How to Smoke Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Although Melvin's BBQ will be closed on Thanksgiving Day to allow our staff to spend time with their families, we wanted to share our Turkey recipe with our loving customers to inspire you for your big meal and show you how we do it at Melvin's! From our kitchen to yours, we hope you enjoy our Turkey Tips and have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving with the ones you love most! 

Brine Ingredients

  • 2 Gallons of Water
  • 1 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Molasses
  • 1 Cup of Honey
  • 1 ½ Cups of Salt
  • ¼ Cup of Melvin’s Rub
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Bundle of Fresh Thyme
  • 1 TBSP of Black Peppercorns


Dry Rub Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Kosher Salt
  • 1 Cup Granulated Garlic
  • 1 TBSP Poultry Season
  • 1 TBSP Melvin’s Dry Rub


Turkey Injection Ingredients

  • 1 stick (4 oz) of real butter
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 TBSP Hot Sauce
  • 1 tsp Granulate Garlic
  • 1 tsp Louisiana Brand Cajun Seasoning



  1. In large stock pot bring 1 gallon of water to a boil and add brown sugar, molasses, honey, salt, BBQ Rub, bay leaves, and thyme. After ingredients are dissolved turn off the heat and allow to cool.  Make this brine a day ahead.
  1. Place turkey in 5 gallon plastic bucket with lid and pour brine over turkey, adding remaining gallon of water to brine. Turkey must be totally submerged in brine.  Refrigerate turkey in brine for 24 hours.
  1. After 24 hours remove turkey from brine and rinse very well inside and out, removing any loose pieces inside of cavity.
  1. Cut a few apples in half and stuff in cavity along with a few onions and celery stalks.
  1. Sprinkle turkey generously with dry rub inside and out.
  1. For injection melt butter in a sauce pan and add the chicken broth, garlic, hot sauce and Cajun seasoning. Whisk ingredients together and heat once ingredients are fully incorporated.  Let injection cool and then shoot it into Turkey in 3-4 locations on each side of the breast, legs and thighs.
  1. Use butcher string to secure the legs and tuck the wings in.
  1. Let turkey come to room temp (30-45 mins) and then put on smoker, breast side up. Set smoker between 275 and 300 degrees.
  1. Spritz turkey with apple juice every hour
  1. Smoke turkey 3-3 ½ hours or until internal temp of the breast is 165 degrees and the thigh and legs are 175 degrees. If you grab the leg and it feels like it is going to come off, then it is done.  NOTE:  If after 2 ½ hours of cooking the turkey looks like it is getting dark on the outside, then tent it with aluminum foil.
  1. Tent turkey with foil and let rest 30 minutes.

Feel Free to step it up a notch and smother your turkey with any of our Legendary Sauces to add more delicious flavor! We hope you enjoy! 

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