Turn off heat source before doing this step in case you get burnt by the high temperature levels – near 500 degrees Fahrenheit! After fire has burnt out, turn grill setting to off and close lid.
15.2. Take the ash pan out carefully with grilling gloves or oven mitts – make sure that it is fully cooled down before doing this step since you do not want any burns of your own while doing so! After removing ash pan, dump contents into a bag or container that can be sealed for later disposal.
Make sure to get rid of all ashes or else your pellet box will get clogged up over time if you don’t clean properly when smoked meats are done cooking.
15.3. Use a dish brush or soft cloth to wipe inside elements and door part around fire bowl area thoroughly including moving parts such as probe wires and other exposed areas where food debris could accumulate over time. Use a dry cloth to wipe out all parts of smoker to avoid rust in future in order maintain quality and safety while cooking in long run!
Remember to unplug smoker when not currently in use in order to save electricity when not using it after each cleaning session is done – this will help you prevent any element burn outs that could happen over time which often leads to costly repairs or replacements needed for smokers that are designed poorly without properly working cooling system features installed by manufacturers.
15.4. After everything has been wiped clean, fill water pan about 2/3rd way up with hot water making sure that the wood pellet box is empty filled with next load of pellets for smoking meats before placing back into the grill’s body part.
If your grill does not come with water pan, you can always use aluminum foil to make a makeshift one for this part. This will allow the grill to cool down faster and easier before next time around when cooking is ready to begin!
15.5. After everything has cooled down fully and all parts have dried off, fill pellet box by first tapping it on the ground outside if possible or else pour pellets into your hand and move them inside until full.
Do not over fill since this could cause any health issues if left unattended after food is placed over top of these chemicals as they start cooking at high temperatures as well such as unhealthy smoke that could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning which is very serious matter if taken lightly!!!
If using electric smoker, unplug and put a towel over top of smoker’s element area before going to bed or leaving home for couple hours or more since any metal wires could cause electrocution if liquids are placed inside the grill part.
15.6. The next time you go to use your smoker, plug it back in and turn to desired setting for instance medium heat is best for smoking meats such as chicken but high heat works too sometimes depending on what food product that you’re using – this all depends on your own preferences and tastes when cooking!
Turn damper at bottom fully open for maximum airflow which will speed up heating process significantly! Your Traeger should be ready to cook with after about 15 minutes of preheating period, simply try grilling different types of foods then come back to me after you’re done with your first cooking session to let me know how things went for you.
If problem still remains, email me back and I will try my best to help answer any questions or concerns that you might have!
15.7. Pellets should last for about 60-80 minutes of continued usage time before needing to be replaced if using 20 lb bag this is usually an indicator of when it’s time to order more pellets for replacement purposes, simply save the bottom of bag as proof that these are original Traeger brand pellets purchased from authorized dealer only!
Do not use imitation pellets that could cause serious health issues or accidents due to exploding inside grill since these are not quality tested like originals sold on official website .
16. Common Mistakes Related with Smoke a Turkey on a Traeger Smoker
16.1. Brining Turkey is a very common mistake committed by beginners since it can actually make things worse if not done right!
16.2. Another common mistake is to leave thermometer probe in the meat partially out of its hole and touching both ends at once which most times results in burnt wires due to high temperatures reached inside smoker while cooking meats for extended period of time.
Always try positioning wire with bulb end down and only inserting one end into turkey breast until wire comes all the way through fully; never insert or attach any part of probe until smoker has cooled completely overnight for best results when cooking with these machines .
16.3. Cooked turkey should always be placed on pan with edges to catch any fluid drippings or else mess will be created if placed directly on grilling rack – also try adding 2-3 spritzs of lemon juice mixed with salt/pepper mix to turkey at several times while it cooks based on your own preferences! Do not cook under the lid whenever possible since this can dry out meat too much and cause burning at edges.
16.4. Cooked turkey should always rest for about 10-15 minutes before cutting into it so juices can redistribute throughout whole piece of poultry, simply cover cooked breast with aluminum foil while resting in order for this process to take place fast and hold heat inside longer .
16.5. Always let smoker preheat fully before placing food inside after bringing down temperature from previous cooking session since this is the best way to achieve maximum results without compromising the taste of food!
16.6. If using water pan, make sure it’s filled with hot liquids up to 1/3 of its height before smoking meats in order for any smoke to be absorbed by water and filter through like factory settings based on Traeger Grills original design.
Never try placing cold or room temperature liquids inside smoker for this purposes because it may ruin heating element placed underneath chassis which holds temperature sensors! Water should always be exchanged every 30-45 minutes if possible during whole cooking process in order to maintain freshness inside smoker throughout the day based on length of usage.
16.7. Always use fully heated grill surface when grilling some types of vegetables that require almost zero cooking time in order to avoid burning food and keeping it moist inside – also remember not overloading grill with vegetables so you don’t lose any heat during the whole cooking process!
16.8 Try adding a small amount of cooking oil or butter on turkey skin before placing breast into smoker in order for skin to crisp and cook faster without drying out meat too much – if done right, skin will be crispier than usual and taste better than fried chicken at times!
16.9. Always try using pieces of wood that are irregular in shape since they tend to produce more smoke when used which leads towards achieving best results when doing smoking meats over longer period of time – still think about avoiding wood chunks but stick with chips or pellets that can fit nicely into designated area on your device.
16.10. Remember that Traeger Grills are not for grilling or deep frying foods since oil can reach very high temperatures inside smoker and start dripping on heating element which leads towards short circuitry of machine during cooking sessions – always use indirect heat to achieve best results while cooking meats over longer period of time, especially turkey!
16.11. Always place foil under food if afraid that juices can drip down into grill’s tray which is located underneath the meat being cooked at lower side of grilling rack – this prevents fine mesh from getting burned out easily which takes more effort to be replaced later on after machine has cooled off again.
Still it damages outer appearance of device even though not visible most times; therefore try using aluminum foil whenever possible with Traeger Grills!
16.12. Try adding 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil or butter mixed with salt/pepper mix on meat or veggies each 20-30 minutes during whole cooking process in order to avoid drying out food too much which leads towards achieving best results without compromising taste.
Also try rotating your food every once in a while to achieve equally cooked pieces all around the machine since some sides tend to cook faster than others depending on specific type of grilling rack used at times!
16.13. When smoking meats for longer periods of time, make sure you switch chip bags after 30-45 minutes since these are high grade paper bags that produce more smoke when burned out compared to standard ones which take longer hours before producing same amount of smoke as premium bags.
Always try using premium bags every time you use your device for smoking meats in order to achieve best results!
16.14. Make sure you test a small amount of wood chips before adding entire bag on smoker since different types of Wood Chips produce different flavors when used during smoking sessions – always remember that Traeger Grills are not recommended for cooking beans, lentils, peas or any other type of vegetables with added salt and spices.
Due to high temperatures inside the grill that can lead towards corroding mesh on lower part of machine! Always follow safety guidelines listed inside user manual at all times whenever dealing with operation safety features and special recommendations from official Traeger website!
16.15. When smoking meats over longer periods of time, place skewers through it in order to hang meat above smoker walls in order to avoid dripping oil/grease from drip pan that’s located at lower part of machine – this prevents oils from getting into heating element which can lead towards short circuitry if left unattended !
16.16. Always try using water-soaked wood chips whenever possible since they tend to produce more smoke during whole cooking process without burning out too quickly, unlike dry chips that need longer periods of time before producing same amount of smoke as wet ones!
Common Question Related with How to Smoke a Turkey on a Traeger – FAQs
1. I have a smaller Traeger and it takes much longer for the smoker to heat up, is there any kind of a trick you might know about?
Answer: All newer models come with 30 minutes accessibility accessibility warm-up time which means that you can start cooking as soon as your device reaches desired temperature! Also make sure you keep vents open all around the device in order to avoid motor from overheating due to lack of air flow as these units heat up faster thanks to special features included as standard !
2. I have used my Traeger for smoking 50 lbs turkey but need advice on how many chips should I use during whole process ?
Answer: We recommend using 2 bags of wood chips for every 50 lbs of meat cooked inside smoker since these special bags last longer and produce more smoke before burning out compared to regular ones !
3. I have attached small metal drip pan to my Traeger but it seems like there’s not enough oil/grease to catch and maintain great smoking results, what can I do?
Answer: Try placing aluminum foil on top of lower part of grill between upper grilling racks in order to capture oils that drip through food – this helps achieve best results when smoking meats without compromising taste!
4. How long does it take to smoke a 15lb turkey on a Traeger?
Answer: It takes about 8 hours to smoke 15 lbs of turkey using Traeger Grills due to special features included as standard that enable great smoking results without compromising taste!
5. How long and at what temperature do you smoke a turkey?
Answer: For best results allow 12-15 lbs of turkey to smoke for 6-8 hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit with Traeger Wood Chips !
6. Can you smoke a turkey with cheese on it?
Answer: There’s a very little chance of cheese burning due to long exposure to heat source, although we always recommend checking from time to time as these units reach extremely high temperatures that can damage mesh in lower part of machine!
Always follow safety guidelines listed inside user manual at all times whenever dealing with operation safety features and special recommendations from official Traeger website!
7. How often do I need clean smoker after smoking meats?
Answer: After each use please remove grease/oil collector located under drip pan and wash using warm soapy water or place into dishwasher for easy cleaning ! Also regular cleaning will prevent dust particles moving inside the grill that get trapped inside grilling racks which can lead towards increasing fire danger due to blocked airflow !
8. How often do I need to replace chips during smoke?
Answer: Thanks to special features included as standard you will only need to replace chips approximately every 45 minutes since these units reach extremely high temperatures that enable great smoking results without compromising taste!
9. How far away from my home should Traeger be placed?
Answer: Always check user manual for detailed guidelines on where exactly machine should be placed ! For best results ensure this unit is at least 50 ft away from any kind of combustible material, doors or windows! Also never touch grill with bare hands when smoker is still hot since metal grills retain heat for longer periods of time !
10. I want to use Traeger for smoking brisket but can’t find exact instructions on how to do so?
Answer: For best results allow 4-5 lbs of brisket to smoke for 5-6 hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit with Traeger Wood Chips ! Also aim for internal meat temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit before removing from heat source!
If you’re looking for ways to cook a turkey, but don’t want the hassle of turning your home into an oven, then try smoking it on a Traeger. This article has some easy-to-follow instructions that outline How to Smoke a Turkey on a Traeger?
Besides that, we provide some tips and guides on How to Smoke a Turkey on a Traeger. Please feel free to contact us if you have any question, we will reply soon. Thanks for reading!