1. Select a fresh or thawed turkey ( 15 lbs). Allow about 1-1/2 lbs of uncooked turkey per person. If frozen, place the turkey in a plastic bag and let it thaw in the refrigerator (takes 24 hours of thawing for every 5 lbs of turkey....that means 3 days for a 15 lb turkey). If you are in a hurry, leave the turkey in its original bag, put it in the sink and fill the sink with cold water to cover. Change the water every 60 minutes. Takes about 30 minutes per lb to thaw....that means 7-1/2 hrs. If you are really in a hurry, thaw using your microwave if its a smaller bird. After turkey is thawed, remove from package and rinse with cold water. Remove the neck and giblets. Cut off the excess skin in front of the turkey breast.
2. Prepare the following brine mixture in a large tub or bowl: 2 cups Traeger BBQ Rub and enough water to cover the turkey. Mix thoroughly and then submerge the turkey in the brine mixture. Place turkey in tub or plastic garbage bag and place on the bottom shelf in your refrigerator. Soak for 6-8 hours. If you are out of Traeger BBQ Rub try: 1-1/2 cups salt, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon of garlic salt, and 2 tablespoons of black pepper.
3. Start your Traeger grill-with the lid open with setting on smoke. Once the fire is established in the firepot, run on HIGH (450F) for 20 minutes, then switch back to Smoke. Place the turkey on the center of the grill breast up, close the lid and smoke for 3- 4 hours ( 6- 8 hrs if you want even more smoke flavor). Check the grill every hour or so to make sure it is smoking.
4. After Smoking is completed, switch to MEDIUM (275-300F) to finish cooking the turkey. This should take about 2-4 hours depending on the outside temperature and the size of the turkey. Use the following chart as a guide. Always test for doneness with a meat thermometer. Breast meat is done at 170 and thigh meat at 180 degrees F.
Turkey Weight Post-Smoke cooking time
10-13 lbs 1-1/2 to 2-1/4 hours
14-23 lbs 2 to 3 hours
24-27 lbs 3 to 3-1/4 hours
28-30 lbs 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours
5. If you are not pre-smoking your turkey you can simply cook on MEDIUM (300-350F) with an average cooking time of approximately 25-30 minutes per lb.