Smoked Butter-Basted Turkey: A Thanksgiving Masterpiece

This basting helps to brown the skin, adds flavor, and keeps the meat moist whether you grill or smoke a turkey or chicken. This easy baste recipe, which only requires butter, lemon juice, and a few herbs, gives your bird a wonderful flavor boost. It can be prepared quickly.

The traditional technique of basting the turkey with pan drippings—which are primarily turkey juices and fat—is best avoided. Using seasoned butter, on the other hand, will enhance flavor and aid in the skin’s nice crisping at the end of cooking. Recall to start basting about an hour after you start cooking, and then to do so every 30 minutes in thin layers.

Using a pastry brush makes basting easier because it makes it possible to lightly baste every area. A turkey baster with a bulb would work better for pan drippings, but it would be more difficult to clean.

“This baste recipe is super-flavorful, and whether you make a turkey or a whole chicken, works great. This is a great alternative for when you don’t have time to brine your turkey. It makes the skin extra-crispy. I used fresh thyme and I would add more lemon juice next time. ” —Tara Omidvar.

Ah, Thanksgiving. A time for family, friends, and, of course, delicious food. But for many, the star of the Thanksgiving table is the turkey. And if you’re looking for a way to take your turkey game to the next level, look no further than this recipe for Smoked Butter-Basted Turkey from Big Swede BBQ

The Recipe:

This recipe is a true masterpiece, combining the smoky flavor of a smoker with the rich, buttery goodness of a basted turkey. The result is a juicy, flavorful bird that will have your guests begging for seconds.

The Ingredients:

  • Turkey: The star of the show, of course. Choose a fresh, minimally processed turkey for the best results.
  • Butter: Two pounds of it! This is what gives the turkey its rich, buttery flavor.
  • Chicken Broth: One liter of chicken broth helps to keep the turkey moist and flavorful.
  • Oakridge Gamechanger All Purpose Brine: This brine helps to infuse the turkey with flavor and keep it moist.
  • Favorite Poultry Rub: Use your favorite poultry rub to season the turkey. Big Swede BBQ recommends Butt Kick’n Chicken BBQ Seasoning.
  • Cheesecloths: These help to keep the butter on the turkey and prevent burning.

The Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Turkey: Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey, rinse it thoroughly, and remove any excess fat. You can also separate the skin from the breast to allow the brine to reach the meat.
  2. Brine the Turkey: Place the turkey in the brine and let it sit for 8-24 hours, depending on the size of the turkey.
  3. Season the Turkey: Use your favorite poultry rub to season the turkey, getting the flavors under the skin.
  4. Wrap the Turkey in Cheesecloth: Melt the butter and add chicken broth. Wrap the turkey in cheesecloth and baste it with the butter mixture.
  5. Smoke the Turkey: Prepare the smoker at 275 degrees Fahrenheit and use cherry and apple wood for a delicious flavor. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes or so.
  6. Cook the Turkey: The length of the smoke will depend on the size of the turkey, but it will typically need to smoke for 30-40 minutes per pound. Cook the turkey until the internal temperature in the breast reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Rest the Turkey: Let the turkey rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.


  • For the perfect texture and flavor, let the turkey rest uncovered in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours after brining.
  • When basting the turkey, make sure to really drench it in butter.
  • Trust the internal temperature of the turkey rather than the length of the cook.
  • Sprinkle a second layer of rub on the turkey after removing the cheesecloth.

This Smoked Butter-Basted Turkey recipe is sure to impress your Thanksgiving guests. With its smoky flavor, juicy texture, and rich buttery goodness, it’s a dish that everyone will love. So fire up your smoker and get ready to cook up a Thanksgiving masterpiece!

Additional Resources:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Steps to Make It

  • Gather the ingredients. The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan. The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck .
  • Add the dried basil, thyme, sage, lemon juice, and poultry seasoning. Let the mixture simmer on low for about 3 minutes. The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck .
  • Take off the heat and allow it to cool slightly at room temperature for approximately five minutes before using. After the first hour of cooking, baste the chicken or turkey every 30 minutes. Stop basting during the last 30 minutes of cook time. The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck .
  • After the first hour of cooking, lightly baste the turkey every 30 minutes. Apply the baste warm to the turkey. Stop basting during the last 30 minutes of cook time.
  • If you prepare the baste in advance, follow the directions and refrigerate it for up to seven days in an airtight container. Before using, reheat the baste in the microwave or on the stovetop.
  • Avoid basting your turkey too frequently because each time the oven door is opened, heat is lost. You won’t be able to finish cooking your turkey because you’ll have to turn on your oven to reheat.

To Baste or Not to Baste?

Most turkey experts will tell you that basting is optional. Although it’s not the ideal way to season turkey, it will do the trick if you’re short on time and can’t devote the necessary time to more involved prep. For instance, you might have wanted to brine your turkey but either ran out of time or didn’t have enough space in the refrigerator or a brining bag to do the job properly. Rubbing your turkey with a spice mix is another alternative to basting. Many cooks also inject their turkey with liquid seasonings to keep it moist and add flavor.

While you wait for heat and enough time to turn the pale bird into a golden centerpiece for your feast, basting can give you the impression that you are making progress. But if you have seasoned your turkey in other ways, you can skip the basting.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
52 Calories
6g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 52
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 6mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Recipe Tags:

Smoked Turkey Butter Basted For Thanksgiving (And It Was Amazing!)

Leave a Comment