GUYS! You need a to make this smoked turkey breast recipe. Don't ask questions, just do it! #lifechanging I served this smoked turkey breast along side another turkey cooked a different method and it was HANDS DOWN everyone's favorite. Here's how you do it, you'll love how easy it is.
Why should I cook a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey?
Turkey breast are awesome if you are cooking for only about a half a dozen people on thanksgiving, or for a Sunday dinner. They provide a lot of delicious white meat for you without having a lot of bones to cut around. I do highly recommend a bone-in turkey breast to smoke, but you can do this with a boneless too.
PRO TIP: You can find the turkey breast right by the whole turkeys!
What do you need for the best smoked turkey breast recipe?
- You need a smoker. I LOVE my Camp Chef Woodwind Smoker. It's easy to use, easy to clean and creates the best flavor and meat. We smoke all year round with this guy.
- Injector. This injector from amazon is seriously heavy duty and perfect.
- Cling wrap/plastic wrap.
- Turkey breast and ingredients!
How to prep your turkey breast
- Make sure the turkey breast is thawed. I love to inject and rub my turkey 24 hours ahead of time to make sure the flavor is completely infused with the flavors. So if your turkey is frozen you'll need to thaw it 48 hours before cooking day, inject/rub 24 hours before cooking it!
- Rinse and pat dry your turkey.
How to Inject the turkey breast
Let's start with what you need to inject a turkey breast. The injection recipe includes:
- lemon juice
- oil and water
- melted butter
- spices (thyme and sage)
- Worcestershire sauce
- garlic salt and onion salt
You want to make as little holes in your turkey as possible while injecting as much as the turkey as possible. How you do this is by sticking the needle in and moving it in different directions through that one hole. See pictures below. (these were taken with a whole turkey but the same principle applies. see video below for more visual direction with turkey breast).
How to rub a turkey breast
Take room temperature or slightly melted butter and sub all over the turkey and under the skins.
Combine all your spices for the turkey breast rub: you will need:
- onion salt
- garlic salt
- seasoning salt
- chili powder
- and fresh ground pepper
Combine the spices and rub the breast the same way as the butter. Make sure to get it in a all the nooks and crannies. Under the skin and on top.
NOW! you are going to want to let the seasonings from the injection sauce and turkey breast rub marinate into this beautiful bird. We've made this several times and highly recommend letting it marinate for 24 hours, but at least 1 hour if you are short on time.
How to smoke turkey breast?
Prepare your smoker by adding pellets. We 100% love Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill. It's so easy to use, clean and creates the most delicious food!
What kind of pellets do I use?
We use an applewood pellet, it is more mild in flavor. However, you can use your favorite!
When smoker is preheated to about 225 degrees add turkey breast to the center of the smoker, you will continue to let smoker heat to 350. Place breast side up.
As noted in many of the comments the first year I cooked it at 350 and had success, but the second and subsequent years I learned the same problem as many of you have suggested. The temp was too high. I also made a significant move where the outside temp and humidity is different. All these things can factor into how long and what temp you smoke your turkey. We have found keeping the smoker at 225-250 is good. But keep an eye on your turkey.
I've also had comments where it was freezing outside and the smoker kept turning off or temp kept dipping. They suggested buying a welding blanket and turning the temp up.
225F – 30 min per pound
250F – 25 min per pound
350F – 13 min per pound
One of my favorite features about the Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill is it comes with a thermometer! Insert that probe so you can watch your internal temperature of your turkey. Cook the turkey at the smoker temp 225-250 and the turkey's internal temp of the turkey to 165 degrees. You will have the most moist, perfect turkey for your dinner!! Let sit for about 20-30 minutes after removing from the smoker before you slice.
Have other questions?
CHECK THE COMMENTS!! Many of you grill masters have left amazing tips you have tried. One thing I love about cooking is making it your own... and I'm so glad you have left comments on how you like your turkey. I love having a community that helps and encourages! Thank you!!
Looking for other thanksgiving recipes? Try these
- How to Brine a Turkey
- Fried Turkey
- Creamy Mashed potatoes
- Homemade Turkey Gravy
- Candied Green Beans
- Bacon Brussel Sprouts
- Homemade Rolls
- Crescent Rolls
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Layered Jello Salad
- How to carve a turkey
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Perfect Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe
- 1 large turkey breast
- 1 injection syringe
- Thaw your turkey breast completely, rinse and pat dry. Mix your injection marinade ingredients together and fill syringe. Poke 1 hole and move the needle into different positions as you push out marinade into the turkey. Do this in different parts of the birds, making as little holes as possible with getting the marinade in as much of the bird as possible.
- Take the soft or melted butter and rub all over the turkey, under the turkey skin and in the cavity. Mix the rub spices together and rub all over bird, in cavity and in under skin also.
- Wrap turkey in cling wrap so it is completely covered and refrigerate 1 hour -24 hours. The longer the better!
- Preheat smoker to 225 and add turkey, breast side up, to the smoker. Insert probe and close lid. Allow smoker temp to raise 350, but not over. The turkey need to come to an internal temp of 165 degrees. Once internal temp of 165 is reached remove from smoker, and let rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve!