These Smoked turkey legs are a Disney copycat recipe that may remind you of your…
This simple smoked turkey breast recipe is extremely versatile and will hit the spot, every time.
Growing tired of the same recipe every year for the holidays? Maybe you’re in the mood for some turkey, but an entire turkey is far too much for your family.
Tips for Smoking a Turkey
Smokey turkey is a preferred taste, one that we love—but if smoked incorrectly, it can be treacherous on the tastebuds.
It is vital that you get the temperature and the timing just right. Here are some of our top tips for smoked turkey breast:
- Bring your smoker to an internal temperature anywhere between 200°F – 250°F. Before putting in any wood chips or your turkey into the smoker, make sure it maintains the temperature for at least 15 minutes.
- Flavored wood chips, like apple or hickory flavored, can really kick up the flavor of your smoked turkey breast. Place these on top of the hot coals before placing your turkey breast in the smoker.
- Your meat thermometer is your friend. Your turkey breast will need to be in the smoker for three to four hours, but when the thickest part of the turkey breast reaches 165°F, it’s ready to be removed from the smoker.
- Do not overcook your turkey breast. You want the inside to remain tender and moist—not dry and tough. That’s why a good meat thermometer is the key to your smoked turkey success.
- Let your smoked turkey breast rest for 15-20 minutes before cutting into it. Let the meat reabsorb all the juices and flavors.
Smoked Turkey Breast Recipes
Smoked turkey breast recipes come in all varieties. You can use a dry rub or a brine to enhance the turkey’s flavor. The most common seasonings used in smoked turkey breast recipes include:
To really spruce things up, consider adding some extra flavors to your brine, things like:
- Lemon peels
- Apple cider vinegar
- Soy sauce
The options are endless.
Maybe you aren’t a fan of experimenting? No worries. We’ve got you covered.
Smoked Turkey Breast Brine and Rub Recipes
We understand that experimenting with flavors and then waiting hours to try them can be a risky business. So, we’re sharing our favorite rub and brine recipes with you.
Turkey Brine Ingredients
- cold water
- apple cider
- cider vinegar
- chicken stock
- salt – helps bird retain moisture, not too much since bird is not full size
- brown sugar
- cloves of garlic
- orange peels
- bay leaves
- juniper berries (optional)
Turkey Butter Injection
- chicken broth
- lemon juice
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- ground pepper
- ground sage
- Cayenne Pepper
Looking for Even More Flavor?
Here’s a chef’s secret—try the reverse sear method.
This method is commonly used on steaks and chicken breasts but can be used on turkey breasts as well.
For this method, you want to pull the turkey breast from the smoker when it hits about 130°F.
Crank the heat up on your smoker to 475 – 500°F. Place the turkey breast in the smoker until the skin is a nice mahogany color and the internal temperature is 165°F. The end result? A beautifully smoked turkey breast with a crisp outside, with a tender juicy inside.
Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe
- 1 5-6 pound Bone-in, skin-on Turkey Breast
- For Turkey Brine : These amounts may be decreased these amounts are used typically for a whole turkey. Feel free to adjust as needed.
- cold water
- 1/2 gallon apple cider
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1- quart chicken stock
- 1- gallon water
- 1 cup salt - helps bird retain moisture not too much since bird is not full size
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup peppercorns
- 2-3 orange peels
- bay leaves
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 3 tbsp rosemary
- 1 tbsp juniper berries optional
- For the Butter Injection: These amounts may be decreased this is for a whole turkey. Feel free to adjust or alter amounts as needed.
- 1 stick of butter
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1/4 lemon juice
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp ground sage
- 1/4 to 1 cup of Cayenne Pepper
- 1 to 1-1/2 tsp Tobasco
- Combine all the brining ingredients in a large saucepan, bring to boil, stir until sugar and salt have dissolved.
- Add the turkey breast into ice-cold water with the brine mixture to a brining bucket or stockpot and set in the refrigerator overnight. Make sure brine covers the turkey.
- Remove from brine and pat dry. Allow to dry come to room temperature for 30 minutes on the kitchen counter.
- Melt the butter for the injection mixture and add ingredients, mix well, and let cool.
- Inject turkey using a meat injector and let turkey rest in the fridge until you are ready to cook.
- Remove turkey breast from the refrigerator and coat with olive oil and cracked black pepper.
- Bring your smoker to 225F. Add 3-4 chunks of cherry wood (OR your preference of smoking wood) once your temperature has stabilized.
- Place the turkey breast directly on the smoker grates, breast side up and smoke 3-4 hours, until the internal temperature reaches 160F in the thickest part of the breast.
- You may want to spritz with apple juice every half hour after the first 2 hours of smoking. (Helps to keep the skin from becoming rubbery and keeps the breast from drying out.
- When done remove the breast from the smoker and rest for 10 minutes.
- Cut breast from the bone and cut into ½ inch thick medallions and serve immediately.