Smoked Turkey in a Barrel
Food and Drink

Courtesy of Noah Glanville, founder of the Pit Barrel Cooker Co.

Smoked Turkey in a Barrel

Cooking method: Pit Barrel Cooker | Target internal temp: 165°F Serves: entire family + leftovers


2 10–15 pound turkeys or one 16–35 pound turkey, fully thawed*

olive oil, enough to rub the outside of your bird

1 jar of your preferred dry rub

1 Pit Barrel Cooker Co. Turkey Hanger


*10-15 pounders yield the most tender and juicy results


Approximate Cook Time:

10 pounds = 3 hours

20 pounds = 5 hours

35 pounds = 7 hours

Fill the premeasured coal basket to the top. Then move about a quarter of the charcoal briquettes to a chimney starter. Place the coal basket at the bottom of the barrel, and light the coals in the chimney starter. Allow 12 to 15 minutes for the coals in the chimney to fire up, then dump them into the center of the prepared charcoal basket (a heat-resistant glove is recommended).

Remove the fully thawed turkey from the package. Remove the neck and giblet bag from inside the turkey. Remove any plastic or wire ties holding the legs in place.

Rub all sides of the turkey with a light coating of olive oil, followed by a liberal dusting of your preferred dry rub (we like our own PBC All-Purpose Pit Rub). Make sure you season the areas under the wings, and inside the cavity.

Hang the turkey on the specially-designed, stainless-steel Turkey Hanger. Start by inserting the rod through the cavity from the neck end. Turn the bird upright so the breast end sits on the double-hook portion of the hanger, and insert the T-bar through the eye on the end of the hanger rod.

Hang the turkey(s) in the center of the PBC so the T-bar straddles the center of the rods. Depending on the size of the birds, you may have to lower them into the cooker before inserting the second rod.

Replace the lid, ensuring it is properly seated, and cook for approximately 3.5 to 7 hours, depending on the size of the bird. For an extra crisp on the skin, crack the lid about a quarter of an inch for the last 30 minutes of the cook.

Look in on the turkey every couple hours to check the internal temperature. The PBC was designed to allow you to peek in regularly without hindering the cooking process.

Remove the smoked turkey and place on a large platter or sheet pan. Check that the bird has reached a final internal temperature of 165°F, then remove the hanger and let the turkey rest 15 to 20 minutes.

Carve, serve and give thanks for an amazing year.