Perfect and Juicy Smoked Christmas Turkey with Brown Rice Stuffing

Perfect and Juicy Smoked Christmas Turkey with Brown Rice Stuffing

Dozer’s Garage

Perfect juicY smoked Christmas turkey

with brown rice stuffing


You CAN smoke a turkey for the holidays that’s bang on with smoky flavour and a nice crispy skin and is also moist and delicious.  


8 – 12

Ready In:

4.5 – 6 hours


(3) Not hard but have patience

Good For:

Christmas, Thanksgiving, Summer dining, Families


Perfect Christmas Turkey in the Smoker


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We’re going for a simple turkey with approachable, summery flavours everyone can enjoy on a warm Australian Christmas.    There’s lots of room for adaptation in this one but this should get you started!   We’re after a perfectly juicy Christmas turkey with some zing to it’s crispy skin and an umami packed stuffing with some freshness to balance the dish.

Note that a bigger bird could take much longer and possibly dry out before all parts are cooked to a safe temperature.  Two smaller birds for a larger group will usually give go better.


  • 1 or 2 Australian grown turkeys, fresh, approx. 3.5kg.    
  • 60 grams of soft (but not melted) butter
  • Rubs (we used Bulldozer Bird Brain & Bulldozer Game Face rubs)
  • ¼ cup peanut, canola or sunflower oil


  • 1.5 cups of brown rice, pre-cooked
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • ½ red capsicum, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2-3 brown mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • ½ cup of frozen peas
  • About 50 gms of soft cheese, diced small.  Brie, camembert, blue cheeses all could work.
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary leaves
  • About 10 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup pomegranate juice (some other juices could be nice here)
  • 50 grams of butter, melted
  • Bulldozer Game Face rub

Instructions for the turkey

  1. Check to make sure there’s nothing in the turkey’s cavity.   Pat it dry and tuck the wing tips behind the neck.   Tie the legs if you want a more formal look. 
  2. Moosh up a couple of tablespoons of rub into the butter so it’s distributed well.
  3. Very gently work your fingers under the turkey skin over the breast area, starting from the bottom until the skin has lifted away from the breast meat on both sides.
  4. Push the butter & rub mixture in under the skin and distribute it around until all areas over the breast are pretty even.   Then gently push the skin back down into its normal position.   The butter helps with keeping the lean turkey moist and flavourful.
  5. Roll the turkey over and coat the bottom lightly with oil and then the rub (as much as you’d like!)
  6. Roll it back and do the same oil and rub(s) on the top.
  7. Spoon in the rice stuffing until almost full.  (see rice stuffing recipe below)
  8. Stick the bird in your cooker at 225F (107C), add your preferred wood and get cooking.
  9. Spritz a bit every 30-40 minutes and wrap a little foil around the feet whenever they look done.   Rotate every now and then for even cooking.
  10. Around 80-90 minutes into the cook, bump your temperatures up to 265F (130C).   This will help get it done before it dries out and will give you a nicer, crispy skin but keep a closer eye on it at this point and tent it with foil once the skin looks the way you like (golden)
  11. Pull it out and rest it for at least 30 minutes.
  12. Suggestion:   put a pan under it to catch the drippings if you want some awesome flavour kick for your gravy.


Instructions for the STUFFING

  1. Dice up the capsicum, carrot and celery to a small size and sautee in a sauce pan with a bit of oil and butter.   
  2. Add in the diced onion, mushroom, garlic, rosemary and sage.   Continue sauteeing until soft.  
  3. Place cooked rice in a large bowl.   Zest lemon over rice and add melted butter, cheese.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together thoroughly the juice of ½ lemon; pomegranate juice, one egg. Dijon mustard and ¼ cup of Game Face rub.  
  5. Toss this liquid mixture, the sauteed vegies and frozen peas through the rice.  
  6. If you’ve finished all the turkey steps, you’re ready to stuff the bird.  Spoon or hands will work fine.  Don’t pack it too tight when you do – you want some heat and smoke to get in.
  7. Once the cook is done, remove the stuffing from the turkey cavity into a bowl.  Add the juice from the other half lemon plus a large pinch of sea salt and stir before serving.   A little hot sauce wouldn’t be out of line here either! 
turkey in smoker500x375
Smoke ring in that juicy breast meat


Smoke chamber temperature  –  225F (107C) for 90 minutes, 265F (130C) for the remainder

Final meat temperature  –  165F (74C) in the breast, 175F (80C) in the thigh

Cook time (may vary by cooker, outside temps and how many times you peek) –  4 -5 hours without stuffing,  5-6 hours stuffed

Recommended woods  –  Hickory, Cherry… or try Pecan, Apple, Ironbark, Jam Wood!

Options & Tweaks

There’s just no shortage of things you can change and add to this Perfect Juicy Smoked Christmas Turkey recipe!

  • Change up the rubs.  Jerk, cajun or lemon pepper are great options.
  • Rubs with sugar will give a darker skin.  Try a sugar free rub like Bulldozer SPOG or Big Ballsy for a lighter, golden skin.
  • Add some small croutons to the stuffing before cooking.
  • Include fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme to the butter under the skin
  • Hardwoods like oak or ironbark give a different flavour base than hickory.  Fruitwoods are always well suited.
  • Cheese can be omitted if needed.  

Hot Wings

Hot Wings

Dozer’s Garage



Ain’t no thing like a chicken wing.



Ready In:

30 min


(2) Pretty easy

Good For:


Wings 5 Ways

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Everyone loves chicken hot wings.   Make a batch and watch everyone come running.   You don’t even need a sauce if you cook them well but then the sauces make them even better.

So are hot wings the same thing as buffalo wings?   Sort of.   Buffalo wings are hot wings with a very specific type of sauce.  They were first served in Buffalo, New York.   But not all hot wings are Buffalo wings.

This is not low and slow cooking.   You’ll want to get your bbq (closed) or your oven piping hot – around 450F (~230C) with the lid on.  Get your wings on when the fire is hot and just have a look every now and then.  When they’re crispy skinned, that’s when the saucing starts.   We’ve included several sauce recipes here.   Most of the sauce recipes are pretty straightforward and require little more than a blender or a saucepan.

Have a look at the Options & Tweaks section for ideas to make it your own

Get ’em while they’re hot!  These actually travel well and aren’t too bad when cold so don’t sauce them all if you have too many.  But for safety, throw them out if they’ve been sitting out (between 5C and 60C) for more than 4 hours total.






      • 1/2 cup cayenne hot sauce.  The original used Franks.
      • 60 g  melted butter
      • 1 tsp garlic powder
      • 1/4 tsp cinnamon



          • 1/4 cup Australian honey
          • 1/4 cup plum sauce
          • 1/4 cup soy sauce
          • 2 TBSP rice vinegar
          • 1 TBSP Sriracha
          • 1 TBSP minced garlic
          • 1 TBSP minced ginger
          • 1 TBSP sesame oil
          • 2 tsp fish sauce
          • 1/4 tsp Chinese 5-spice


            (HOT or NOT HONEY MUSTARD)

            • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
            • 4 TBSP Australian honey
            • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
            • 1 TBSP American yellow mustard
            • 1 or 2 chillis for the hot version, choose chillis that are as hot as you like, from cayenne to reaper
            • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
            • 2 cloves minced garlic
            • 1 tsp Bulldozer Hogfather Rub  
            • salt and cracked pepper to taste 



              • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
              • 1/8 cup chicken stock
              • 8 cloves garlic cloves
              • 3 TBSP grated parmesan
              • 1 TBSP olive oil
              • 1 TBSP white vinegar
              • 1 TBSP Bulldozer Midnight Rub
              • 1/2 TBSP fresh rosemary leaves
              • 1 tsp lemon juice
              • 1 tsp white sugar

                  Step 1

                  Pile your coals in the center of the bbq. Crank your bbq as hot as possible, letting it heat with the lid on.   A Kettle Kone or other ‘concentrator’ over the coals will help increase the available temperature. Ideally you’d want about 450F. (230C).  Adding a block of fruit wood adds a lot of great barbecue flavour.  In a pinch though, your oven will do a good job.


                  Step 2

                  Toss your wings with a bit of oil or spray oil on each side. Lay them out on a board or tray and sprinkle each side with the rub(s) of your choice.  You’ll find a good rub = a tasty wing before you even bother with sauce.


                  Step 3

                  We lay the wings out in a circular pattern on the grill, never directly over the flame, with the meatiest ends towards the coals.   It can be easier (and make more room on the grill)  to first remove the wingtips and even to separate the two halves into ‘wingettes’ and ‘drumettes’.   Makes no difference to the cooking.


                  Step 4

                  It’s usually not necessary to turn the wings during the cook.   Just take a peek every so often, but remember every time you look, you lose your built-up heat for a bit.   When the wings look deeply golden and crispy, they’re done.


                  Step 5

                  Buffalo Sauce:   Melt the butter in a saucepan large enough to hold all ingredients.   Reduce heat as soon as it’s fully melted, then add hot sauce, salt and spice.  Whisk until wisps of steam rise, then stop.   Toss cooked wings in the sauce and serve. 


                  Step 6 

                  Sticky Asian Sauce:   Can be done in a bowl or while warming in a saucepan.   Just combine all ingredients and stir thoroughly.   Toss cooked wings and serve.


                  Step 7

                  Hot or Not Honey Mustard Sauce:   Blitz the chilli(s), garlic, mustards, vinegar, rub in a food processor or blender until everything is well chopped.  Add in the mayo and honey on low speed.  If it’s too thick, thin with a bit of water or chicken stock. Toss cooked wings and serve


                  Step 8

                  Garlic Parmesan Sauce:   Chop rosemary and garlic finely.  Add everything to blender and puree until smooth.   If too thick, thin it a little.  A little splash of white wine is nice in this.  Toss cooked wings and serve


                  Step 9

                  Any of these sauces can be thickened with cornstarch if necessary.   You want all these sauces to be just thick enough to cling to the wings without feeling more like a dip. 

                  Step 10

                  Hot wings are often served along side hot chips, tater tots (gems) or with carrot and celery sticks with a blue cheese dressing.  (maybe we’ll do a recipe on that dressing one of these days).

                  Options & Tweaks

                  • ‘5 ways’ is based on rub only or each of the 4 sauces.  There are an infinite number of choices and combinations when you get down to it though.
                  • We can fit about 16 whole wings on the Weber 57cm kettle with a coal base in the centre.  We’ve found devices like the Kettle Kone really do a great job of cranking up the heat.   Wings are definitely not a low n’ slow process.   The beauty is in that golden crisp skin, which you don’t get at low temps.
                  • You can do these any time inside as well, just not as smoky.
                  • More butter = less heat and vice versa.
                  • The sauces that use mayo are even better with homemade whole egg mayo – and that part is stunningly easy.  (Eggs, lemon juice, salt and pepper blended on medium while slowly adding in olive oil until it looks like mayo.)
                  • Any of these sauces has room for personalization.   More this, less that. 

                  comica ribs

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