Brined and Smoked Turkey on the Yoder YS640: A Recipe for Thanksgiving Perfection

If you’re looking to elevate your Thanksgiving turkey game, look no further than this brined and smoked turkey recipe on the Yoder YS640. This method combines the juicy tenderness of brining with the smoky flavor of the Yoder resulting in a culinary masterpiece that will have your guests begging for seconds.


  • Whole Turkey: Choose a fresh or air-chilled turkey. Avoid pre-salted or self-basting turkeys as they’ve already received their salt fix.
  • Brine:
    • 2 Bottles of Sweetwater Spice Lemon Thyme Turkey Bath
    • 1 Gallon of Water
    • 1/2 Cup of Salt
    • Optional: Onions, apples, or oranges for added flavor
  • Seasoning:
    • 1 Shaker of Cattleman’s Grill Ranchero Rub
    • Butter


1. Turkey Prep:

  • Trim off any unwanted skin or fat using a sharp knife or kitchen shears.
  • Optionally, remove the skin holding the legs together and tie the legs using kitchen twine.

2. Brine Prep:

  • Mix one 16oz bottle of Sweetwater Spice Lemon Thyme Turkey Bath per one gallon of water in a brining bucket.
  • Rinse out the turkey bath bottle to remove residual concentrate and add to the brine.
  • Add 1/2 cup of salt to the brine and mix until dissolved.

3. Brine Time:

  • Place the turkey breast side down into the brining bucket.
  • Optionally, add onions, apples, or oranges to the turkey cavity to weigh it down and add additional flavors.
  • Brine the turkey for one hour per pound.

4. Preheat the Yoder YS640:

  • Set your Yoder YS640 to 275°F.

5. Remove and Season the Turkey:

  • Remove the turkey from the brine.
  • Optionally, sift the brine to collect herbs and spices and rub them on the outside of the turkey or under the skin.
  • Place the turkey back in the fridge uncovered to allow the skin to dry, resulting in crispier skin.
  • Season the outside of the turkey with Cattleman’s Grill Ranchero Rub.

6. Smoke the Turkey:

  • Place the turkey on the Yoder YS640 and smoke until the internal temperature of the turkey breast reaches 165°F and the turkey thighs reach 165°F or higher.

7. Baste and Rest:

  • Baste the outside of the turkey with butter during the last 20 minutes of smoking for a nice golden color.
  • Remove the smoked turkey from the Yoder and allow it to cool down uncovered for 30 minutes.

8. Slice and Enjoy!

Carve the turkey and enjoy the juicy, flavorful results of your brining and smoking efforts.

Pro Tip:

  • If you start basting your turkey with butter at a lower temperature like 140°F, you will get a darker-colored turkey as opposed to basting at 160°F.

Additional Tips:

  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey reaches the proper internal temperature.
  • Let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before carving to allow the juices to redistribute.
  • Serve the turkey with your favorite Thanksgiving sides and enjoy!

With this recipe and your trusty Yoder YS640, you’ll be the star of the Thanksgiving show. So get ready to impress your guests with a brined and smoked turkey that’s truly a feast for the senses!

Smoked Spatchcock Turkey on a Yoder YS640s Pellet Smoker


How long does it take to smoke a turkey on a yoder?

Remove the birds when the internal temperature reaches 168 -170 degrees. This usually takes about 6 hours of cook time for a 12 lbs. bird @ 225 degrees. That’s it!

Is it better to smoke a turkey at 225 or 250?

When smoking at 225°F, it can take about 30 to 45 minutes to cook one pound of turkey. That means a 12-pound turkey should take at least six hours to cook in a smoker. To smoke your turkey faster, increase the smoker’s temperature to 250°F to 275°F.

How long to smoke a 20 lb turkey on a pellet grill?

It will take around 6-8 hours. For a 20 lb turkey, it’s more like 10-13 hours. There’s a lot of debate as to which temperature is optimal for smoking a turkey on a pellet grill. You’ll see ranges of anywhere from 225°-350°F.

How long to smoke a turkey at 225 on a pit boss?

Cook time at 225°F is 30 minutes per pound, or when the temperature internally reaches 165°F.

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