Should I Wrap My Turkey in Foil While Smoking?

This “How to Smoke a Turkey” tutorial will show you how simple it is to make the best turkey you’ve ever had if you’ve always wanted to make your own!

This will be the best Thanksgiving turkey you’ve ever tasted, in addition to being the best smoked turkey you’ve ever had. Get ready for a Thanksgiving dinner that will wow!.

Smoked Turkeys have something of a mystique surrounding them. Eight weeks before Thanksgiving, people swarm to a nearby store to order smoked turkeys for their Thanksgiving feast.

In terms of flavor and texture, everyone in these parts agrees that smoked turkeys are the best. I’m not sure why, given how simple and forgiving the smoking process is, so few people attempt to do it themselves.

The fact is that roasting a turkey increases the likelihood that it will become uninhabitably dry. Think of Clark Griswold’s sister-in-law on ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’. Remember how that thing was turkey jerky?.

Arguments for Wrapping in Foil:

  • Faster cooking time: Wrapping in foil can help the turkey cook more quickly, as it traps heat and moisture. This can be helpful if you are short on time.
  • More tender meat: The foil helps to keep the turkey moist, resulting in more tender meat. This is especially beneficial for larger turkeys, which can dry out more easily.
  • Less mess: Wrapping in foil can help to contain the drippings and juices, making for easier cleanup.

Arguments against Wrapping in Foil:

  • Less crispy skin: Wrapping in foil can prevent the skin from crisping up. This is because the foil traps moisture, which can make the skin soggy.
  • Less smoke flavor: Wrapping in foil can reduce the amount of smoke that the turkey absorbs. This can result in a less flavorful bird.


Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to wrap your turkey in foil is up to you. If you are looking for a faster cooking time and more tender meat, then wrapping in foil is a good option. However, if you prefer crispy skin and a strong smoke flavor, then you may want to avoid wrapping the turkey.

Here are some additional tips for smoking a turkey:

  • Use a good quality smoker. This will help to ensure that the turkey cooks evenly and consistently.
  • Use a meat thermometer. This is the best way to ensure that the turkey is cooked to the proper temperature. The internal temperature of the turkey should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the thickest part of the breast.
  • Let the turkey rest before carving. This will allow the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more flavorful and juicy bird.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What kind of wood should I use for smoking a turkey?

A: Apple, hickory, and mesquite are all good choices for smoking turkey.

Q: How long should I smoke a turkey?

A: The general rule of thumb is to smoke a turkey for 30-40 minutes per pound. However, this can vary depending on the size of the turkey and the type of smoker you are using.

Q: What should I serve with smoked turkey?

A: Smoked turkey can be served with a variety of sides, such as mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce


Smoking a turkey is a great way to achieve a flavorful and juicy bird. By following the tips and recommendations above, you can ensure that your smoked turkey is a success.

What Temp to Smoke a Turkey

Given that the smoker will determine how easily you maintain your temperature, now is a great time to share a list of the supplies you’ll need to smoke a turkey. And I’m happy to say you have options!.

  • A smoker that has a thermostat so you can program and keep the temperature
  • A Roaster pan or drip pan for your smoker.
  • Wooden briquettes, chips, or pellets, depending on the kind of smoker you use

Obviously, a proper smoker is going to make this job FAR easier, but it can most certainly be done in a grill with a very low indirect heat. You’re going for 225°F to 250°F. If you have a real deal smoker with an adjustable thermostat, please set it at 250°F for the duration.

I swear by apple or alder wood for my turkeys, so we really need to talk about the type of wood smoke we’re using.

I believe it’s flavorful but mild, and it’s readily available (at least in this literal and figurative neck of the woods). As a good backup option, I believe hickory would work well as well. Mesquite wouldn’t be as appealing to me, but it still wouldn’t be horrible.

should i wrap my turkey in foil while smoking

I used to use a dedicated smoker, but these days, I use my handy-dandy, trusty Traeger pellet grill for the job. It’s insulated, it maintains temperature as easily as an oven, and it has a hopper I can fill with convenient wood pellets.

It takes all of the work out of smoking any number of proteins. Bonus: I can order my Traeger pellets to be shipped monthly from Amazon via the subscribe and save feature.

You can use the same types of wood with good results if your smoker uses wood chips. Just follow the smoker manufacturer’s instructions to maintain approximately 250ºF.

Your turkey can be smoked in a roasting pan on a rack or directly on the smoker’s grates with a drip tray underneath. Because I like to gather the turkey drippings for gravy or roasted potatoes, I like to use the roasting pan.

If cooking the turkey directly on the grates, please make sure there isn’t too much food in your drip pan. Turkeys give off a lot of liquid as they cook!.

How to smoke a turkey?

In contrast, smoked turkey cooks for an extended period of time at a low temperature while constantly basting itself, preventing it from becoming dry and monotonous. Any additional seasoning beyond salt, pepper, and a small amount of granulated onion or garlic powder or onion powder is unnecessary because the smoke adds such amazing flavor.

Similar to my Five-Spice Roasted Turkey, I pack aromatics like onions, apples, and fresh herbs into the bird’s cavity to give it extra moisture. Using these allows the turkey to absorb all that delicious smoke and be basted from the inside out.

Even though I am fully aware that putting a large turkey in a large pan in the fridge for the night is not convenient, it’s kind of essential. You can blot a turkey’s skin with paper towels all. day. length of time, but it won’t dry it out as much as it would if it were left alone to sit on a roasting rack in a refrigerator with the air flowing around it.

What makes a dry turkey skin desirable? It simply behaves better in the smoke. It becomes slightly crispier, but I doubt that smoked turkey skin will ever be as beautiful and crispy as roasted turkey skin. It’s worth it because it improves the meat’s ability to absorb the flavor of the smoke!

In light of that, let’s compile a list of the components required to create the greatest smoked turkey. The good news is it is all easy to find!.

should i wrap my turkey in foil while smoking

When I said that all you need to do is add salt, pepper, granulated onion, and garlic, I really meant it. You can add a little paprika to intensify the color.

For this smoked turkey, you don’t need to use a special dry rub, but you can use some McCormick’s Montreal Chicken Seasoning to ensure a delicious turkey skin. It’s great to have on hand.

The apples, onions, and sage inside the turkey cavity add a great flavor to the meal, so don’t skip them!

For smoking, I suggest using smaller turkeys instead of larger ones. This is partially a question of taste and partially a question of food safety.

Experts concur that smoking a turkey that weighs no more than fifteen pounds is the safest method. A larger turkey will spend more time in what is referred to as “the danger zone” of temperatures, which could allow dangerously high growth of bacteria that can cause food-borne illness.

should i wrap my turkey in foil while smoking

I smoke two smaller turkeys at once if I require more turkey than one smaller bird can provide. Both my Traeger and electric smokers have enough room to hold two whole birds.

Before smoking the turkey, you can definitely, positively use my drumstick removal method. I’ve done it both with and without the drumsticks, and both times I got good results.

When detached, the drumsticks cook a little faster, so if they are cooked for the same length of time as the larger portion of the bird, they will be more “done” when the breast meat is almost done. This is exactly how I prefer my turkey. Choose accordingly.

Should I wrap my turkey in foil while smoking?

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