First of all. The ideal way to smoke anything is with a charcoal based cooker. The Big Green Egg is a good choice. Someone is bound to read this and get all fired up about how gas grills are inferior. Point taken. WE GET IT. It tastes better. Enough.
We have a gas grill because, 99% of the time, we are just grilling a chicken breast or a burger and don’t have time to fool with charcoal. So, assuming you have a gas grill, this is how to make it work as a smoker.
Stuff you will need
- 1 Butterball Boneless Turkey Breast Roast
- 1/4 cup (ish) Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
- A gas grill – I have a basic Weber Spirit 3-Burner
- A smoker tray, or some aluminum foil – I use this one
- A meat thermometer. The kind with a remote probe is ideal.
24 hours before you start cooking
Take your Butterball Boneless Turkey Breast Roast out of the freezer and start thawing it in the fridge. It wouldn’t hurt if you did this as early as 48 hours before you start cooking.
Place a large handful of wood chips in a bowl and fill the bowl with water. Let them soak overnight.
2 hours before you start cooking
Remove the turkey from its plastic wrapper, but keep the netting on. Throw away the gravy pack (or use it later, but I’m not a fan.)
Coat the turkey in the creole seasoning and let it rest for a couple more hours in the fridge.
Just before you fire up the grill
Strain out your wood chips
If you do not have a smoker tray, wrap your chips in a thin layer of aluminum foil. Here’s a guide. Poke a bunch of holes in the foil so air can easily pass through the chips.
If you have a smoker tray, just put the chips in the tray and close the lid
Either way, it’s ideal if the tray can sit directly on the burner shield, below the grate.
You are gong to use your gas burner provide direct heat to the chips and indirect heat to the turkey. Place the chips above the one burner you plan to use. You will place the turkey on the opposite side of the grill, away from the direct heat of the burner.
Fire up your grill
You want to achieve an internal temperature between 250 and 300 degrees F. To accomplish this on my grill, I run the far left burner on high. Leave the hood closed as much as possible.
After about 15 minutes, your chips will start to smoke a bit. Place your turkey on the grill, close the hood, and walk away. If you have a temp gauge on you grill, check on it ever 15-20 minutes to make sure it’s running in that 250-300 degrees range.
During that first hour, it’s bound to get a bit smokey around the grill. The best thing you can do is let it be. Try not to open the hood.
Once the smoke dies off (about an hour) go ahead and stick your thermometer probe in the turkey.
Keep cooking the turkey until the thermometer reached 165 degrees.
Once you hit 165, your turkey is NOT yet ready. It needs to cool down. Remove it from the grill and let it rest for at least half an hour. An hour is even better.
Remember to turn your grill off. Not that I’ve ever forgotten…
Removing the net. I use a fork to pull the net away from the turkey and a pair of scissors cut the net open. It will take you a few minutes. Be patient. It will come off.
Slice it up and enjoy.