Smoked Cajun Turkey

Spice Up Your Holidays: Smoked Cajun Turkey Recipe

Calling all turkey enthusiasts and flavor fanatics! Are you looking to impress your guests this holiday season with a unique and delicious main course? Look no further than this Smoked Cajun Turkey recipe, guaranteed to tantalize taste buds and leave everyone asking for seconds.

Smoked with Cajun spices, this recipe transforms the classic Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey into a flavorful and exciting dish. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Big Green Egg smoker – this recipe can be easily adapted for pellet grills like Green Mountain Grills or Traeger, or any smoker you have at home.

The key to this recipe lies in two components: a homemade BBQ rub and a Creole butter injection.

The BBQ rub: This rub infuses the turkey with a smoky and savory flavor profile. While we crafted our own “Bad Byron’s Butt Rub Clone” for this recipe (check out the video for the recipe!), you can save time by purchasing your favorite store-bought BBQ rub.

The Creole butter injection: This flavor bomb goes straight into the meat, delivering a burst of savory and salty goodness in every bite. Who can resist the delicious combination of butter, beer, and garlic?

Making the Smoked Cajun Turkey

Ready to embark on your smoked Cajun turkey adventure? Let’s gather the ingredients!


For the Creole butter injection:

  • 12 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) beer, at room temperature
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon liquid crab boil (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

🎬 Watch How to Make This Recipe

Want to see this recipe come to life? Check out this video where I walk you through the entire process, step-by-step!

Butt Rub Clone:

  • 16 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 16 tablespoons fresh cracked black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons onion powder
  • 8 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 8 teaspoons chipotle powder
  • 16 teaspoons paprika

For the turkey:

  • 1 whole turkey (12-14 pounds), thawed
  • Olive oil
  • Your favorite BBQ rub (or homemade Bad Byron’s Butt Rub Clone)
photo of smoked turkey with BBQ rub

How to Make the Smoked Cajun Turkey

  1. Prepare the Creole butter injection: In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, beer, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Creole seasoning, liquid crab boil (if using), hot sauce, salt, and cayenne pepper. This creates a flavorful marinade that will infuse the turkey with delicious Cajun spices.
  2. Prep the turkey: Pat the thawed turkey dry with paper towels. This ensures the rub adheres properly to the skin.
  3. Time to inject: Using a meat injector, carefully inject the Creole butter injection under the skin of the turkey breast and legs. Avoid over-injecting to prevent the marinade from seeping out.
  4. Seasoning time: Brush the entire turkey with olive oil to create a base for the rub. Generously apply your chosen BBQ rub all over the turkey, ensuring it’s evenly coated.
  5. Fire up the smoker: Preheat your smoker to 225°F (107°C). Use wood chips or pellets of your choice for smoke flavor.
  6. Let the smoke work its magic: Place the seasoned turkey on the smoker and smoke for 3-4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F (74°C).
  7. Rest and enjoy! Once the turkey reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a tender and flavorful turkey.

Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t have a smoker? No worries! Try my favorite brined turkey recipe for a delicious alternative.
  • Adjust the spice level: This recipe is customizable for your spice preference. Feel free to add more or less hot sauce to the injection based on your desired heat level.
  • Leftovers? Leftover smoked turkey can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Enjoy it in sandwiches, salads, or even create a delicious turkey pot pie!
Photo of smoked turkey being sliced

Watch the video tutorial included in this post for a visual guide on preparing and smoking this incredible Cajun turkey.

So, ditch the ordinary and embrace the bold flavors of this Smoked Cajun Turkey recipe. It’s guaranteed to be a showstopper at your next holiday gathering!

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Photo of smoked turkey

Smoked Turkey with Cajun Spices

Recipe by Jason Hill –
Calling all turkey enthusiasts and flavor fanatics! Are you looking to impress your guests this holiday season with a unique and delicious main course? Look no further than this Smoked Cajun Turkey recipe, guaranteed to tantalize taste buds and leave everyone asking for seconds.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 1 turkey 10-pound or more

Butt Rub Clone

  • 16 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 16 tablespoons fresh cracked black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons onion powder
  • 8 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 8 teaspoons chipotle powder
  • 16 teaspoons paprika

Creole Butter Injection

  • 1 pound butter
  • 1 can beer
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon BBQ rub (use recipe above or your own)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper


Make the Cajun Spices

  • Mix well and store in a Ziplock bag or Tupperware container.

Make the Butter Injections

  • Melt butter, then stir in the rest of the ingredients over low heat. Let cool and use in your turkey injector.

Smoke the Turkey

  • Inject the thawed turkey with the creole butter marinade under the skin of the breast and legs. Try not to poke too many holes or it will seep out.
  • Apply a liberal amount of butt rub all over the turkey, patting down into the skin. Flip the bird over, breast side down, and season with more butt rub. 
  • Cook in the preheater smoker, breast side down, for one hour. 
  • After an hour, flip the turkey breast-side up. 
  • Cook another 2-3 hours until it reaches a temperature of 161 F. Remove from grill and let the turkey sit 15-30 minutes, until it "carry-over cooks" to 165F. 
  • Slice and serve. 
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Recipe by Jason Hill of and
Keyword BBQ, holidays, smoker, turkey
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AboutJason Hill

Hi, I’m Jason Hill, host of YouTube’s “Chef Tips” series. I graduated from culinary school in 1998, and gained my experience working the lines in Southern California. I launched my cooking videos in 2007. I love sharing quick and easy recipes that get people back in the kitchen.

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