How To Smoke A Turkey In A Brinkmann Charcoal Smoker

How to Smoke a Turkey in a Brinkmann Charcoal Smoker: Tutorial

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Shari Mason

Have you ever thought about cooking a turkey in your kitchen? It may seem challenging, but it’s actually quite easy, especially if you have a Brinkmann Charcoal Smoker.

I’ve tried and tested it myself, and the results? Mouth-watering deliciousness! 

Let me break down the steps on how to smoke a turkey in a Brinkmann charcoal smoker so you can also serve a juicy, smoked turkey for your next big meal. Grab your apron; it’s time to dive in.

Guide On How To Smoke A Turkey In A Brinkmann Charcoal Smoker

Brinkmann Charcoal Smoker
  1. Preparation Time:
    • Clean your Brinkmann Charcoal Smoker.
    • Choose a fresh turkey. Make sure it’s fully thawed.
    • Marinate or brine the turkey [1] if you wish. This can give added flavor.
  2. Set Up Your Smoker:
    • Make sure your smoker is on a stable surface.
    • Fill the water pan about two-thirds full or mix water and apple cider for added flavor.
    • Add charcoal to the bottom tray. Light it and let it burn until the coals are ash-covered.
  3. Add Wood Chips:
    • Soak your wood chips in water for about an hour.
    • Drain them and place a handful on top of the hot coals. This creates the smoke.
  4. Temperature Control:
    • Your smoker should maintain a temperature of 225°F to 250°F.
    • Use the vents to control the temperature. Open them for more heat and close them to reduce it.
    • Keep a thermometer handy to check the temperature.
  5. Place the Turkey:
    • Put the turkey, breast side up, on the top grill grate.
    • Close the smoker lid.
  6. Check and Wait:
    • Smoking takes time. For a turkey, it’s about 30 minutes per pound.
    • Check the water pan every hour. Add more water if needed.
    • Add more charcoal and wood chips as needed.
  7. Check Turkey Temperature:
    • Use a meat thermometer. The turkey is done when the innermost part of the thigh reaches 165°F.
  8. Rest and Serve:
    • Once cooked, take the turkey out and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
    • Cut, serve, and enjoy your smoked turkey.

“If I had a modelling job and then it became a poster, it meant that my kids and I could have turkey for Christmas dinner. Otherwise, we had chicken.”  

– Maye Musk, Model & Dietitian


Why Should I Use A Brinkmann Charcoal Smoker?

Using a Brinkmann Charcoal Smoker offers an authentic smoking experience that imparts a deep, rich flavor to your meats. 

This smoker effectively retains heat and distributes it evenly, ensuring your turkey or any other meat is perfectly cooked. 

Using charcoal, combined with your choice of wood chips, gives the food a smoky aroma that’s hard to achieve with other cooking methods. 

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned grill master, the Brinkmann Charcoal Smoker provides a straightforward and rewarding approach to traditional smoking.

What Kind Of Charcoal Should I Use?

Choosing the right charcoal can make a significant difference in the smoking process. For the Brinkmann Charcoal Smoker, it’s best to use lump charcoal. 

“In a dance of smoke and patience, the Brinkmann Charcoal Smoker transforms the ordinary turkey into a feast of unforgettable flavor.”

– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

Lump charcoal [2] is made from actual pieces of wood and burns hotter and cleaner than briquettes, which can contain binders and fillers. The natural wood in lump charcoal imparts a more authentic smoky flavor to your turkey. 

Moreover, it lights faster and can be easier to control temperature-wise. Always ensure you have good quality lump charcoal for the best results and the most flavorful smoked turkey.

How Do I Know When My Smoked Turkey Is Ready?

  1. Internal Temperature: The most reliable method is using a meat thermometer. Please insert it into the thickest part of the turkey thigh without touching the bone. The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  2. Time: Typically, turkey smoking takes about 30 to 40 minutes per pound. So, for a 12-pound turkey, you’d look at 6 to 8 hours. However, this can vary based on many factors, so trust the thermometer overtime alone.
  3. Color: The smoked turkey should have a beautiful, deep golden-brown color. If some parts of the turkey look pale, they might need more time.
  4. Juices Run Clear: Cut a small slit in the thickest part of the thigh. If the juices run clear without any pink tint, it’s a sign that the turkey is cooked.
  5. Texture of the Meat: Once you think the turkey might be ready, you can test it by poking the meat. If it feels tender and not rubbery, this is another indication that it’s cooked.
  6. Resting Period: After removing the turkey from the smoker, let it rest for about 20-30 minutes. This allows the juices to be redistributed. If the juices stay within the meat when you cut it, that’s a good sign that it’s done.


u003cstrongu003eShould you put water in a smoker when smoking a turkey?u003c/strongu003e

Yes, adding water to the smoker when smoking a turkey helps maintain humidity, which can keep the turkey moist during the smoking process. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eIt also aids in temperature control, ensuring a steady smoking environment.

u003cstrongu003eDo you wrap the turkey in foil when smoking?u003c/strongu003e

No, you don’t initially wrap the turkey in foil when smoking. Exposing it directly to the smoke gives the turkey its flavor and color. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHowever, if the turkey starts to brown too quickly, you can loosely cover it with foil during the latter part of the smoking process to prevent over-browning.

Final Thoughts

Smoking a turkey in a Brinkmann Charcoal Smoker is an art that combines patience, technique, and the right tools to achieve a succulent and flavorful centerpiece for any feast. 

By adequately preparing your turkey, selecting the best charcoal, and monitoring the cooking process, you can unlock a unique taste experience that stands out from traditional roasting methods. 

Remember, smoking isn’t just about cooking; it’s about savoring the journey of infusing deep, smoky flavors into every bite. 

Whether a seasoned pro or a beginner, every smoked turkey offers a chance to perfect your craft and impress your guests.


Shari Mason

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