Apple Brined Smoked Turkey

If you have a smoker at home, this is the perfect recipe to try with your Christmas turkey this year. Smoking will add awesome flavour to your bird and also free up precious oven space on the big day!

Prep Time

15 mins + 24 hours to brine

Cook Time

Approx 2.5 - 3 hours


Varies depending on turkey size

Apple Brined Smoked Turkey


  • Cannings Whole Free Range Turkey
    (ours was 5.8kg but you can use any size as you’ll be using a meat thermometer)
  • 3 Oranges
  • Spice rub of your choice (we recommend our Lanes BBQ Signature Rub)


  • 2lt Unsweetened Apple juice
  • 3lt Filtered water
  • 500g Brown sugar
  • 250g Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp of spice rub


  1. The day before you cook your turkey, prepare the brine. Your bird will need about 24 hours in the brine before going into the oven so don’t leave this to the last minute!
  2. Start by bringing your brine ingredients to the boil, with the exception of the water, then reduce heat and simmer for around 5-10 minutes.
  3. Take off the heat and add the water, then transfer to a large, deep container that’s big enough to submerge your whole turkey in. Make sure the liquid has cooled completely before you pop your turkey into it. Submerge your turkey in the liquid (you can use a plate to weigh the turkey down if you need to), cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Make sure you have removed any offal from the cavity prior to brining (set aside for gravy if you like).
  4. The next day, once the turkey has finished brining, remove from the liquid and pat dry thoroughly with paper towel.
  5. Set up your smoker for indirect cooking, with the temperature at 150- 160C. We smoked ours over oak charcoal with chunks of hickory and apple wood for smoke flavour, however you can adjust the woods used if you wish.
  6. Apply spice rub liberally all over the skin of the bird - you’re looking for an even coating. Stuff 3 halfed oranges in the cavity of the turkey.
  7. Set up a drip tray under the bird with a mix of apple juice and boiled water.
  8. Leave to cook until the thickest part of the breast reaches an internal temperature of 70-75C. We used a 5.8kg bird and it took about 2.5 - 3 hours to reach 75C.
  9. Remove from the heat and loosely tent it with tin foil and rest for 30 mins before carving. Don’t forget to save the juices either to make gravy or to pour over the meat before serving! These have an awesome flavour.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.