Bourbon Brined Smoked Turkey

Bourbon Brined Smoked Turkey

Few things go together better than bourbon and smoked meat, which is why we know you won’t be able to get enough of our bourbon brined smoked turkey! This bourbon turkey is brined, buttered, rubbed, and then smoked low and slow in the Myron Mixon smoker of your choice (we used the Barq). The result is a smoked bourbon turkey that’s as tender as it is flavorful, with the sweet taste of bourbon bursting out of every bite.

Getting hungry yet? Try our bourbon smoked turkey recipe and you might never go back to cooking it any other way.

Prep Time: 4 Hours
Cook Time: 3 - 4 Hours
Serves 8-10 People


  • 1 12-14 pound whole turkey, unbrined
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • Olive oil


For the brine:

  • 16 cups cold water
  • 1.5 cups kosher salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 2 oranges, quartered
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves


For the cavity:

  • 2 oranges, quartered
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • Sweet onion, quartered
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 or 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary


For the rub:

  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • ¼ tsp chili powder


  1. Defrost your turkey if necessary, then remove giblets and other excess parts.
  2. Make your bourbon turkey brine. Set a large stock pot over medium-high heat and add water, salt, sugar, honey, and bourbon. Heat until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved, then remove from heat and add in remaining brine ingredients. Brine turkey in the mixture for 4 to 24 hours (the longer the better, though don’t brine for more than 24 hours).
  3. Once your turkey is done brining, remove it from the liquid and pat it dry with clean paper towels—you want the bird to be as dry as possible for the rub to adhere. Meanwhile, preheat your Myron Mixon smoker to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Prepare your rub by mixing together all rub ingredients. When turkey is completely dry, stuff the bird with the cavity ingredients, then rub butter between the skin and breasts. Generously coat the bird with olive oil and evenly spread on your rub.
  5. Smoke turkey for 3-4 hours, until its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes and then enjoy! This bourbon smoked turkey goes great with Thanksgiving-inspired sides like green beans, sweet potatoes, and mac and cheese.
  6. The best smoked meats start with the best smokers. Shop our Barq smokers, Gravity smokers, and H2O smokers and find your new favorite smoking partner. And don’t forget to check out our parts and apparel for all the extras!

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