Sausage and Herb Stuffed Smoked Turkey RecipeThe 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Print
Stuffed Smoked Turkey Recipe
- 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)
- 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)
- Remove turkey from brine and allow excess liquid to drain away. Air dry the skin patting it with paper towel to remove moisture.
- 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.
- Spray the skin with cooking spray and season with Killer Hogs AP Seasoning followed by Swine Life Mississippi Grind.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.
- Remove the turkey from the smoker, rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Have a Question About This Recipe?
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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. 🙂
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).
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…
I am definitely going to try this idea. I am was sold on the Cajun turkey, but then I saw your other recipes and I was having a hard time deciding. So Cajun stuffed and smoked turkey with spicy Cajun sausage stuffing.
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.
The Kosmo’s did the trick but you could also inject if you want. I wouldn’t get too heavy with the injection though.
Recipe looks great! When cooking at this temp, how long did it take for the bird to get to 165?
It took about 3.5hrs on the smoker and then a 20-30 minute rest.
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.
We should have the app working this week. We had to work with a tech company to get it fixed. But we had it done right this time…
App is running like a sewing machine. I’m excited to try this recipe. Cajun turkey recipe has been a hit a few times over!
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.
I would give myself 6 hours. This includes a long rest time which gives you plenty of time to make sides to go with it.
Hey Malcolm, Do you rinse turkey off after the brine on this recipe? (Stuffed smoked Turkey)
I don’t rinse it but I do use paper towel to blot it dry.
Do you have a time per pound recommendation @ 300 degrees?
A 10-12lb turkey @ 300 degrees will cook about 17-20 minutes per lb.
Malcome, that’s not a per pound recommendation. That’s a 12 lb. reply. Just say’n.
I followed this recipe for this Thanksgiving on my Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco. It came out absolutely fantastic! Amazingly juicy! I often use Malcolm’s recipes and vids for cooking guidance. Thank you!
Malcom do you baste at all while it’s smoking
I spray it with vegetable cooking spray or you could use melted butter
Dang you reply to everyone. Thanks for the video sir.
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!
I was actually already set to spatchcock my turkey using a method from Chef Tom over at ATBBQ when you posted this piece of bbq porn. I do want to make this stuffing. Since I’m spatchcocking, I planned on putting this stuffing mixture in my 13 in Lodge and popping it in the smoker. Will I need to adjust the amount of broth or just go by texture? Thanks
I would go by texture. It’s a great stuffing alone.
Lacking the ability to order your rubs and have them here in time, what seasoning for the skin would you recommend with this recipe?
You can keep it simple and just use salt and pepper. But I would use your favorite all purpose seasoning along with a poultry seasoning.
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.
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.
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?
I would skip the water pan with the turkey – it doesn’t do much to add moisture to meat anyway
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
Its only not safe if you under cook the stuffing. Just make sure the internal temp of the stuffing reaches 165 degrees.
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 ?
I use butterball all the time. Nothing wrong with it all.
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!
you can count on a 20lb bird taking 6-8 hours
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!!
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.
Happy Thanksgiving Malcom!
Turkey was great and stuffing was everyone’s favorite stuffing ever. Thanks for the win today!
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!
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!
Made this for Thanksgiving this year and it was outstanding. Super easy recipe and the stuffing is out of this world.
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!
Going to do this recipie for Christmas. Can I pre cook this a few days ahead and warm it up on Christmas Day. How do you recommend warming it up? Thanks.
I would allow it to come up to room temp for 1 hour – then place it in a 250-275 degree oven until the internal temp hits 140. That is safe serving temp on a full cooked bird.
About how long did it take your 15 pound turkey and stuffing to get to 165 degrees, assuming keeping the smoker right around 300 degrees? Love your stuff! I’m learning a lot! Merry Christmas!
Total time was about 4 1/2 hours.
Malcom, my wife hates stuffing. She won’t eat it, and I’ve tried to convince her. I have a Traeger to smoke with. Will the lack of stuffing change the recipe at all?
No, but I have a lot of other smoked turkey recipes https://howtobbqright.com/category/bbq-recipes/smoked-holiday-bbq-recipes/
Thanksgiving in Canada tomorrow so I’m giving this a go. How often would you suggest that I spray with cooking oil? Did you keep a thermometer in for the entire cook or start checking it closer to the estimated completion time?
I’ll be using a GMG pellet smoker. 10-12 lbs turkey. Cook at 300 degrees until breast reaches 165, then let it rest for 20 mins and I’m good to go?
I’ve been using many of your recopies for the past 2 years and am currently using a CampChef Woodwind which I love. Sounds like everyone loves the sausage stuffing so I am wondering if I double it, can I cook the rest in the oven or smoker if there is room and if so, your suggestions. For those who use Malcom’s spices, I purchase them in the 5 lb bulk package.
I see a lot of other recipes call for the temp to be 250. Is there a reason you choose 300 and would 250 work as well? I ask because I enjoy spending as much time smoking and drinking as I can to avoid in-laws, thanks. Also your cheap man burnt ends made me a king in my community
Hey Malcom!! I am a HUGE fan of your recipes/videos! I have only owned my Traeger for 6 months now, but I have tried several of your recipes with huge success! Next on my “must try” bucket list is a stuffed smoked turkey for Thanksgiving dinner this weekend (I live in B.C., Canada). I am wondering if I can still make gravy like I would if roasting in my oven? All the recipes I have found online seem to cook the turkey directly on the grill with no pan to catch drippings for gravy. Is there a reason for this?
So I watched your video last year 2020, first time seeing it about smoking a turkey. It seems pretty easy. I have never done it and have been really wanting to but nervous at the same time, but this year 2021 I am smoking it. I will have a 10-14 lb Butcherbox turkey coming. I will stuff it and have the Kosmos Turkey brine and I have the Dirty Bird seasoning or I can try your AP rub. I have an older Master Built wood chip smoker that I think only goes to 275 degrees. I always use a water tray when smoking but do I have to do that with the turkey? I’ve been reading comments and your responses and I saw that mentioned. Also since my smoker only goes to 275 about how long will it take to smoke say 14 lbs so I have an idea on the rest of my dinner prep. Thank You and thanks for sharing your videos.
Great video, as usual. Was just wondering, does the stuffing take on a lot of that smoky flavor or is the smoke flavor more subtle because it’s enclosed inside the bird?
I’m gonna make again this year for the 3rd or 4th year, it’s a great recipe. This year I’m using Kosmos Turkey brine and kosmos dirty bird dry rub. Everyone loves the stuffing so much I have to bake some as well as what’s in the bird to keep up with the demand! Lol. I’ve made many of your recipes, all are awesome. Love the Apple cobbler and the smoked meatloaf!
you’re killing me Malcom. My mouth is watering watching the video. I’m really happy to see I can stuff the bird and smoke on a pellet smoker. I have a small bird around10 lbs and I’m wondering if I can go at a lower temperature for the first couple hours with more smoke and then increase to get it to 165. I’m thinking I’ll have a better smoke ring and flavor.
I’m also doing a chestnut stuffing for TG, but it’s more of a bread pudding style stuffing. Your Mom’s version sounds great though!