Turkey is a heart-warming meal, conjuring up images of festive holidays with family and friends. It’s also a snap to do on the barbecue, keeping the heat outside and leaving no messy roasting pan for clean up. The hickory smoke gives a subtle flavour, and the leftover meat makes a wonderful Smoked Turkey Pot Pie.

The brine is very simple to make. After boiling the apple juice, salt & sugar, I poured ladlefuls of the hot liquid over ice cubes to hasten the cooling process, substituting the melted ice for the water called for in the recipe.

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Apple-Brined and Hickory-Smoked Turkey

  • Total Time: 24 hours


  • 1214 lb turkey (preferably fresh)

For the Brine

  • 2 quarts of apple juice
  • 1 pound brown sugar
  • 1 c kosher salt
  • 3 oranges, quartered
  • 4 oz fresh ginger, freshly sliced
  • 15 whole cloves
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, crushed


  • Cotton string for trussing the turkey
  • Roasting rack
  • Heavy-gauge foil pan
  • Hickory chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes


Make the Brine

  1. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the apple juice, brown sugar and salt to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Cook for 1 minute; remove from the heat and skim off any foam. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a 5-gallon plastic bucket or another container large enough to easily hold the turkey (we use one of those containers for kids’ toys – it works beautifully), combine 3 quarts of water, the oranges, ginger, cloves, bay leaves and garlic. Add the apple juice mixture and stir.
  3. Remove and discard the fat from the turkey cavity. Reserve the neck and giblets for another use. Rinse the turkey inside & out. Drain and submerge the turkey in the brine. If necessary, top with a heavy object to make sure it is completely immersed. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Cook the Turkey

  1. Follow the grill instructions for using wood chips. Set up the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat.
  2. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat with paper towels until very dry. Tie the legs together with cotton string. Lightly brush the turkey with vegetable oil, and place it on a roasting rack set inside the heavy-gauge foil pan.
  3. Cook indirectly over medium heat. When the wings are brown, wrap them with aluminium foil to prevent them from burning (about 40 minutes). Cover the turkey with aluminium foil to prevent the skin from getting too brown (about an hour later). 
  4. The turkey is done when its juices run clear, the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thighs is 180° F, and the internal temperature of the breast is 165° F. Anticipate a cooking time of 12–14 minutes per pound.
  5. Allow the turkey to rest, covered, for 15-30 minutes before serving.


Adapted from Weber’s Art of the Grill

  • Author: Helen Kain
  • Prep Time: 1440


  • Serving Size: Serves 8-10