Smoked Turkey Recipe Flavored With a Cranberry Marinade

Great for any time of the year, this smoked turkey recipe comes out of the smoker looking very nice. The brown skin gives hint of the great flavor that lies beneath.

The flavor of this smoked turkey comes from the unique cranberry brine. After brining, dry rub is dusted onto the bird, which adds a second layer of flavor.

Cranberry Smoked Turkey Recipe

This turkey recipe begins with the marinade. This recipe makes enough for one turkey weighing 10-14 pounds. Cranberry Juice Turkey Marinade

  • 1 gallon cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 cups canning salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons Morton® Tender Quick® (optional)

Combine the brine ingredients, then chill. Be sure that the sugar and salt are completely dissolved before adding that turkey.

Brine your turkey for 24 hours. Slosh it around a couple of times to ensure that every nook and cranny get the cure. Remove the turkey and let it drain. Pat the bird as dry as you can get it in preparation for the next step.

Quirky Turkey Dry Rub Why quirky? One of the ingredients is kind of out there in least for this smoked turkey recipe it is!

  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons mild paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix it all together and coat your bird with it...inside, outside and even under the skin. Pull the skin back down over the breast and secure it with a few toothpicks.

Cover the turkey with a piece of cheesecloth soaked in vegetable oil or butter. Smoke it at 275-300°F, using cherry or apple wood for smoke. Use a remote cooking thermometer, with the probe inserted into the center of the breast, away from the breastbone.

When the breast temperature reaches 155°F, check the thigh. The final temperatures you're looking for are 160°F for the breast, and 170°F for the thigh and other dark meat.