Smoked boneless turkey breast is the perfect main dish for your next BBQ. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion, hosting a summer cookout, or simply enjoying a weekend family dinner, this recipe is sure to impress your guests with its mouth-watering flavors and tender, juicy meat.
The good news is that smoking a turkey breast is not as difficult as it may seem. With the right equipment and a little bit of patience, you can achieve perfectly tender and juicy results every time. You’ll need a pellet smoker, apple wood pellets, and a meat thermometer to get started.
Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with the ultimate BBQ experience. The combination of savory herbs, spices, and smoky flavors will make this smoked boneless turkey breast recipe the star of your next BBQ!
Overview: Smoked Turkey Breast
This recipe is easy to follow and packed with flavor, making it a crowd-pleaser at any gathering.
Here’s an overview of the most important information you need to know to create a juicy and delicious smoked turkey.
- Brine the boneless turkey breasts for 8-12 hours
- Set the pellet smoker to 275°F with apple wood pellets
- Smoke the seasoned turkey breasts for 3-4 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Cover the turkey breasts with aluminum foil and rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Turkey Breast vs. Chicken Breast
Turkey breasts and chicken breasts may seem similar, but they have distinct differences in terms of flavor, consistency, and overall enjoyability.
When it comes to flavor, turkey breasts have a milder taste that allows the flavors of the brine and rub to shine through, making them the perfect canvas for creating a variety of delicious smoky flavors.
In terms of consistency, turkey breasts tend to be firmer and meatier compared to chicken breasts, which can sometimes be dry and stringy.
This firm texture makes turkey breasts more suitable for smoking as they hold up better over long cooking times.
Turkey breasts are a popular choice for those who are looking for a more healthy option, as they are generally leaner than chicken breasts and have a lower fat content.
Plus, the mild flavor of turkey breasts makes them a versatile choice for a variety of dishes and palates, making them a crowd-pleaser for any occasion.
If you’re looking for a flavorful and versatile protein option, turkey breasts are an excellent choice.
Whether you’re a seasoned BBQ enthusiast or a beginner looking to try something new, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your cooking repertoire.
How To Make Smoked Boneless Turkey Breast
Prepare the Brine
For the first step in creating the perfect smoked boneless turkey breast, you’ll need to make a brine. This is a solution that will help keep the meat juicy and flavorful during the smoking process. To make the brine, add water, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl: Whisk all the ingredients together until they are well combined.
Brine The Turkey Breasts
Next, you’ll want to submerge the boneless turkey breasts into the brine and let them soak for 8-12 hours. This will give the brine plenty of time to penetrate the meat and impart flavor. If you’re short on time, you can soak the turkey breasts for a minimum of 8 hours, though we wouldn’t do any shorter than that.
Preheat Your Smoker
To get ready for smoking the turkey breasts, you’ll need to preheat your pellet smoker to 275°F. If you have the option, choose apple wood pellets for your smoker. These pellets will add a subtly sweet and fruity flavor to the meat.
Season the Turkey Breasts
Once the turkey breasts have been removed from the brine, pat them dry and sprinkle your favorite sweet rub all over. This will help to add even more flavor to the meat. If you don’t have a favorite rub, you can easily make one at home using a mixture of brown sugar, salt, pepper, and any other spices that you like. Be sure to apply a generous amount of rub to the turkey breasts for the best results.
Smoke the Turkey Breasts
Place the seasoned turkey breasts in the preheated smoker and cook for 3-4 hours, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. This will ensure that the meat is fully cooked and safe to eat. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey breasts by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, to get an accurate reading.
Rest and Serve
Once the turkey breasts are done cooking, remove them from the smoker and gently cover them in aluminum foil. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. The resting step is important because it allows the meat to reabsorb its juices, making it even more juicy and flavorful. Don’t skip this step or you’ll be sacrificing some of the flavor and tenderness of the meat.
Tips For Making Smoked Boneless Turkey Breast
Whether you’re an experienced pitmaster or a beginner just starting out with smoking meat, these tips will help you achieve the best results.
Use a Meat Thermometer
When it comes to cooking any type of meat, the internal temperature is the most important factor in determining doneness.
Make sure to use a meat thermometer to accurately check the internal temperature of the turkey breast.
Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, avoiding any bones, to get an accurate reading.
This will ensure that your turkey is fully cooked and safe to eat.
Don’t Overcrowd the Smoker
Be sure to give the turkey breasts enough space so they smoke evenly.
This will ensure that all breasts are done at the same time.
Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking and even burning, so make sure to arrange the turkey breasts in a single layer and give them plenty of room to breathe.
Enhance the Flavor with Aromatics
Consider adding aromatics, such as rosemary or thyme, to the smoker to enhance the flavor of the smoke.
These herbs will infuse the smoke with their fragrant oils, adding an extra layer of flavor to the turkey.
Best Beer To Pair With Smoked Turkey Breast
When it comes to pairing beer with food, the options are endless.
But when it comes to smoked boneless turkey breast, you want a beer that can stand up to the bold flavors of the smoke and complement the juicy, tender meat.
Here are the top 3 types of beer that pair perfectly with this delicious and satisfying recipe.
A bold and hoppy American IPA pairs perfectly with the smoky, juicy flavor of the smoked boneless turkey breast.
The bitterness of the IPA helps to cut through the richness of the meat, while the bold hop flavors complement the smoky undertones.
A nutty and slightly sweet brown ale is a great choice for those who prefer a more balanced and smooth beer.
The toasty, malty flavors in a brown ale complement the sweetness of the rub on the turkey, while the subtle hop notes add a touch of balance.
A refreshing and lightly hopped hefeweizen is a great option for those who are looking for a beer that’s light and easy to drink.
The fruity and wheat-forward flavors of a hefeweizen pair well with the juicy and smoky flavors of the turkey, while the light carbonation helps to cleanse the palate and refresh the senses.
Related More Turkey Breast Recipes
- Smoked Turkey Rub Recipe
- Smoked Turkey Brine Recipe
- Smoked Turkey Legs Recipe
- Smoked Turkey Wings Recipe
- Butterball Smoked Turkey Recipe
- Smoked turkey breast recipe
Smoked Boneless Turkey Breast
- 3-4 pound boneless, skinless turkey breast (not previously brined)
- sweet dry rub of your choosing (any of your favorite)
- 3 cups apple cider
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup salt or kosher salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 2 pcs 4 inches sprigs of rosemary
- 1 tbsp course ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
- Prepare the brine by adding water, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, brown sugar, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes to a large bowl and whisking to combine.
- Submerge the turkey breasts and keep them covered and soaked for 8-12 hours
- Preheat your smoker to 275°F with apple wood pellets
- Take the turkey breasts out of the brine, pat dry, and sprinkle your favorite sweet rub
- Place the turkey in the smoker and cook for 3-4 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F
- Remove the turkey breast, gently cover it in aluminum foil, and put it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Smoked Boneless Turkey Breast FAQs
What is a pellet smoker?
A pellet smoker is a type of outdoor cooking appliance that uses wood pellets as fuel to smoke and cook food. In this recipe, we use a pellet smoker to smoke a boneless turkey breast.
Can I use a different type of wood besides apple wood pellets?
Yes, you can use other types of wood such as mesquite, hickory, or cherry to add a different flavor to the turkey. Wood chips can be used here.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHowever, apple wood is a mild wood that gives a sweet and fruity flavor to the meat, which is why we recommend using it in this recipe.
What is the internal temperature for a fully cooked turkey breast?
The internal temperature for a fully cooked turkey breast should be 165°F, which is the safe temperature for eating poultry.
Can I use a different type of rub besides a sweet rub?
Yes, you can use any type of rub that you prefer. Some popular options include savory, spicy, or garlic and herb rubs.
How long should I brine the turkey breast?
You should brine the turkey breast for 8-12 hours for the best results.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eBrining helps to add flavor and moisture to the meat, which results in a more tender and juicy end result.
Can I smoke a turkey breast without brining it?
Yes, you can smoke a turkey breast without brining it, but the end result may not be as juicy or flavorful as a brined turkey breast.
How long does it take to smoke turkey breast?
It takes approximately 3-4 hours to smoke a turkey breast, depending on the average turkey breast size and thickness of the meat.
Can I smoke a frozen turkey breast?
No, it is not recommended to smoke a frozen turkey breast.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eYou should always thaw the turkey breast before smoking it to ensure even cooking and to avoid any food safety concerns.