Have you ever had a smoked turkey? Well, even if you have or haven’t, you definitely need to try the smoked turkey breast. The breast meat as we all know can dry up quickly. Once you have tried smoked turkey breast, I am sure you’ll definitely consider smoked turkey to be number two.
You really don’t want the turkey breast to be fully dry. You actually want a tender and juicy smoked turkey breast with a touch of sweetness and jerky tail end. I actually prefer to slice off the tail end and smoke the thicker part. You can also use brine to cure the meat. It is my secret to make an enjoyable smoked turkey breast.
Smoked Turkey Breast Traeger
Traeger is a wood pellet BBQ/Oven which basically is an electric smoker (don’t get confused by name). You can make an amazing smoker turkey breast on Traeger. You can use different type of wood to get different flavor profiles which is the amazing thing about it. Smoked turkey breast traeger is a whole new recipe which we will cover separately.
Smoked Turkey Breast Brine
Well, I would prefer a salt smoked turkey breast brine specially when smoking a wild turkey breast. Let me tell you a bit about brine if you don’t know about it. Brine uses the power of salt and osmosis to slightly denature the proteins in meat, swelling them with salty moisture and trapping more liquid in the meat than it would otherwise be able to contain.
What it will do is to make the meat more juicy and enjoyable. Even the smoking do takes away a lot of moisture but that’s where brining comes out. I use an equalization cure for my brine which is dry salting. I do this by weighing the turkey breast in grams and then weighing kosher salt by 1.5% of that brine. Then I massage turkey breast with brown sugar.
Wood for Smoked Turkey Breast
I prefer to use cherry for smoked turkey breast. It is not a rule or something, you can use any type of wood you want. Oak, hickory, walnut, beech, alder, mesquite, and many others depending on your preferences. All these woods are fine but don’t use conifers. They are not good eats…
For a final punch, you can paint the turkey breast with something sweet. I prefer to use honey for it but you can also use maple syrup, birch syrup, agave nectar, fruit syrup and molasses as well. You can enjoy the sweet-salty-smoky meat combination which is the best according to me.
Equipment for Smoked Turkey Breast
Some equipment is required for a good smoked turkey breast.
- A smoker is required preferably a digital electric smoker.
- An injector is required.
- Cling wrap/plastic wrap.
- Turkey Breast.
Preparing the Turkey Breast
- You need to make sure that the turkey breast is thawed.
- Inject and rub turkey breast 24 hours ahead of time.
- Make sure the flavors are completely infused.
- Rinse and pat dry the turkey breast.
Injecting a Turkey Breast
There is an injection recipe for smoked turkey breast. You need the following things for it…
- Lemon juice
- Oil and water
- Melted butter
- Garlic and onion salt
- Worcestershire sauce
First you need to make little holes in your turkey while injecting. You can make holes as many as possible. You make these holes by sticking the needle in and moving it in different directions.
Read Also: Smoked Turkey – How To & Recipe
Smoked Turkey Breast Time
Generally you smoke a turkey for about 30 minutes per pound once the smoke temperature reaches 350 degrees. It is advised to use an electric smoker that comes with a thermometer. Cook the turkey breast until when the internal temperature of turkey gets to 165°F. Let it sit for about 30 minutes after removing the smoked turkey breast from smoker before slicing.
Now, let’s move to the most awaited thing, i.e. the smoked turkey breast recipe….
Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe
- Electric Smoker
- Cling Wrap/Plastic Wrap
- 1 Skinless Turkey Breast Trimmed
- 1 Injection Syringe
- Kosher Salt
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp seasoning salt
- 1 tbsp garlic salt
- 1 tbsp onion salt
- 1/4 cup honey
Turkey Injection Marinade
- 1 tsp ground sage
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp onion salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup oil
- Mix the salt and sugar and massage it to the turkey.
- Now, put the turkey in a freezer bag and place it in fridge for 3 days to cure.
- Remove turkey breast from bag and set it in the fridge for about an hour.
- This will form a pellicle so your turkey can take on smoke better.
- Turn the turkey over a few times while doing the above step.
- Smoke the turkey breast at 200ºF until the internal temperature reaches to 160ºF .
- Let the turkey smoke undistributed for an hour, Now, paint the turkey with honey every 45 minutes.
- Take the turkey breast out and set it on a rack.
- Now, paint the turkey one more time with honey and serve it