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Cajun Smoked Turkey

Cajun Smoked Turkey is loaded with flavor. A great addition to any holiday meal or great to make ahead for sandwiches. Easy to make at home and so much tastier than what you will find at the deli.

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Cajun Smoked Turkey on a sheet pan

Cajun Smoked Turkey

Smoked turkey is one of the most delicious meats that you can cook to feed a crowd. Rather it’s a holiday dinner or just a houseful of hungry people, it has become one of our go-to meals. 

Lettuce, sliced turkey breast and sliced heirloom tomatoes

I will admit that until we made Easy Smoked Turkey for Thanksgiving last year, it was never my favorite.

There are just a few steps to getting a moist and delicious smoked turkey and they make all of the difference!

We use the same method as our guide of How to Brine and Smoke a Whole Chicken. The brine is super simple and will give you a flavorful and tender outcome that is so much juicier than if you skip the brine process. 

Steps to Make Cajun Smoked Turkey:

  1. If starting with a frozen turkey, thaw completely and remove neck and gizzards, discard or keep for making gravy or stock.
  2. Mix warm water and kosher salt together in a stock pot until salt is dissolved. Add peppercorns and a whole lemon, sliced in half. You can also add fresh herbs and garlic to the brine if desired. Brining a turkey with salt water, lemons and peppercorns
  3. Submerge turkey in water, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but not more than 24.
  4. Remove turkey from brine and drain well. Pat dry with paper towels and place on a baking sheet. Butter and Blackened Seasoning in a blue rimmed bowl
  5. Mix softened butter an Blackened Seasoning together. 
  6. Loosen the skin of the turkey mainly over the breast. Rub butter mixture between the skin, over the outside of the turkey and inside the cavity. 
  7. Prepare grill or smoker to about 300°. Cajun Rubbed Turkey on Grill
  8. Cook turkey for about 20 minutes per pound or until internal temperature reaches 165°.
  9. Remove from grill and allow to rest 15 minutes before slicing. 

Smoked Turkey on Grill with Cajun spicesAfter Thanksgiving you can often pick up frozen turkeys at a real bargain. If you have a big freezer, it’s a great way to stretch your grocery budget throughout the year.

How Long Does a Frozen Turkey Keep?

Turkey brands say that a frozen turkey will keep for 2-3 years if it stays frozen but is best within 7 months. So keep that in mind after the holidays and you can have this delicious Cajun smoked turkey any time of year!

This Cajun Smoked Turkey turns out so gorgeous and would be a great centerpiece to any Thanksgiving or holiday meal. It’s easy enough to cook any time of year just for sandwiches, soups and casseroles. 

If you are feeding a smaller crowd, this Smoked Turkey Breast is a great option. 

Sliced turkey breast with lettuce and sliced tomatoes

Recipes for Leftover Turkey:

Turkey and chicken are totally interchangeable and when you have leftover smoked turkey, it makes the best casseroles, soups and pasta dishes. 

The classic Smoked Turkey Sandwich gets an upgrade with Cajun mayo, and served on a toasted baguette with tomatoes, lettuce and red onion. We also love the Turkey Club Sandwich for turkey leftovers. 

Smoked Turkey and Dumplings is the ultimate comfort food! So delicious and a great way to use up your leftover dark meat.

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup is everyone’s favorite comfort food. My family loves good ol’ chicken noodle soup any day of the year. 

Turkey Salad is so simple and just might be the whole reason we even cook turkey! A great way to use up the dark meat if your family prefers the turkey breast. It makes a fantastic sandwich or enjoy it with crackers. 

Smoked Chicken and Black Bean Chili is a hearty meal that will fill up a hungry crowd. A definite favorite for game day or tailgating. 

Chicken and Mushroom Tortellini Bake  is one of my favorite pasta casseroles, super simple and delicious.

Chicken Gnocchi Soup is a quick and easy dinner that is so flavorful and even better if you add in smoked chicken or turkey!

Smoked Turkey Stock is a great way to use your turkey carcass. You won’t believe the flavor you get in this homemade broth! Easy to store in the freezer for your favorite soups and casseroles!

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Smoked turkey on the grill and slicdd

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Sliced turkey with lettuce and tomato

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Yield: 10 servings

Cajun Smoked Turkey

Smoked Turkey on Grill with Cajun spices

Cajun Smoked Turkey is loaded with flavor. A great addition to any holiday meal or great to make ahead for sandwiches. Easy to make at home and so much tastier than what you will find at the deli.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 7 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12-14 pound turkey
  • 4 quarts warm water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 lemon, sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 3 tablespoons Blackened Seasoning

Instructions

  1. Thaw turkey completely and remove neck and gizzards, discard or keep for making gravy or stock.
  2. In a stock pot, mix warm water and kosher salt together until salt is dissolved. Add peppercorns and a whole lemon, sliced in half.
  3. Submerge turkey in water, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but not more than 24. 
  4. Drain brine and pat turkey pat dry with paper towels and place on a baking sheet. 
  5. Mix softened butter an Blackened Seasoning together. 
  6. Loosen the skin of the turkey mainly over the breast. Rub butter mixture between the skin, over the outside of the turkey and inside the cavity. 
  7. Prepare grill or smoker to about 250- 300°. 
  8. Cook turkey for about 20 minutes per pound or until internal temperature reaches 165°.
  9. Remove from grill and allow to rest 15 minutes before slicing. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 801Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 448mgSodium: 454mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 113g

Nutritional calculations are estimated and may not be accurate.

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6 Comments

      1. Was wondering what wood flavor you used for the Turkey…..I just got a bag of Apple wood flavored Pellets I think I’ll try. I usually smoke everything with Pit Boss’s Competition Blend Pellets are it’s good.
        77563

        1. Cherry wood hands down on Turkey. Sometimes I mix the apple and cherry. Hickory is a very strong smoke on all poultry and personal I like it as well but found some find it over powering for their tastes. To end look around some places sell a premix bag with a variety of woods call competition blend I love to try these for the unique smoke flavors the provided just look on the back to see if what your smoking is recommended. Good Luck

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