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How to Smoke a Turkey with Apple Wood

guide for smoked turkey on applewood

Thanksgiving is our favorite time for smoked turkey experimentation. It is a perfect and absolutely delicious meal for the holidays or pretty much any time of the year. Anyone who loves this smoked bird will definitely like this fantastic recipe.

This smoked turkey is rubbed with different ingredients and smoked over a bed of apple woods. At the end of the cooking process, the meat is tender, moist and we can say that it is one of the best meals we ever made and tried!

So, if you want to know more about apple wood smoked turkey recipe, all you have to do is read on.

3-2-1 Method Smoked Pork Ribs Recipe
Smoked Ham with Honey Glaze Recipe
Barbecuing is unquestionably a disorderly field, which is precisely why the numbers can bring a certain comfort. That just might be the thing that explains the popularity of the so-called 3-2-1 ribs-cooking method.
Are you not familiar with this method? Basically, it's a process divided into three separate time blocks - the first lasts for three hours, the second for two, and the final one for just one hour.
In this article, we'll be taking a closer look at this popular recipe, examining it in details, analyzing its advantages and downsides, and we'll also take a look at some variations and alternatives to it. Read on!
The most convenient way to smoke your food is by using a high-quality electric smoker. The best thing about this product is that they are convenient, easy to use and will save you time and money. You just need to place the food into it, set the right temperature and leave it to do the job for you.
Ham can be a fantastic meal when it is adequately smoked. It’s not the easiest task, but if you follow our step by step smoked ham recipe, you will have the best possible results. Anyone can make this delicious meal because there are no tough preparations or complicated steps.
This honey glazed ham is a mouth-watering dish that is ideal for the festive season. Your whole family will love this meal, and it will become their favorite. It is slow-cooked to the perfection and serves eight to ten people.
It is best to cook this honey glazed ham in advanced, so you get the most flavors.

What you will need:


  • Minced white onion, 2 tbsp.
  • Diced tomatoes, ¼ cup
  • Diced dill pickle, 2 tbsp.
  • Mayonnaise, ½ cup
  • Vinegar (use the one from the hot pepper’s jar), 2 tsp.
  • Salt to taste
We gave this method a try a few days ago, and we immediately understood its appeal - it results in meat that's so tender that it looks like it will slide off the bones! It comes with a couple of layers of flavor that immediately associate one with the taste of a great barbecue. We don't even have to say that the whole process can be done within a (very predictable) time frame of just six hours.
Those that follow the directions are guaranteed to avoid ending up with ribs that are too dry or too tough, which makes the 3-2-1 method a very fail-proof process. Almost 100% of people who taste the ribs cooked by this method will react with delight, and might even declare you a barbecue maestro. If all of this sounds pretty tempting (and we're sure that it does), have a look at the following recipe.
Smoked, bone-in ham, 1 10 pounds
Light brown sugar, 1 ½ cups
Clover honey, ½ cup


1. Brine the Turkey:

We recommend that you brine the meat before you smoke it. But, first, you need to wash the turkey and pat it dry.

After that mix the ingredients such as apple cider or apple juice, maple syrup, brown sugar and salt in a large container, until you dissolve the sugar.

Soak the turkey in the brine, in a non-metal container, for about 17 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Don't forget to cover it.

2. Smoke the Meat

  1. First, you need to prepare your electric smoker for the cooking process. Turn it on and set the desired temperature at 250 degrees F. If you want to smoke a whole turkey, you should know that it will take you longer to prepare it.
  2. Remove the meat from the brine and place it under the running water to rinse it off. Use paper towels to pat it dry. When you have done that part correctly, put it on the top of smoking racks. Place unsoaked or soaked apple wood which will give the food a smoky flavor that tastes better. You could also use a combination of wet and dry wood, alternating between two. The moist chunks provide slower, lower smoke and bring the temperature down. The dry one gives an intense and quick smoke which brings the heat up.
  3. Make sure that the temperature is right. Use the meat probe and thermometer that comes with the unit, and monitor the time and temperature settings. That way you will be sure that your food won’t overcook. If it is necessary, you can low the temperature even more, or increase it. That all depends on your personal preferences and the amount of time you have for the cooking process. Make sure not to open the door of the smoker too much because it can reduce the amount of smoke and heat inside the cooking chamber.
  4.  To test for doneness use a meat thermometer. Check the meal every hour, and control the temp. Smoke the turkey until the internal heat of this food reaches 175 degrees F, and until the dark bark forms. That should take for about five hours if you are preparing a whole turkey. After four hours of cooking, check the meat and see how much longer it should take for the bird to be done. In general, it should take about 21 minutes per pound of meat to be ready.
  5. Remove turkey from the smoker when it is done. Leave it to rest for about ten minutes before carving it. That will allow the meat fibers to relax, and the moisture that was removed is reabsorbed and redistributed by dissolved proteins. When the turkey can rest it will hold on to its natural juices.
  6. Slice the meat into ½ inch slices, against the grain. If it is juicy and moist, you can be sure that you have smoked it perfectly. You can serve it as a sandwich, or you can serve it sliced on a plate with some potatoes or other vegetables you and your family prefer. This meal is best when you eat it immediately.
  7. You can also store it in the refrigerator and use it later. We must say that the smoked flavor is better when the turkey is cold. But the great thing is that no matter how or when you serve it, this meal will always be juicy and tender.
  8. In general, leftovers stay fresh two to three days in the fridge but can be frozen up to one month. 
smoked turkey in electric smoker

Nutrition of Turkey

Step #1 - The first step consists of preparing the ribs. Prepare them for the 3-2-1 method by carefully removing the membranes, after which you can apply some of your rib rub.
Step #2 - It's time for the first time block. Set your smoker at 225F (110C) and place the ribs (bone-side down) into it. Cook them for the duration of three hours.
Step #3 - After those three hours, get the ribs out of the machine and wrap them in some aluminum foil. Do it as tightly as you can in order to form an airtight seal. Return the ribs to your smoker and smoke them for two hours.
Step #4 - Now would be the time to un-wrap the meat and return it to the machine for one more hour.
Step #5 - During the last half an hour of the cooking time, you can, optionally, apply some sauce to the ribs. To prevent the burning, you'll have to make sure that the cooking temperature is no higher than 265F (130C). Also, don't forget to apply the sauce in a couple of thin layers.
To place a large roasting pan, adjust the racks. With a shallow roasting one, fit the pan. Before start preparing this meal, preheat the oven to three hundred and fifty degrees F.
Under the cold water, rinse the ham, after you have unwrapped it. Put it in the roasting pan on the rack.  Use the foil to cover it and cook the meat for one hour and forty minutes. In the meantime, mix the honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and cook until the sugar has dissolved and mixture becomes smooth, over medium heat.
Use the brown sugar glaze to pour it over the meat and roast it for another one hour and forty minutes. Make sure you baste it with the drippings in the roaster, at least twice while it’s cooking. Calculate twenty minutes for one pound of meat, to adjust the right roasting time for larger or smaller meat.
Use a meat thermometer to check if the meat is done. Place it into a meaty area, but make sure it’s not touching the bone or it’s not in the fat spot. The device should register the temperature of one hundred and sixty degrees F.
Before slicing the ham, leave it to rest for about fifteen minutes. That way you are allowing the juices to set correctly.
The Advantages and Downsides of the 3-2-1 Method
How to Smoke a Ham?

Turkey is high in protein and low in fat. It is an inexpensive source of B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and iron. It is smart to keep it in your diet because it is a good source of healthy lean proteins. It also contains selenium and niacin.

‘’Getting enough protein helps maintain lean muscle mass and keep insulin levels stable after meals. Protein is, however, the one nutrient that most meat-eaters are already getting in sufficient amounts. The tryptophan content in turkey may help to support healthy levels of serotonin in the body, which promotes alertness and good mood.’’ according to Medical News Today.

This process is guaranteed to give you ribs that are tender ("fall-off-the-bone"), which is something that many people consider to be the climax of smoked ribs. On the other hand, it probably won't help you win any sort of barbecue competition.
And the reason behind that is the fact that some people have an entirely different opinion on what a good rib is. For some, a well-cooked rib comes with meat that doesn't stick to the bone but still holds to it. To put it more simply, they think that, when you're biting, the meat should be removed away cleanly from the bone - and not fall off.
However, if you're not considering getting into a barbecue competition, you shouldn't worry - just follow this method and your guests will surely be pleased.
The first thing you need to know when buying a ham is that it is always better to pay a little more money for a product that hasn’t 1/3 water weight. Choose the spiral sliced, bone-in, cooked meat that weighs about ten or more pounds.
The next thing is to keep your meat fresh before you want to smoke it. Just place it in the fridge and leave it to rest. When you are ready to prepare smoked ham, remove it from the refrigerator and set aside.
Place it on the baking sheet, use yellow mustard and squeeze it all over the meat to add a little flavor to the ham. Grab a handful of the brown sugar and rub it. Or you don’t have to use any additions if you don't want to, that depends on your personal preference. After you have done that, turn on the smoker.
Put the meat into the unit, on the center rack, flat side down. Set the temperature between two hundred and two hundred and twenty-five degrees F. It is essential to reach the internal temperature of hundred and forty degrees F, so it’s wise to use a digital thermometer.
Leave the meat to smoke for about an hour, hour and a half. Make sure you are checking it so that the ham’s bottom doesn’t get too done. Lower the heat if you notice that it is dark brown.
Take the meat out of the appliance at 2 ½ hours and put it on aluminum foil (double thickness). It is essential that you have enough of it to wrap the whole ham. But, before you do that, use orange juice to spray the meat’s outside.
The next step it is to use the remains of the brown sugar and sprinkle it over the food and then you can wrap it. Return it to the unit until the internal temperature reaches one hundred and forty degrees F, for about one hour.
When it is done, take the meat out of the appliance and leave it to rest for about twenty to thirty minutes, while it’s still wrapped. When you remove the foil, there will be juices on it. But, don’t throw it, because you can use it to pour over the ham right before you serve it.
The Variations
This technique has been mainly designed for the pork ribs - the timing works best for this type of the meat. Those that prefer the baby back ribs should give a try to the so-called 2-2-1 method. Otherwise, they will be risking having the baby back ribs overcooked and dried out - you certainly don't want that to happen!
If you're interested in long-term smoking, you could try placing the wrapped ribs into your oven, after which you could finish them off on a grill (at a low temperature). Due to the fact that most of the smoke flavor is usually delivered in the first couple of hours, this technique won't have an adverse effect on the overall outcome.
All meat has high levels of protein. Ham is pork meat, and it has about 18 g of protein. Protein in beneficial in keeping you full longer. Eating 1 serving of low sodium ham 1 or 2 times a week could help you lose weight. Ham is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. The nutrients found in ham are: Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium, Phosphorus, Riboflavin, Thiamine, and Zinc.

The Conclusion

Nothing impresses like a perfectly smoked turkey when it comes to special family and friend gatherings. Our recipe can take this meat to the new smoky heights, especially if you are using a high-quality electric smoker. Cooking it adequately with the apple wood ensures that this bird stays tender and juicy.

These chips lend a slightly fruity and sweet flavor to the turkey. You could also try with some other wood such as alder or cherry. They are great for more delicate smoked taste, but, if you love to experiment with different ones be free to do it.

You can also use some other ingredients for the brining process. That depends on your personal preferences. Follow our recipe, and you will learn to make the best turkey meal you have ever tried. It doesn’t matter if you have never smoked the meat before. The process is easy so that you won’t have any difficulties with it. Just use the right smoker, and you will soon cook like a pro!

As you can see, the 3-2-1 technique for the pork ribs is easy-to-do and guaranteed to leave you with meat that looks and tastes great. It comes with a predictable time frame and doesn't require any unique ingredients or equipment, and the results are sure to impress your guests.
A word of advice, though - this technique is good only for two or three racks of pork ribs. If you intend to smoke just one rack, the whole process probably won't last for entire six hours. For the really small racks, try the 2-2-1 method.
With our perfect smoked ham with honey glaze recipe and the right electric smoker, you will learn how to make this incredible meal in no time. Surprise your friends and family with this delicious dinner and amaze them. We are sure that this would be their new favorite meat recipe because it’s just perfect.
It doesn’t take much time to prepare it and it’s very easy to smoke the ham. Good thing is that you can just set the smoker and let it do the rest for you. Feel free to explore and experiment with the ingredients and spices. That way you will learn from the first hand, which of them you can combine and which not. Enjoy your meal! Bon appetite!
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