Turkey(~15 pounds, adjust for different sized birds)
1cupunsalted butter(softened to room temperature)
1lemon(½ juiced, ½ intact)
Assorted fresh herbs(choose up to three from rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, or lavender)
Prep the Turkey
**I like to prep my turkey on a big cookie sheet covered with foil, to catch any juices and keep the mess relatively contained.
Clean out the cavity (save gizzards, neck, etc for gravy).
Pat the turkey dry inside and out.
If brining, prep the brine and soak the bird ~1 hour/pound in the fridge. Once finished, rinse and pat dry, then proceed. (For me, brining is optional if smoking the bird as smoking retains a lot of moisture on its own. See details for prepping a brine in the post above.)
If spatchcocking, cut out the backbone and spread out the bird.
Generously season the cavity and skin side with salt and pepper.
Prep herb butter if using, and spread under the skin in as many places as you can reach. (I highly recommend including this prep step :))
If cooking a whole bird, stuff the cavity with aromatics (onion, garlic, lemon, herbs), and tie the drumsticks together to keep the stuffing from falling out.
If doing bacon wrapped, lace the bacon strips over the breast (if cooking whole), or the entire surface (if spatchcocking).
Cook the Turkey (Combination Method)
Heat the Traeger (or other smoker) to 225°F.
Place the turkey directly on the grate, or in a roasting pan on the grate if you want to save drippings for making gravy.
If using a probe thermometer, insert now so you can track the temperature as it cooks. I recommend placing 2 probes at different locations (e.g. breast and thigh).
Smoke at 225°F for at least 2 hours, or longer if desired.
Increase the temperature to 325°F.
Cook the turkey for another 3-4 hours, until a meat thermometer reads 165°F.
**See details in the post above for alternative cooking methods like roasting or smoking for the full time.
Rest the Turkey
Let the bird rest for at LEAST 30 minutes, but 1-2 hours is best.
Wrap in foil and cover with a towel if resting for longer than 1 hour.
Slice, serve, and eat!
See additional details in post above for making gravy and bone stock.