Alton Brown Makes a Honey Brined Smoked Turkey | Food Network

Want to switch up your turkey routine this year? Try a SMOKED turkey!

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Honey Brined Smoked Turkey
Level: Easy
Total: 13 hr (includes brining and resting times)
Active: 15 min
Yield: 10 to 12 servings


1 gallon hot water
1 pound kosher salt
2 quarts vegetable broth
1 pound honey
1 (7-pound) bag of ice
1 (15 to 20-pound) turkey, with giblets removed
Vegetable oil, for rubbing turkey


Combine the hot water and the salt in a 54-quart cooler. Stir until the salt dissolves. Stir in the vegetable broth and the honey. Add the ice and stir. Place the turkey in the brine, breast side up, and cover with cooler lid.. Brine overnight, up to 12 hours.

Remove the turkey from the brine and dry thoroughly. Rub the bird thoroughly with the vegetable oil.

Heat the grill to 400 degrees F.

Using a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil, build a smoke bomb. Place a cup of hickory wood chips in the center of the foil and gather up the edges, making a small pouch. Leave the pouch open at the top. Set this directly on the charcoal or on the metal bar over the gas flame. Set the turkey over indirect heat, insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast meat, and set the alarm for 160 degrees F. Close the lid and cook for 1 hour.

After 1 hour check the bird; if the skin is golden brown, cover with aluminum foil and continue cooking. Also, after 1 hour, replace wood chips with second cup.

Once the bird reaches 160 degrees F, remove from grill, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 1 hour. Carve and serve.

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21 Replies to “Alton Brown Makes a Honey Brined Smoked Turkey | Food Network”

  1. What happened to Alton's TRUE classic brine?! The one with the candied ginger and allspice berries!? I've been making that recipe for about 10 years now and my family LOVE it.. but, I have a TERRIBLE memory, and my ADHD prevents me from being organized enough to write it down and keep it somewhere safe.. so I've always relied on just re-watching the video every year on YouTube!

    But if memory serves me, the video I aways watched wasn't very good quality, it was clearly captured from SDTV or from VHS, which leads me to believe it was an "unauthorized" upload, and this year it finally got caught up in YouTube's content ID bullshit, or Food Network filed a copyright claim.. either way, because of bullshit politics and corporate greed, I can no longer find a video which I relied on for over a decade in order to make my favorite Alton Brown recipe.

    Thanks a lot. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. I have used this recipe for the last two years, this will be my third. It has worked great. The first year it was my second thing to smoke and I wasn't consistent with temp. The skin was near black but it wasn't dry and tasted great. Last year, I did it on my green mountain grill and it turned out perfect–that's what automatic temp control can do for ya! PSA: If you're cooking meat w/o a meat thermometer you're hustling backwards. Invest. Thermopens are best.

  3. I stick to his countdown to t day spatchcocked and dry brined recipe. Always juicy, always crispy.

    That with the Panzanella, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, and bourbon pecan pie. Damn I'm hungry now.

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