Top 10 Best Smokers For Juicy and Flavorful Turkey

Are you searching for the perfect smoker to take your turkey game to the next level? Look no further. In this article, we have compiled a list of the top 10 best smokers for turkey, so you can achieve that mouthwatering, smoky flavor you desire. Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a novice chef, our comprehensive guide will help you make an informed decision. We’ve done the research for you, considering factors like size, durability, heat retention, and ease of use. From traditional charcoal smokers to electric and propane options, we have something for everyone. Get ready to impress your friends and family this holiday season with tender, juicy, perfectly smoked turkey.

Benefits of Using a Smoker for Turkey

Using a smoker for cooking turkey offers a range of benefits that many people may not be aware of. One of the main advantages is the enhanced flavor that a smoker can provide. The slow cooking process allows the turkey to absorb the smoky flavors from the wood chips or pellets used in the smoker, creating a unique and delicious taste. This is especially true for those who enjoy a smoky or barbecue flavor in their food. Additionally, the low and slow cooking method helps to keep the turkey moist and tender, resulting in a juicy and flavorful end product.

Another benefit of using a smoker for turkey is the ability to infuse different flavors into the meat. By experimenting with different types of wood chips or pellets, such as hickory, apple, or mesquite, one can create various flavor profiles to suit their preferences. This versatility allows for endless possibilities when it comes to seasoning and marinating the turkey, providing a customizable cooking experience. Furthermore, using a smoker for turkey allows for the addition of herbs, spices, and other aromatics to be used in the smoking process, further enhancing the overall flavor.

In addition to the improved taste, using a smoker for turkey also offers convenience and ease of use. Once the smoker is set up and the temperature is regulated, there is minimal effort required. The smoker does all the work, allowing the cook to focus on other tasks or simply relax while waiting for the turkey to cook. Additionally, many smokers have built-in thermometers and timers, making it easy to monitor and control the cooking process without constantly checking on the turkey.

Lastly, using a smoker for turkey can be a healthier cooking option compared to other methods such as deep frying. Smoking requires little to no added oil or fat, resulting in a lower calorie content. Additionally, the slow cooking process helps to retain more nutrients in the meat compared to higher heat cooking methods. This makes using a smoker a great choice for those who are health-conscious or looking for a healthier alternative to traditional cooking methods.

Top 10 Best Smokers for Turkey in 2023

1. Traeger Pro 780 Grill and Smoker

The Traeger Pro 780 is a high-end pellet grill and smoker popular for its versatility and premium construction. It has ample capacity for smoking large turkeys.


  • 780 square inches of cooking area
  • D2 Direct Drive drivetrain for precision temperature control
  • WiFIRE technology connects to an app for remote monitoring and control
  • Stainless steel construction with double-wall insulation
  • Uses wood pellets for heat and smoke


  • Large capacity for turkeys up to 25 lbs
  • Precise temperature regulation
  • App connectivity provides control away from the grill
  • Durable stainless steel build
  • Real wood flavor from pellet fuel


  • Expensive purchase price
  • Pellet hopper requires refills for longer smokes
  • App connectivity can be glitchy

With smart grill technology, generous space, and premium construction, the Traeger Pro 780 excels at smoking flawless turkeys infused with real wood flavor. It’s an excellent choice for tech-loving barbecue enthusiasts.

2. Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker

The Masterbuilt MB20071117 is a popular electric smoker known for its consistent, set-it-and-forget-it smoking performance. It’s an excellent choice for smoking turkeys.


  • 730 square inches of cooking space – enough for a large turkey or multiple smaller items
  • Digital temperature control from 100°F to 275°F
  • Integrated meat probe thermometer
  • RF remote controls temperature, time, internal light, and on/off
  • Double-wall insulation retains heat and smoke
  • Patented side wood chip loading system


  • Maintains steady target temperature automatically
  • Large capacity accommodates turkeys up to 20 lbs
  • Remote control provides monitoring and adjusting convenience
  • Insulated for energy efficiency
  • Side wood chip loader minimizes opening the door


  • Some users report inconsistent temperature regulation
  • Remote has limited range
  • Requires frequent wood chip replenishment

With generous space, digital controls, and insulated double walls, the Masterbuilt electric smoker is ideal for smoking juicy, flavored turkeys with minimal effort. It’s a great option for cooks who want the flavor of smoke without the hassle of charcoal or pellet units.

3. Pit Boss 3-Series Analog Electric Vertical Smoker

The Pit Boss 3-Series Analog Electric Smoker delivers excellent smoking performance at a budget-friendly price point. It has ample room for turkeys.


  • 700 sq. in. of cooking surface
  • Analog controls for temperature dial
  • Chrome-plated cooking racks
  • Porcelain coated steel exterior
  • Built-in wood chip drawer


  • Spacious cooking area fits turkeys up to 16 lbs
  • Budget-friendly price under $200
  • Vertical design promotes even heat distribution
  • Dual meat probes included
  • Easy-access wood chip drawer


  • Limited temperature control with analog dial
  • Prone to large temperature swings
  • Exterior can rust over time

For an affordable smoker that can handle turkeys and other meats with ease, the Pit Boss 3-Series is a great option. While temperature regulation isn’t perfect, the ample space, vertical design, and price make it a top choice for budget-minded turkey smokers.

4. Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker

The Cuisinart COS-330 is an electric smoker acclaimed for its compact size and user-friendly performance. It has enough room for small to medium sized turkeys.


  • 330 square inches of cooking space
  • Analog temperature dial
  • Chrome-plated steel interior
  • Double-wall stainless steel exterior
  • Built-in wood chip tray


  • Compact and lightweight for portability
  • Simple dial controls for set-it-and-forget operation
  • Vertical design promotes even smoking
  • Tight door seals and insulated walls
  • Recipe booklet included


  • Limited cooking capacity for large turkeys
  • Prone to temperature fluctuations
  • Steel interior prone to rusting
  • Short power cord

For its modest size and price, the Cuisinart COS-330 performs admirably as a smoker for smaller turkeys up to 10 lbs. While it can’t compete with larger smokers for cooking capacity, its user-friendly analog controls and portable footprint make it a great choice for basic backyard smoking.

5. Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24″ Vertical Smoker

With 573 square inches of smoking space, Camp Chef’s Smoke Vault 24″ vertical smoker is a versatile pick for smoking turkeys. Its propane fuel makes it easy to use.


  • 24″ wide x 18″ deep cooking area
  • Three adjustable smoking racks
  • Matchless snap-ignition propane burner
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Large front access door
  • Wood chip tray and water pan


  • Generous cooking space for turkeys up to 18 lbs
  • Propane fuel lights easily and heats quickly
  • Adjustable racks provide flexibility
  • Built-in thermometer for quick monitoring
  • Front access door simplifies loading and unloading


  • Temperature control could be more precise
  • Large footprint for a small cooking area
  • Prone to rusting without proper maintenance

For effortless propane-fired smoking with ample room for mid-sized birds, the Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24″ is a worthy option. Convenient snap ignition and front door access help make the smoking process smooth from start to finish.

6. Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker

The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker is a classic charcoal smoker revered for its consistent low-and-slow smoking performance. Its bullet-shaped design excels at smoking turkeys.


  • 470 square inches of cooking surface
  • Porcelain-enameled bowl and lid
  • Two cooking grates
  • Water pan
  • Individual vents on bowl and lid
  • Built-in thermometer


  • Iconic, time-tested bullet smoker design
  • Excellent heat and smoke regulation
  • Large enough for turkeys up to 18 lbs
  • Fuel efficient and easy to use
  • Durable, rust-resistant construction


  • Smaller capacity than upright smokers
  • Requires charcoal and wood chip replenishment
  • Learning curve for new users

For decades, backyard smokers have relied on the Weber Smokey Mountain’s legendary smoking performance. Offering incredible temperature control in a classic bullet shape, it remains one of the best charcoal smokers for smoking moist, flavorful turkeys.

7. Z Grills ZPG-550A Pellet Smoker

The Z Grills ZPG-550A is a versatile wood pellet grill and smoker with ample room for turkeys. It offers the convenience of pellet fuel plus high-tech controller features.


  • 572 square inches of main cooking space
  • Digital automatic ignition and temperature controls
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Pellet hopper and auger system
  • Internal meat probe
  • 10 lb pellet capacity


  • Large cooking surface can handle full turkeys
  • Precise temperature control
  • Pellet hopper is easy to load
  • Heavy duty stainless steel build
  • Advanced PID technology maintains set temp


  • Poor pellet sensor performance reported
  • Prone to electrical issues
  • Pellet jamming problems are common

For effortless pellet-fired smoking packed with real wood flavor, the Z Grills ZPG-550A delivers on value. Despite some quality control concerns, its generous size, savory smoke, and advanced digital controls make it a compelling choice for smoking flavorful holiday turkeys.

8. Dyna-Glo Digital Electric Smoker

With 730 square inches of smoking area, the Dyna-Glo digital electric smoker offers ample turkey cooking capacity in an insulated, digitally controlled package.


  • 730 square inch cooking area
  • Digital temperature, time, and meat probe controls
  • Insulated double-wall construction
  • Side access wood chip loader
  • Stainless steel body and door


  • Huge cooking surface fits 20+ lb birds
  • Precise digital controls simplify smoking
  • Insulated for better heat retention
  • Intuitive controls and meat probe
  • Robust stainless steel construction


  • Temperature can run hot or cold
  • Flimsy door assembly
  • Wood chip box complaints
  • Meat probe accuracy issues

The Dyna-Glo digital smoker provides excellent turkey smoking ability thanks to its spacious interior and savvy digital controls. Poor reliability in some areas hampers its overall value, but its strengths make it one of the top electric smokers for holiday birds under $300.

9. Masterbuilt MB20081117 Digital Electric Smoker

With advanced digital controls and huge 800 square inch smoking capacity, the Masterbuilt MB20081117 allows BBQ fans to smoke monstrous turkeys with total confidence.

  • 800 square inches of cooking space
  • Digital temperature, time, light and meat probe controls
  • Patent pending side wood chips loader
  • RF remote control
  • Full foam insulation


  • Massive cooking room for 20+ lb turkeys
  • Precise digital control panel
  • Convenient side wood chip loader
  • Remote monitoring and control ability
  • Foam insulation for maximum heat retention


  • Expensive $500+ price tag
  • Remote has limited range
  • Prone to early electronic failures

Serious barbecue chefs who regularly smoke jumbo turkeys will appreciate the Mastberbuilt MB20081117’s huge cooking capacity and digitally controlled smoking performance. It provides an elite smoking experience albeit at a premium price.

10. Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Offset Smoker

The Oklahoma Joe’s Highland model provides classic offset smoking in a heavy duty package. Its large main chamber has ample room for smoking big birds.


  • 750 square inches of cooking surface\n- Heavy gauge steel construction
  • Porcelain coated grates and firebox
  • Large 10 inch wheels and cool touch handles
  • Multiple dampers for heat control
  • Large front shelf work space


  • Huge cooking capacity for 20+ lb turkeys
  • Traditional offset smoking flavor
  • High quality thick metal construction
  • Superior heat retention
  • Sliding ash pan simplifies cleanup


  • Difficult to maintain steady temps
  • Consumes more fuel than other types
  • Not truly weatherproof
  • Prone to rust without care

Features to Look for in a Smoker for Turkey

Firstly, size matters. It is essential to consider the size of the smoker and ensure that it can accommodate a whole turkey comfortably. A larger smoker will allow for better air circulation and even cooking of the turkey. Additionally, having adjustable racks or shelves is beneficial as it allows for flexibility in cooking different sizes of turkeys.

Another important feature to look for in a smoker for turkey is temperature control. Maintaining a consistent temperature is key to achieving that perfectly smoked turkey. Look for a smoker that comes with a built-in thermometer or temperature gauge, as this will help you monitor and adjust the temperature as needed throughout the smoking process. Some high-end smokers even offer digital temperature control, which provides more precise and accurate temperature control.

Ventilation is another crucial factor to consider when choosing a smoker for turkey. Good ventilation ensures proper air circulation, which helps in maintaining an even temperature and prevents the buildup of excess smoke. Look for a smoker that has adjustable vents or dampers to allow you to control the airflow and regulate the smoke levels.

Durability is also a factor to consider when selecting a smoker for turkey. Since smoking a turkey can take several hours, it is important to choose a smoker that is made from high-quality materials, such as stainless steel or cast iron, which can withstand high temperatures and last for years.

Lastly, consider additional features that may enhance your smoking experience, such as a removable ash pan for easy cleanup, a built-in water pan to add moisture to the smoking process, or even a separate chamber for adding wood chips without disturbing the cooking process.

Tips for Smoking a Juicy and Flavorful Turkey

Smoking a turkey can produce some of the most juicy and flavorful dishes. Here are a few tips to help you create the perfect smoked turkey every time:

  • Start by brining the turkey overnight. This will add flavor and moisture to your dish, resulting in a delicious, succulent bird.
  • Choose high quality wood chips that have been aged and are free of chemicals. This will add authentic smoky flavor to your turkey.
  • Preheat the smoker to a consistent temperature and be sure to keep an eye on the thermometer throughout the smoking process.
  • Monitor the internal temperature of the bird with a food thermometer and cook until it reaches at least 165°F.
  • Allow the turkey to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving or serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and ensure a moist and juicy turkey.
  • Finally, remember that safety is paramount when smoking a turkey. Be sure to follow all recommended guidelines for safe food handling and preparation.

Maintenance And Care for Your Smoker

Regular maintenance and care is essential for keeping your smoker in optimal shape. Here are a few tips to help keep your smoker clean and functioning properly:

  • After each smoking session, be sure to empty the ash pan or tray and wipe down any drippings from inside the smoker.
  • To prevent buildup of rust and corrosion, it’s important to season your smoker regularly. This can be done by coating the interior of the smoker with cooking oil before each smoking session.
  • Inspect for any damage or wear and tear, such as cracked seals or rusted parts, and replace if needed.
  • Check all nuts and bolts regularly to make sure they are tight and secure.
  • Finally, be sure to store your smoker in a dry place when not in use.

Common Mistakes When Using a Smoker

Smoking a turkey can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, but it’s important to avoid some common mistakes when using a smoker. Here are some of the most frequent errors to watch out for:

  • Not preheating the smoker long enough or not maintaining consistent temperatures throughout the process.
  • Adding too much wood chips or wood chunks at once. This can result in an overly smoky flavor, as well as a bitter taste.
  • Not allowing the turkey to rest long enough before carving or serving.
  • Using cheaper woods that are not aged or free of chemicals. These woods can produce off flavors and may even be dangerous if inhaled.
  • Smoking too quickly or at too high of a temperature. This can cause the turkey to dry out and become tough.


What turkey to buy for smoking?

A good rule of thumb for buying a turkey for smoking is to buy one that weighs between 12 and 16 pounds. A smaller bird won’t hold up to the long smoking process, while a larger bird may dry out easily.

What kind of wood should I use?

It is best to use aged hardwood such as hickory, oak, cherry, or apple for smoking turkey. Softer woods such as pine can produce off flavors and should be avoided.

Can I smoke a frozen turkey?

No, it is not safe to smoke a frozen turkey. The turkey must be completely thawed before it is placed in the smoker.

What temperature should I set my smoker to?

The optimal temperature for smoking turkey is between 225°F and 250°F. It is important to monitor the internal temperature of the turkey with a food thermometer throughout the process. The turkey is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Can I reuse wood chips?

Yes, you can reuse wood chips for smoking. However, it is important to make sure they are completely cooled and stored in a dry place before reusing them.

When should I buy a smoker?

It is best to buy a smoker in the late summer or early fall, when prices are usually lower and there is more selection available. This will give you plenty of time to practice smoking before the holidays roll around. Additionally, it’s important to shop around and compare models before making a purchase so that you can get the right smoker for your needs.

How much does it cost to smoke a turkey?

The cost of smoking a turkey will depend on the type of smoker you use and the ingredients needed. Generally speaking, you can expect to spend between $30 and $50 for a smoked turkey. This includes the cost of wood chips, brining supplies, seasoning, and other ingredients. Additionally, there may be some costs associated with maintaining and storing your smoker.

Are smokers worth buying?

Yes, smokers are well worth the investment for those who love to cook and entertain. Not only can you use a smoker to make delicious dishes like smoked turkey or brisket, but they also add an element of flavor to your food that simply cannot be replicated by other methods. Plus, smokers come in many sizes and styles so you can find one that fits your needs and budget. Smokers are definitely worth considering if you’re looking to upgrade your cooking arsenal.

What other food can be cooked in a smoker?

There is a wide range of foods that can be cooked in a smoker, including meats such as pork, beef, chicken, and fish; vegetables like potatoes and squash; and even desserts like pies and cakes. Smokers can also be used to make savory snacks such as jerky and smoked nuts. The possibilities are endless! So go ahead, experiment with new recipes and see what you can come up with!


We hope our thorough analysis of the top 10 best smokers for juicy and flavorful turkey will help you choose the perfect smoker. There are many different types to choose from, so make sure to consider your own budget, preferences, and needs when deciding. It is also important to remember to keep an eye on the temperature of your smoker, as this can affect how well it cooks your meat.

Chances are, with one of these high-quality options you’ll be able to create a tasty and mouthwatering turkey that is sure to please even the pickiest eater. So get out there – fire up the smoker, baste your bird, and enjoy the smoky aroma as it wraps itself around your dinner table!

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