Cajun Barbecued Turkey

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 3h 25m
  • Rating ****

Serves 12


  • One 10-12-pound turkey; neck, heart and giblets removed
  • 4 tablespoons Cajun spice mix, divided
  • 6 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 4 cups mesquite smoke chips, soaked in water 30 minutes, drained
  • Disposable 9 x 6 x 1-inch aluminum broiler pans


Rinse the turkey inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the turkey cavities with 2 tablespoons Cajun spice mix.

Whisk the broth and butter in a small bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Using a kitchen syringe, inject the mixture into the turkey breasts, thighs and drumsticks. Rub the oil over the turkey. Sprinkle the turkey with the remaining 2 tablespoons Cajun spice mix.


Mound lump charcoal in a barbecue and burn until light gray. Using tongs, carefully divide the hot charcoal into 2 piles, 1 pile at each side of the barbecue. Sprinkle each pile with generous 1/2 cup mesquite chips. Place an empty broiler pan between the piles. Position the grill at least 6 inches above the charcoal. Position the vents on the barbecue so that the chips smoke and charcoal burns (no flame).


Preheat the barbecue with all burners on high. Turn off the center burner and lower the outside burners to medium-low heat. Place generous 1/2 cup mesquite chips in each of 2 broiler pans. Set the pans over 2 lit burners. Place an empty broiler pan over the unlit burner. Position the grill at least 6 inches above the burners.

Tuck the wing tips under the turkey body. Tie legs together to hold shape. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper. Arrange the turkey breast-side up on the grill, centering above the empty broiler pan. Cover and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F, adding 1 cup mesquite chips (and 7 charcoal pieces if using charcoal barbecue) to barbecue every 30 minutes, about 3 hours.


Set up your smoker for smoking, following the manufacturer's instructions. Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F. Wash, rub and inject the turkey as described above. Place the turkey in the smoker. If using a water smoker, place 1 quart water, wine or cider in water pan. For extra flavor, add 1/4 cup Cajun spice mix to the water. Smoke the turkey until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into thickest part of turkey thigh, about 6 hours.

Transfer the turkey to a platter, tent with foil to keep warm, and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve and serve.

Recipe created exclusively for by Steven Raichlen.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 4407

nutrition information per serving

301 calories; 12g total fat; 190mg cholesterol; 602mg sodium; 1g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 45g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

Sign Up for Newsletters Here

Delicious recipes, easy meal ideas and holiday inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.