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Smoked Turkey Breast

Smoked Turkey Breast is a simple main dish for hosting small holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving and Christmas. Brined and smoked for the most flavorful and juicy turkey that you’ve ever tasted. 

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Smoked Turkey Breast on a platter with fresh rosemary and cranberries

Smoked Turkey Breast

You don’t always need a huge, whole turkey for the holidays, so serving a turkey breast is a great option for smaller gatherings. After we made this Easy Smoked Turkey last Thanksgiving, we may never cook another turkey in the oven!

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Smoked Turkey Sliced on a platter collage

Just take me to the recipe! For the printable recipe card, just scroll on down to the very bottom of the post. Otherwise, read on for the step by step photos and directions. 

How to Make Smoked Turkey Breast:

  • Thaw turkey breast in refrigerator. 
  • Make a brine with 4 quarts of warm water, 1 cup kosher salt, 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, half of one onion, 1 tablespoon peppercorns. 2 garlic cloves, sliced in half and half of a lemon or orange. 
  • Submerge turkey breast in brine, cover and refrigerate 4-6 hours. 
  • Remove turkey from brine and drain well. Pat dry with paper towels and place on a clean baking sheet. 

Turkey breast with olive oil and seasonings

  • Rub outside of turkey breast and inside of cavity with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and garlic. 
  • Prepare grill or smoker to a 300° fire. 

Grilling a turkey breast

  • Place turkey over indirect heat for 30 minutes. 

smoking a turkey breast on the grill

  • Remove turkey from grill.

Wrapping smoked turkey in pink butcher paper

  • Wrap in peach butcher paper. 

Folding butcher paper for smoking over turkey breast

  • Fold to seal and you can staple the paper together to make it easy to handle. 

Butcher paper wrapped turkey breast on grill

  • Return to grill and continue to cook keeping temperature around 300° for about an hour or  until internal temperature reaches 165°. 

Smoked Turkey Breast and juices in pan with butcher paper

  • Remove from grill and unwrap from butcher paper, carefully reserving the juices for gravy.  Allow to rest 20 minutes before slicing. 

Sliced turkey breast on a platter

Smoked turkey is a great addition to any holiday dinner. Brining the turkey will make it the most flavorful and juicy turkey. 

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Tips for Smoking a Holiday Turkey:

If you would like to see step by step photos for brining, check out our How to Brine and Smoke a Chicken recipe and video. It works for any whole or cut up chicken or turkey. 

We simply seasoned this turkey with salt, pepper and garlic. Use your favorite seasoning blend, Blackened Seasoning makes a fantastic Cajun Smoked Turkey or this blend of Mediterranean Seasonings is a delicious option. 

Save your the bones from your smoked turkey to make a batch of homemade  turkey stock. It’s easy to freeze to have on hand for homemade soups and pasta dishes all winter long. 

This was the first time we have used peach butcher paper for smoking and it’s such a great idea. You can buy it from Amazon. It’s way easier to work with than foil. 

It keeps your meat juicy and will keep it from over browning or turning black from the smoke. The other great thing is that you get all of those delicious juices that would normally drip out into the grill or the smoker. 

You might also enjoy this Herb Butter Smoked Chicken for a simple holiday meal or for entertaining. The garlic and rosemary butter adds tons of flavor to this whole chicken.

Whole Smoked Turkey Breast on a serving platter

Side dishes to serve with smoked turkey:

  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes are a staple with turkey dinners and they are so simple to make with a delicious garlic butter. 
  • Cranberry Salad is a family favorite loaded with cranberries, apples, pineapple and pomegranate for a festive side dish that pairs so well with smoked turkey. 
  • Southern Cornbread Dressing or the classic Chicken and Dressing is a must- have with your turkey dinner. This recipe is completely from scratch with homemade cornbread and no canned soups. It’s moist and delicious, just like grandma makes!
  • Angel Rolls or Buttermilk Ricotta Skillet Rolls are delicious homemade yeast rolls that are easy to make for holiday dinners. 

turkey breast smoked and served on a platter with fresh rosemary

Recipes for Leftover Smoked Turkey:

  • Smoked Turkey and Dumplings is the ultimate comfort food. So hearty, filling and delicious and you will love this tried and true recipe. 
  • You can’t go wrong with a Smoked Turkey Sandwich and this one has an amazing Cajun mayo that will knock your socks off!
  • My kids get just as excited about this Turkey Salad as they do the entire holiday dinner. It’s so simple to make and is great to eat with chips or crackers or for sandwiches. 

Platter with whole smoked turkey

A smoked turkey breast is always a great idea for grilling meal prep that you can do on the weekend and enjoy throughout the week. It makes dinner time so much easier for busy weeknights when you have cooked your main dish ahead of time and the dinner possibilities are endless. 

We have been enjoying smoked turkey throughout the year since we have learned to brine and smoke them. Add this easy Smoked Turkey Breast to your holiday dinner plans this year!

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Yield: 6 servings

Smoked Turkey Breast

Sliced smoked turkey breast

Smoked Turkey Breast is a simple main dish for hosting small holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving and Christmas. Brined and smoked for the most flavorful and juicy turkey that you've ever tasted. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the brine:

  • 4 quarts warm water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • half on an onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1/2 of a lemon or orange

For the turkey

  • 5-7 pound bone-in turkey breast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic

Instructions

  1. Add warm water to a stock pot and add salt, stirring until salt has dissolved. Add onion, garlic, peppercorns and fresh rosemary and lemon.
  2. Submerge turkey breast in brine, cover and refrigerate 2-6 hours.
  3. Remove turkey from brine and drain well. Pat with paper towels until dry.
  4. Place on a clean baking sheet and coat with olive oil, rubbing all over skin and in cavity.
  5. Season with salt, pepper and garlic.
  6. Prepare grill or smoker to 300° fire.
  7. Place turkey breast over indirect heat and smoke 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from grill and wrap in peach butcher paper, sealing up like a packet.
  9. Put wrapped turkey back onto grill and continue to cook for one hour or until internal temperature reaches 165°.
  10. Remove from grill and unwrap butcher paper.
  11. Allow turkey breast to rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  12. Carefully save the drippings for gravy.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

7

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 703Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 363mgSodium: 752mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 137g

Nutritional calculations are estimated and may not be accurate.

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