Lemon Pepper Brined Turkey

Lemon Pepper Brined Turkey

This recipe for Lemon Pepper Brined Turkey can be cooked in the oven, smoker or Traeger pellet grill.

This is completely worthy of being the star of your Thanksgiving, holiday, or family dinner.

But we made this mid summer to simply slice up and enjoy “Thanksgiving” turkey sandwiches.

Around the holidays, turkeys are usually buy one get one free, so I always buy two and freeze one just for that reason 🙂

ingredients for the Lemon Pepper Brined Turkey

How to make Lemon Pepper Brined Turkey

You’ll need to plan ahead because the turkey will brine for 24 to 36 hours.

Start making the brine by putting 1 1/2 gallons of water into a large pot along with 1 1/2 cups of kosher salt (make sure NOT to use table salt).

adding kosher salt to the brine

Then add some fresh thyme and 1 1/4 cups brown sugar.

adding thyme and brown sugar to the brine

Throw in about 12 whole peppercorns and squeeze 2 lemons, cut into wedges, into the brine and include the squeezed lemon wedges as well.

I saved 3 wedges for the turkey cavity.

Bring this just to a boil, and stir well so the salt and sugar dissolves.

Once cooled gently put a 14 to 18 pound turkey into the brine, or transfer to another container if the pot isn’t large enough.

Refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours.

brine for the Lemon Pepper Brined Turkey

Remove the turkey, discard the brine, and pat the turkey dry.

Then season all sides with lemon pepper seasoning.

And put the remaining 3 lemon wedges in the turkey cavity along with more fresh thyme.

lemon pepper seasoning

You have some cooking options…

Place the turkey directly onto the smoker or Traeger pellet grill set between 225-250 degrees for about 30 minutes per pound, approximately 7 to 9 hours.

Or put the turkey in a roasting pan and place in a 325 degree oven for about 15 minutes per pound, approximately 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours.

Either cooking method, monitor the internal temperature and remove once it’s at 160 to 165 degrees.

Let it rest for 45 minutes before slicing

Lemon Pepper Brined Turkey before cooking

Lemon Pepper Brined Turkey comes out juicy and flavorful thanks to the brine 🙂

Lemon Pepper Brined Turkey

I sure hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Lemon Pepper Brined Turkey

If you like Lemon Pepper Brined Turkey, you might also like these recipes…

Smoked Pickle Brined Chicken Wings

Smoked Pickle Brined Chicken Wings

Leftover Turkey Dinner Ideas

Leftover Turkey Dinner Ideas

Holiday Worthy Traeger Recipes

Holiday Traeger Recipes

Best Holiday Side Dish Recipes

Best Holiday Side Dish Recipes

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Lemon Pepper Brined Turkey

Lemon Pepper Brined Turkey is a bright and flavorful holiday recipe for the oven, smoker, or Traeger pellet grill!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Brine, Brining, Lemon Pepper, Recipe, smoked, Smoker Recipes, Thanksgiving, Traeger, Turkey
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Servings 12
Calories 414 kcal
Author Cheri Renee

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 gallons water
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt (do not use table salt)
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 lemons cut into wedges
  • 14 to 18 pound whole turkey
  • lemon pepper seasoning

Instructions

  1. Put the water, kosher salt, brown sugar, half of the thyme, and the peppercorns in a large pot. Squeeze all but 3 of the lemon wedges and put the wedges into the pot. Bring to a boil just for a minute, stir so the kosher salt and brown sugar dissolves. Let this cool completely, add ice cubes if needed.

  2. If the pot is large enough, put the turkey into the pot with the brine. Or transfer the brine to a larger container and add the turkey. Refrigerate 24 to 36 hours.

  3. Remove the turkey and pat dry, discard the brine. Put the remaining lemon wedges and fresh thyme into the turkey cavity. Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning on the turkey.

  4. Place the turkey directly onto the smoker or Traeger pellet grill set between 225-250 degrees for about 30 minutes per pound, approximately 7 to 9 hours.

    Or put the turkey in a roasting pan and place in a 325 degree oven for about 15 minutes per pound, approximately 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours.

    Either cooking method, monitor the internal temperature and remove once it's at 160 to 165 degrees. Let it rest for 45 minutes before slicing.

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