Smoked Turkey Breast

5 from 2 votes
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Smoked Turkey Breast – tender and juicy turkey breast that has a great smoky flavor. It is super simple to make and will impress every time!

When it comes to the holiday the turkey is the centerpiece. Roasted Turkey is what everyone knows, and don’t get me wrong it is good. But I am pretty sure this is the only way we will ever have turkey in our house again!

Making a smoked boneless turkey breast for the holidays is a great way to cut down on time and leftovers! I don’t know about you, but we always end up with a ton of leftover turkey that I am scrambling to use up. So making just a turkey breast makes so much sense! And smoking it makes it so tender, juicy, and flavorful!

smoked turkey breast on cutting board

 

Why Cook Just A Turkey Breast

My biggest problem with cooking a whole turkey is that to get parts of the turkey done, the turkey breast usually ends up dry and over cooked. Plus there is just so much food! When you cook just a turkey breast you get a perfectly tender and juicy cut of meat every time!

Plus it is ready so much faster. Cooking a full turkey on the bone can take forever, while a turkey breast is ready much quicker. And you can make them year round! You can find turkey breasts in the meat case at most grocery stores all year. Sunday dinner and summer cook outs just got better!

sliced turkey on plate with potatoes and green beans

Prepping Your Turkey Breast

This will slightly depend on the turkey breast you are using. You can find turkey breast right along side the whole turkeys in the grocery store. You will have a choice of having the bone still in, or you can find little turkey breast roasts, that are completely boneless.

No matter which one you choose the first step is to make sure it is completely thawed. Place it in the fridge for about 24 hours to thaw. Next you will want to remove the turkey from the packaging and then start your seasoning process. If you are using the turkey breast roast, leave the kitchen twine on that is holding it together.

To Brine Or Not To Brine

First up….Why do you brine a turkey breast? The answer is it add moisture and flavor to the meat. It is basically sitting in a water bath of spices and seasonings, so it absorbs those flavors before you cook it.

There is so much debate over if you should brine and if you do, should you dry brine or wet brine. Brining is so easy, you just have to start the day ahead, so I say go for it! The steps are so simple.

For a small turkey breast roast you don’t need a lot of brining liquid, so you can use a Dutch oven, a large saucepan or even a pitcher to brine in. Just mix together the salt and water until it is dissolved, then add in your flavors. I am adding in sugar and a few herbs. Then it just sits in there for about 24 hours before you start to smoke it.

How To Smoke Turkey Breast

  1. Make sure your turkey is completely thawed and then remove from packaging and either set up your brine, or if you are short on time and skipping this step I promise I won’t tell!
  2. Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees F.
  3. Once your turkey breast is done in the brine remove it and use a paper towel to pat it dry. Your butter mixture will not stick if the turkey is wet.
  4. In a small bowl mix together the spices and the softened butter until well blended. Then gently rub all over the turkey.
  5. Place the turkey breast on the smoker next to a tray filled with water or apple juice (this helps to keep your turkey super moist). And let it cook for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Use a meat thermometer to check when it is done. Once it reaches 165 degrees F in the thickest part you can remove it from the smoker.
  6. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before you remove the twine and slice to serve.
turkey breast on the smoker

How Long To Smoke A Turkey Breast

It should take about 25 minutes per pound to smoke a turkey breast at 275 degrees F. If you want to cook at 225 degrees, I would up the time to about 30 minutes a pound.

This 3 pound turkey breast roast was done in just about 2 hours on my smoker. Testing with a meat thermometer is the best way. Once it reaches 165 degrees F, you know it is fully cooked.

I  use this one from Thermoworks every time we grill or smoke.  You can measure the temperature of the meat and the smoker, so it is makes getting it done right super easy with no guess work. 

sliced turkey breast on cutting board

What Wood To Use For Smoking Turkey

I like to use a blend that gives both the sweet and smoky flavor. Pecan and Apple wood work really well together. If you have a hard wood blend that works great as well. You want something that imparts a little smoke like pecan or hickory along with apple for a little sweetness.

What To Serve With Turkey

close up of smoked turkey breast

More Holiday Ideas

close up sliced turkey breast on plate with potatoes and beans
5 from 2 votes

Smoked Turkey Breast

By Erin
Smoked Turkey Breast – tender and juicy turkey breast that has a great smoky flavor. It is super simple to make and will impress every time!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Additional Time: 1 day
Total: 1 day 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 5

Ingredients 

  • 1 turkey breast, approximately 3 pounds

Brine

  • 1/2 gallon cold water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Rub

  • 4 Tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon dried herbs, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Instructions 

  • Make sure your turkey is completely thawed and then remove from packaging. Leave kitchen twine on turkey breast roast if yours has it.
  • Prepare the brine by mixing together water and salt until the salt is dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients and the turkey. Over and place in the fridge for 24 hours.
  • Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees F.
  • Once your turkey breast is done in the brine remove it and use a paper towel to pat it dry.
  • In a small bowl mix together the spices and the softened butter until well blended. Then gently rub all over the turkey.
  • Place the turkey breast on the smoker next to a tray filled with water or apple juice.
  • Let it cook for 2 – 2 1/2 hours (about 25 minutes per pound). Once it reaches 165 degrees F in the thickest part you can remove it from the smoker.
  • Let it sit for about 10 minutes before you remove the twine and slice to serve.

Notes

Use whatever herbs you have and enjoy. I used a combination of Oregano and Thyme for this turkey.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 12356mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 2 hours 10 minutes
Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 5
Calories: 149
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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