Stuffed Smoked Turkey

Stuffed Smoked Turkey

Sausage and Herb Stuffed Smoked Turkey

The Thanksgiving Turkey should be a show-stopper, and I have a guaranteed masterpiece that your family will praise you for preparing. Of course, this turkey is smoked (you won’t eat an oven roasted or deep-fried bird after this) but I also take country sausage, fresh herbs, sautéed vegetables, fresh herbs, bread, and tart apples all combined into a stuffing that cooks inside the bird. The stuffing is every bit as good as the turkey and you’ll probably want to make a big pan of it on the side because it’ll go fast.

First you need a turkey. I bought a 15lb frozen turkey from the grocery store. It needs several days to thaw so stick it in the refrigerator and leave it alone for at least 3 days. You can use a fresh bird if you want to pay for it, but I find the frozen are easier on the wallet and cook just as good.

Stuffed Smoked Turkey

Once it’s thawed remove the giblets and neck and rinse the cavity. Drop it down in an oversized ziplock storage bag. To give the turkey some flavor I like to brine it for 24 hours. You can use any brine recipe you want; but I kept it simple: One cup of Kosmo’s Turkey Brine to one gallon of water.

Pour the turkey brine over the bird and add the water. Squeeze the air out of the bag and close the top. Make sure the turkey is submerged by weighting it down with a large pot if necessary. I have a big storage tote that fits perfect in my refrigerator so the bag sits in it then the whole things goes on the shelf in the fridge for a 24 hour rest. The next day take the turkey out of the brine and let it air dry on a cooling rack over a sheet pan. Use paper towel to blot off the excess moisture.

Stuffed Smoked Turkey

Now let’s talk stuffing. And yes this is stuffing not dressing like we serve in the south. It’s made with breadcrumbs instead of corn bread; that’s the main difference. For this recipe I bought Pepperidge Farms white bread cubes. You can use any kind of white bread cut or tore into bite size pieces, but the packaged bread cubes work just fine for me. You’ll also need 1lb of country breakfast sausage, onion, celery, garlic, a granny smith apple, chicken broth, an egg, 2 teaspoons Killer Hogs AP Seasoning and some fresh herbs: rosemary, sage, & thyme.

Stuffed Smoked Turkey

Brown the sausage in a large pan and drain. Keep 1 Tablespoon of grease in the pan and add the celery, onion, and apple. Sauté for a few minutes to soften and add the garlic. Cook for a few more minutes and pour into a bowl. Place the bread cubes into a large bowl and add the other ingredients. Stir to combine and hold to the side for the stuffing.

Stuffed Smoked Turkey

To season the turkey, spray the outside with vegetable cooking spray and season with a good dose of Killer Hogs AP Seasoning http://bit.ly/TheAPRub (salt, pepper, garlic) followed by a light coat of Swine Life Mississippi Grind for color and savoriness. Fill the cavity with the stuffing and tie the legs together with butcher twine to hold everything inside.

Stuffed Smoked Turkey

To cook the turkey I used my Traeger Pellet Grill set to 300 degrees running on a combo of Hickory, Maple, & Cherry pellets for smoke flavor. You can use any pit or wood just stick to the 300 degree cooking temp.

Stuffed Smoked Turkey

Place the turkey on the pit and cook until an internal temperature reaches 165 in the thickest part of the breast AND in the stuffing. I highly recommend a wired probe thermometer for this job. The Thermoworks DOT makes easy work out of watching those temp while you cook.

Stuffed Smoked Turkey

Once the turkey – and the stuffing inside the cavity – hits 165 it’s done. Pull it out of the smoker and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Stuffed Smoked Turkey

To really impress everyone this Thanksgiving, carve this bird right on the table and serve it up with a big heaping spoon of the stuffing. You won’t need any gravy over the top because it’s packed with moisture and flavor.

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Stuffed Smoked Turkey

Ingredients

  • 15lb Whole Turkey
  • 1 cup Kosmo’s Turkey Brine
  • 1 gallon Water
  • Killer Hogs AP Seasoning
  • Swine Life Miss Grind Rub
  • 14oz Pepperidge Farm Seasoned Bread Cubes
  • 1 lb Country Sausage (browned and drained)
  • 22oz chicken broth
  • 1 cup Granny Smith Apple (chopped)
  • 1 cup Celery (chopped)
  • 1 Onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 large Egg (beaten)
  • 2 teaspoons Killer Hogs AP Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Thyme (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Sage (chopped)

Instructions

  1. Thaw turkey and remove giblet bag and neck. Place Turkey in XXL plastic ziplock storage bag, Add 1 cup Kosmo’s Turkey Brine & 1 gallon of Water, squeeze air out of bag and close. Place the turkey in a large plastic bowl or tote and place in refrigerator for 24 hours. (add a heavy pot to the top of the turkey if necessary, to weight it down)
  2. Remove turkey from brine and allow excess liquid to drain away. Air dry the skin patting it with paper towel to remove moisture.
  3. In a large sauté pan brown sausage & drain. Leave 1 Tablespoon of sausage drippings in pan and sauté onion, celery, & apple for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for additional 2 minutes.
  4. Spray the skin with cooking spray and season with Killer Hogs AP Seasoning followed by Swine Life Mississippi Grind.
  5. In a large bowl combine the bread cubes with sausage, sautéed mixture, melted butter, egg, herbs, 1 teaspoon AP seasoning and chicken broth. Stir to incorporate and stuff into the cavity of the turkey. Tie the legs together with butcher twine to hold in the stuffing.
  6. Prepare pellet grill for indirect cooking at 300 degrees using a combination of Hickory, Maple, and Cherry wood pellets for flavor. (any flavor pellet can be used)
  7. Place the turkey on the smoker and cook until an internal temperature of 165 in the breast. Be sure to check the internal temperature of the stuffing as well. It also needs to reach 165 before serving.
  8. Remove the turkey from the smoker, rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Malcom Reed
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Comments 40

  1. For the last week, I’ve been gathering up stuff to make your Cajun turkey this Thanksgiving. Now, you give us this masterpiece. So, do I purchase these pre-packaged brines, rubs and use a mix of wood? Or, go with your homemade brine, injection, rub and pecan wood of the Cajun one? You’re killing me, man! Lol. 🙂

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      They’re all good, so it’s really up to you. I suggest making it your own recipe using mine as a guide as to how the cook goes. Here’s an idea: Cajun stuffed & smoked turkey (You could make the stuffing with spicy cajun sausage or even seafood).

      1. We’re going with this one this year. I purchased the seasonings and brine from your website last week. I normally make my own rubs, but I’ve been curious to try some that you offer. Plus, I’m always happy to support you because you’ve taught me so much!

        Thanks for all you do…

  2. Malcolm, great video as always. Will definitely be trying this one for Thanksgiving this year. Did you not find it necessary to inject this one because of the Kosmo’s Turkey Brine that was used? It looked like that brine was able to penetrate the meat pretty well and injecting it would have been overkill. Would love to hear your thoughts.

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  3. Hi Malcom, first I wish you would fix the APP it still is not working. This smoked Turkey recipe has got me where I can’t think straight it looks soooooo good, but all your recipes are incredible. My family and I are so looking forward to trying it. Thank you for you.

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  4. How long does this recipe usually take? Planning on doing it for thanksgiving but have to plan the rest of the food around this bird.

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  5. Would you use 17-20 minutes of cooking time per pound as a guide for a bird in the 20 pound range? Love what you do! Thanks!

  6. Lacking the ability to order your rubs and have them here in time, what seasoning for the skin would you recommend with this recipe?

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  7. I’ve been watching your videos for over a year now.. great work bud!
    Going to try this stuffed turkey this week. Gonna use venison sausage in the stuffing. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  8. Just did this recipe for an early Thanksgiving with my family and it was a huge success! My dad kept going on and on how this is the best turkey he’s ever had. Everyone loved it. So smokey and delicious.

  9. Hey Malcolm! Do you recommend using a water pan in the smoker for this recipe to retain the moisture or is it better to keep it dryer inside so the skin crisps up?

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  10. Ok, got a little freak out from the fam on stuffing the turkey. They say it’s not safe!

    I use a smoker, dyna glo electric, gets up to 275

    Thoughts ?

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  11. Hey Malcom. I’m trying your recipe for smoked turkey this and I can’t wait! You have never steered me wrong. I was wondering if using the butterball brand would affect it. I hear they might pre-brine or pre inject ?

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  12. Bought all the spices and brine off of your site and can’t wait to try this! I have a 20 pound bird though so I am curious your thoughts on timing at 300 degrees on my pellet smoker. We are hoping to eat around noon. Thanks in advance!

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  13. Hey Malcolm,

    I am smoking 2 turkeys tomorrow, at the same time. One is 12 lb and the other 16. Do you not smoke it first? Are you saying that you just put it to 300 deg the entire time? I am putting stuffing in both turkeys and I am just nervous about cook times, if I should smoke first or just cook it like you suggest. Please help!!

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      If you are cooking on a pellet smoker, you won’t get too much smoke on the turkeys. You could put the larger bird on first so they are staged to come of closer in time. But just hold the temps steady, monitor the internal temps and shield them with foil if they start getting too dark on the outside.

  14. I am a southern guy and typically only do dressing, but I tried your stuffing recipe yesterday and it was a hit. Thanks for the video and recipe!

  15. Well Malcom, I made this turkey yesterday for thanksgiving and the platter i served it on looked like a pack of wolves attacked it, nothing but bones! My family loves the turkey I normally fry each year, but after smoking a 16 pounder in my camp chef with this recipe and pecan pellets this year, looks like no going back to the fried! I was told it was the best turkey they had ever had, and want me to smoke another since there were no leftovers! I just want to thank you for helping me make an outstanding feast for my family again, I appreciate all you do for us smoking/BBQ followers. I have done quite a few of your recipes and not a one has gotten less than rave reviews, so thank you and happy Thanksgiving!

  16. Made this for Thanksgiving this year and it was outstanding. Super easy recipe and the stuffing is out of this world.

  17. Malcom,
    Thumbs up for another GREAT How To BBQ Right recipe! I did this Sausage and Herb Stuffed Smoked Turkey and it was excellent. The stuffing was a hit and what little leftovers there were of it quickly got “claimed” by other family members to take home. This was the first time I’d used the Kosmos turkey brine, and I did the 24hour brine in a big brine bag as suggested. It couldn’t have been any easier. Turkey was moist and delicious after a good Weber Smokey Mountain smoking. Thanks!

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