Closeup of a smoked turkey on a white plate in front of a black smoker

This year, our tidings of comfort and joy come to you in the form of two festive, fire-cooked recipes for your turkey, although there’s no reason you can’t experiment with these methods on whatever your chosen centrepiece is for your Christmas dinner table.

So… which of our Chefs of Christmas Present will take pride of place in your Christmas spread: Richard Turner’s classic turkey dinner, or Brad Carter’s retro spin on it? Make sure you tag us in your creations on Instagram — find us at @meatopiauk.

This recipe is from one of our own founding fathers: the legendary Richard Turner. His smoked turkey crown is a classic and one that we’ve put through its paces on more than one yuletide occasion. It’s a deceptively simple recipe to follow (making your life easier if you’re manning the stoves this year) and comes out perfectly succulent, smoky and delicious every time.

Want to check out Brad’s challenger dish: Turkey Shawarma with All The Trimmings? Click here.

Richard Turner’s Smoked Turkey Crown


1 turkey breast crown
4 litres brine
50g butter
12 rashers of smoked streaky bacon

For the brine:
4 litres water
200g sea salt
200g maple syrup
10g black peppercorns
1 bunch rosemary
1 bunch thyme
1 head of garlic, smashed


Start by making the brine: bring the water, sugar and salt to the boil and remove from the heat. Add the remaining ingredients and chill. When cooled, place the turkey crown into the brine and leave overnight.

The next day, dry the crown and rub the butter all over it, then lay the bacon rashers over the bird, more or less covering it completely.
Smoke the crown at 90 °C for two hours, or until the core temperature reaches 67 °C and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the breast is pierced with a skewer. The bacon should be browned and crispy. Cooked like this, it shouldn’t take more than 2 hours in total.
Serve slices of smoked turkey breast with all the usual trimmings: roast potatoes, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, steamed sprouts, chipolatas wrapped in bacon and stuffing and of course lashings of turkey gravy.