Smoking Your Turkey on a Propane Grill

It’s almost time for the most delicious holiday of the year–Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is celebrated all across the nation as a time for family and friends to gather together and share in the spirit of gratitude! This year all of us at Koopman Lumber are thankful for each of our wonderful customers and to show our appreciation we will be teaching you how to make a delicious smoked turkey – without a smoker!

The best part about using a propane grill to smoke your turkey is that you can use this method to smoke all kinds of various proteins on your grill. Smokers are an excellent investment If you love the taste of smoked meat and plan to smoke it regularly, but what if you want the ease and versatility of a propane grill and still want that smokey flavor? You’re in luck because with a little time and attention you can have that sweet, aromatic smoked flavor with the convenience of a propane grill. If you’re thinking about getting a propane grill or upgrading your current grill, then head over to http://koopmanlumber.com and find the store nearest you to get a great grill before the holiday arrives.

Smoking a turkey is a long process, but it’s worth it! It takes almost a full day between preparation and cooking. If you have a frozen bird, add an additional day to the prep time to let your turkey thaw.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Brine time: 12 hours
Cook time: 4-6 hours
Things you will need:

  • 1lb salt (~2 cups)
  • 1lb honey (~1 1/3 cups)
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 bag of ice (7lbs)
  • 1 turkey, thawed (15-20lbs)
  • 1 large aluminum roasting pan
  • 1 digital thermometer
  • 1 large pair of tongs
  • 1 set of heat-resistant and waterproof gloves
  • 1 roll of aluminum foil
  • 1-2 bags apple or cherry  wood chips
  • Several sprigs of rosemary, basil, thyme, or other spices
  • 1 fire extinguisher
  • 1 large bucket or picnic cooler

Step 1: The Brine

Koopman Turkey brineIf you’ve read any of our past turkey cooking blogs you know, we’re a big fan of brining turkeys. A properly brined turkey will be juicy and flavorful. Brining your turkey ensures that the meat is properly seasoned and is a much better method than simple rub or injection methods that puncture the bird and let moisture out. You’ll never want to have an unbrined turkey again!

To brine the bird you’ll need to get the following:


  • 1lb salt (about 2 cups)
  • 1lb honey (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 (7lb) bag of ice
  • 1 cooler / sports drink dispenser / bucket
  • 1 thawed 15-20lb turkey

Start by bringing 1 gallon of water to a boil. While it’s heating up, mix your salt and honey. Once the water has reached a rolling boil remove it from the heat and pour it into your container along with your salt and honey mixture, and stir until dissolved.  It’s best to use a tall, sturdy bucket, like the buckets sold at Koopman Lumber. After adding the salt and honey mixture, add the vegetable broth and ice, and stir again. That’s all it takes to make your brine!

Once the brine has cooled down from the ice take your (thawed) turkey and try to submerge it in the brine breast down. If it’s not totally submerged that’s fine; you can flip it over halfway through the brining process to ensure a consistent flavor. Once your turkey is in, cover your container and place it somewhere it won’t be disturbed by pets (or rodents). A cold corner in your garage or even your porch (so long as the container is shut) will suffice. No need to worry about bacteria due to the ice and the salt which most bacteria hate.

Step 2: Ready the Smoke Bombs

Koopman Tukrey smoke bomb“Smoke bombs” are the best way to make a smoker out of your standard backyard grill. A smoke bomb consists of a double layer of aluminum foil wrapped around a small packet of damp, but not wet, smoking wood chips and a few herbs and spices. You can use any species of wood chip you want here, though we recommend apple or cherry for poultry. You may also add herbs and spices to your smoke bomb! Herbs and spices such as rosemary or basil leaves, cumin seed, or cinnamon cloves add that little extra burst of flavor! Gather all the ingredients in the middle of the aluminum foil and fold it over to seal it. After you have completed your smoke bomb, poke several holes in the top of the packet to allow the smoke to release while it’s on the grill.

At Koopman, we sell many species of smoking chips, including apple, cherry, hickory, mesquite, pecan, and sometimes Jack Daniels! Some of them are locally produced, and they’re some of the best smoking chips you can get for any grill or smoker. We wouldn’t smoke a bird without them!

Step 3: Prepare to Cook

Koopman Lumber Weber GenesisIt’s finally time to head out to the grill, but we’re not quite ready to cook yet. If possible, remove one of the food grates so that you can access the heat bars underneath. By placing the smoke bombs on the heat bars of one side of the grill, and then alternating every hour, we’re able to get a nice, smooth cook as well as a delicious and consistent smokey flavor around every part of the bird. Fire up the grill and take out the aluminum roasting pan we had you get earlier. This roasting pan is going to act as a homemade “heat shield.” Cut the bottom of the roasting pan off with scissors, then cut one of the edges so that it’s no longer attached on all sides.

If you’re looking this year for a new propane grill or looking to upgrade, then look no further than the Weber Genesis series. Webers are sturdy, well-built machines that have a long life expectancy and can seriously smoke a great turkey. For more info head over to http://Koomanlumber.com and find the store nearest you today!

Step 4: Cook the Bird

This is where the magic happens. Don your heat-resistant gloves and let’s make a delicious turkey!

Start by placing your “heat shield” on the grill grate either on the far right or left-hand side of the grill. Here’s the most important thing about smoking a turkey on a grill: Your turkey should never sit over direct heat. Place your turkey inside the heat shield and wrap the aluminum around the bird. Now put the first smoke bomb on the side opposite from the turkey and close the grill. If you’ve got a thermometer installed on your grill, make sure that the internal temperature of the grill stays around 350º. Temperature control is essential for smoking meat so be sure to check this regularly.

After an hour open the grill and take out the old smoke bomb. Move the turkey to the opposite side of the grill and place a new smoke bomb where the turkey was. Repeat this every hour on the hour and start taking the internal temperature of the turkey around the 4-hour mark. You’re looking for the bird to read 150º in the thickest part of the meat. Once it hits that mark, you’re going to take it out and cover it with aluminum foil. There is a lot of residual heat left in the bird, and the temperature will slowly rise for the next hour while covered. This is called resting the bird. After an hour your delicious smoked turkey will be ready to go!

Step 5: EAT!

Koopman smoked turkey dinnerTake out the carving knife and get ready to serve the bird. Your hard work has paid off, and you’re about to have a Thanksgiving meal you won’t soon forget!

Wrap up

We hope that every one of our amazing fans and customers has a delicious Thanksgiving this year filled with friends and family. We’re thankful for every one of our customers and know that we’d be nowhere without you! For more information on making the best turkey of your life, or for any more questions about some of the best propane grills on the market, give us a shout at http://Koopmanlumber.com.

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