This method requires an overnight brine so collect everything the day before your meal.
What you'll need
- 1 12-14 pound fresh or thawed turkey
- 3/4 pound unsalted butter (3 sticks)
- 5 gallon bucket or stock pot
- foil pan large enough for the turkey
- heavy duty foil to wrap the turkey
- 2 cups of kosher salt
- 2 cups of sugar
- 2 gallons of water (1/2 gallon of which is ice)
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup course ground black pepper
The afternoon before prepare your brine by adding the kosher salt and sugar to a medium sauce pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour salt/sugar concentrate into bucket, add ice and water up to 2 gallons.
Prepare your turkey by removing the neck, gizzards and truss, if pre-trussed. Trim off excess skin and fat near the cavity and neck. Place turkey in bucket with brine. If it want's to float place a plate or two on top to keep the turkey submerged. Cover bucket and place in fridge until ready to cook the next afternoon.
The next afternoon start your Traeger on smoke, once the fire is lit set it to 180 degrees. Remove your turkey from the brine. Remember there's a cavity full of water so make sure to do this over the sink, otherwise you'll have brine all over the place. Set your turkey down on a cookie sheet to prepare it for the smoker.
Mix up the kosher salt and pepper in a shaker, sprinkle the rub on all parts of the turkey, don't forget the cavity! There is no need to tie up the legs and wings with this method. The fan in the Traeger pushes air all around the turkey during the cook.
Put the turkey on the grill at 180 for 2 hours, 225 for the next hour and finally 325 to finish it off. Place it so the legs/thighs are towards the hotter area of your smoker and the breast to the cooler side. Check the turkey after a couple hours for color. When it reaches your desired color place it in the foil pan. Cut up the butter into squares and pile them on the turkey. Wrap in heavy duty foil and put it back on the smoker. Cook until temperature in the breast reaches 165 and the thigh reaches 180. Remove from smoker and allow to rest 30 minutes before carving.