If you haven’t smoked a turkey breast yet, RUN, don’t walk to make this smoked turkey breast recipe. Seriously, I don’t know what took me so long to make this. And it doesn’t need to be Thanksgiving or a holiday to make turkey.
In my opinion, Turkey is an underrated protein. With Chicken breast being so popular, I don’t know why people haven’t started using Turkey more often, and not just for Sandwiches, though this turkey is amazing for sandwiches of course. And honestly, why don’t we all just start smoking turkey breasts so we don’t have to buy smoked turkey at the deli for our sandwiches anymore? The added bonus of that would be the fact that it is missing all those weird things they like to put in sandwich meat!
And, because I didn’t want to leave you hanging – I went ahead and showed you how you can do a healthy, low carb option for making sandwiches when you do have leftover turkey which is the CHAFFLE! If you haven’t heard of the chaffle and you are trying to limit your carbs but really want a sandwich then this is for you!!
Should You Brine Your Turkey?
If you can get your act together and brine your turkey ahead of time then by all means DO IT! This question always comes up and the answer is always YES! Brining will always give you a more moist, juicy turkey.
If you brine, here is my all purpose brine recipe that can be used for all poultry, but I have to tell you that my FAVORITE WAY TO BRINE is with PICKLE JUICE. Yes, pickle juice. If you tried my Pickle Juice Brined Spatchcocked Turkey you know that brining in pickle juice is a game changer. If you’ve ever had Chick-Fil A sandwiches and wanted to know why they’re so good (other than all that MSG they put in there!) well it is because they brine theirs in pickle juice.
Recently I’ve become red pilled about all the weird stuff they put into pickle juice so I now recommend that you make your own pickle juice OR look for a pickle company that doesn’t put weird preservatives in their pickle juice like my favorite, the Chilll Dill. So, for the brine I recommend using my pickle juice brine recipe that I used in my smoked quick pickles recipe that was originally found in my cook book.
How to Set Up Your Grill for Smoking Turkey
It is super easy to smoke a Turkey Breast on your grill. You can do boneless or bone in but I prefer bone in because you will get the beauty of having the bones to make turkey stock which can be used to make my Smoked Turkey Kale Quinoa soup that is a truly tasty, healthy and economical way to enjoy all that smoked turkey for days!
I’ve done Smoked turkey boneless and bone in and bone-in will take longer but I do feel that it doesn’t dry out as easily. It’s up to you.
The key to smoking turkey on your grill is to set up direct and indirect zones on a charcoal grill.
Smoking Turkey on a Charcoal Grill:
You don’t have to technically keep it at 250 for smoking as you will still get smoked flavor if you crank the turkey up to 325 which means you will be smoke roasting the turkey which will still give you all the glorious smoke flavor in your turkey if you use charcoal. You do need to obviously create a direct/indirect zone, get the charcoal up to temp, add the wood chips to create smoke, and then place your turkey on the indirect side.
If the turkey starts to get too browned on the outside, but hasn’t reached an internal temp or 165 yet, then you will want to cover any parts that are getting over-browned with foil.
Smoking Turkey on a Traeger or Pellet Smoker/Grill:
Pellet Smokers really push the easy button don’t they? They are like using an outdoor oven that infuses everything with smoke flavor. You don’t have to worry about creating direct/indirect zones because all you have to do is set your pellet smoker to the temp of 250 (you can go up to 300, you will still get smoke flavor) and the pellet smoker will do the rest. Don’t go any higher than 300 because some pellet smokers don’t maintain temp well and might get too hot and you do want to ensure you don’t dry out the turkey by cooking it at too high a temp. Just my personal opinion here!
Smoking Turkey on a Gas Grill:
You will not get smoke flavor from a turkey on a gas grill so you will need to still create direct and indirect zones and cook the turkey on indirect heat, however you MUST use a smoker tube or wood chips in foil to add smoke flavor. You might even consider adding two to ensure you get smoke flavor into your turkey.
Seasoning the Turkey Breast (here is my chance to recommend my Sunshine State of Mind Craft BBQ Rub)
If you’d like to give my rub a try, use code TURKEY for $1 off!.
For this turkey, the main goal is to keep it moist and infuse it with smoke flavor so I recommend keeping the seasoning light. I recommend a light dusting of salt and pepper and if you want to use a rub I highly recommend my Sunshine State of Mind Craft BBQ Rub.
Alabama White BBQ Sauce Recipe
If you haven’t heard of Alabama White BBQ Sauce, which has gained popularity recently even by non-Southerners, well then you are also well overdue to give this a try. It is an atypical BBQ sauce that has NO sugar and a Mayo base which is why it’s amazing for Poultry – it adds flavor while moisturizing at the same time. You can read all about the history of Alabama white BBQ sauce in my recipe post here, but the short story is that it obviously comes from Alabama, but was made popular by Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ in the last century. Big Bob used Alabama White Sauce on Chickens and Pork but I’ve found that it is AMAZING on turkey. Make this recipe Alabama White BBQ Sauce recipe and put it in a cute mason jar and put it on the table to be served with this smoked turkey breast.
How long to smoke Turkey Breast
Time and temp are going to determine how long it takes to get this turkey breast to an internal temp of 165 degrees. At 325, it took me about 2 hours until it was done. All smokers are different so the key is to let temperature be your guide and if you haven’t purchase an internal read thermometer yet then you are overdue. A Thermopop from Thermoworks will run you about $35 and it well worth the investment, and of course you can get the latest Thermapen One that gives one second readings which eliminates all that extra time spilling heat from your smoker!
Okay, so that’s all the info you need to know to get started! Let’s smoke this turkey! Don’t forget to tag me on instagram or facebook if you use this recipe so I can share on my feed!
What Kind of Wood to use for Smoked Turkey?
I am not a fan of overpowering meat with smoke flavor but letting it accentuate instead of dominating the flavor profile so I recommend fruit wood, pecan, oak or maple.
Smoked Turkey Breast is an incredibly easy yet tasty way to enjoy turkey and is surprisingly easy to make on your Big Green Egg or any smoker!
- One bone in Turkey Breast
- Salt, pepper, to taste
- Sunshine State of Mind BBQ Rub (optional)
If you choose to brine, the pickle juice recipe can be found here in my Smoked Quick Pickles Recipe.
Alabama White Sauce Recipe
Place charcoal into your grill and let it get to maximum 325 degrees setting up direct and indirect zones. (If you are using a different type of smoker reference my recipe here) If brining, pull out brine and rub with salt and pepper and Sunshine State of Mind. Add wood chips and let them being to smoke and add your turkey breast.
Smoke the turkey breast at 325 until the internal temperature reads 165 in various places on the breast with a thermapen, at 325 this should take about 2 hours give or take.
While the Turkey is smoking, combine the ingredients for your Alabama White Sauce and let it chill in the refrigerator until it’s ready to be used.
Once the Turkey has reached an internal temp of 165, tent it under foil for 10 minutes before slicing into it.
Slice the turkey breast against the grain and pair with a generous amount of Alabama White Sauce. Prepare to experience Turkey ecstasy!!!!
- Category: Turkey, Turkey Breast
- Method: Smoked Turkey
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: smoked turkey breast, easy smoked turkey breast, smoked turkey breast on the big green egg, easy smoked turkey breast kamado joe, how to smoke turkey breast
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