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Malcom Reed’s Classic Thanksgiving Turkey

When I think of the classic Thanksgiving turkey I have the image of the Norman Rockwell painting in mind. Grandma setting the big ole bird on the table with Grandpa waiting right behind her to carve it up. Everyone at the table is eagerly watching and anticipating a juicy, perfectly cooked bird. That’s the turkey that everyone knows and it’s exactly what I’m going to show you how to cook with my spin on it of course.

Prep Time

48 hours

Cook Time

3-5 hrs


325 F




  • Whole Turkey - 12-16 lbs
  • Malcom's Bird Brine
  • 2 gallons water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons Killer Hogs AP Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of fresh poultry herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme)


  • Completely thaw the turkey in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, remove the turkey from packaging discarding the neck and giblets (save those for stock or other uses). Place the turkey in a Meat Bag or other large container. Pour in the bottle of Bird Brine and add the water. Remove as much air as possible and close the bag. It helps to place the bag into a large container to keep the bird submerged and catch any accidental spills.
  • Place the brine container in the refrigerate or into a cooler with ice for 48 hours. Make sure the turkey stays submerged and cold the entire time.
  • Remove the turkey from the brine solution and rinse gently. Place the turkey on a raised cooling rack over a sheet pan and pat the outside dry with paper towel. Place the turkey back in the refrigerator for 1 hour minimum to dry the skin.
  • Stuff the cavity with the celery, garlic cloves and onions. Tie the legs together with butcher twine and apply vegetable oil the the skin with a basting brush.
  • Mix the Killer Hogs AP seasoning and poultry seasoning together in a dredge shaker and apply a good coat to the outer surface of the turkey.
  • Prepare smoker/grill for indirect cooking at 325 F using a mild pellet such as Apple or Maple for light smoke flavor.
  • Place the turkey on the smoker and baste with melted butter every 45 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into the breast to monitor internal temperature.
  • Remove the turkey from the pit once it hits 165 F in the thickest part of the breast
  • Rest the turkey for 15-20 minutes before carving.