This mouthwatering smoked bone-in turkey breast recipe will be a show-stopper for your holiday feast or special occasion. It’s perfect for those who want to add some smoky, savory flavor to their turkey while keeping it tender and juicy.
Table of contents
This smoked turkey breast recipe is easy to follow, making it perfect for beginners who are new to smoking meat.
The most important piece of equipment you’ll need is a pellet grill, which allows you to cook the turkey low and slow over a wood fire.
Other essential tools include a sharp knife for trimming and carving, and a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey is cooked to the correct internal temperature.
Impress your guests with this delicious and flavorful dish that will have everyone coming back for seconds.
Get ready to fire up the grill and try out this delicious smoked turkey breast recipe.
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Overview: Smoked Bone-In Turkey Breast Recipe
Here are the essential details for preparing and cooking a turkey breast using a pellet smoker.
Season your dry, room-temperature turkey breast with garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, paprika, kosher salt, and black pepper.
Smoke the seasoned turkey breast for 3-4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. (around 30 minutes per pound of turkey)
Check the temperature often with a meat thermometer, making sure not to cook it above 165°F
Once the turkey breast reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Bone-In vs. Boneless Turkey Breast
When it comes to turkey breasts, there are two main options: boneless and bone-in. Both options have their advantages, and choosing the right one depends on personal preference and the specific recipe.
Boneless turkey breasts are a popular option because they are easy to prepare and cook quickly.
They are also a good choice for those who prefer white meat or who don’t want to deal with bones.
Boneless turkey breasts are typically sold as whole pieces of meat, and they can be stuffed, rolled, or sliced into cutlets.
They are also a good option for those who want to smoke a smaller portion of meat, as boneless breasts tend to be smaller and more manageable.
Bone-in turkey breasts, on the other hand, have the advantage of added flavor and moisture.
The bone helps to keep the meat moist and juicy during cooking. It also adds flavor to the meat!
Bone-in turkey breasts are also typically larger than boneless breasts, making them a good choice for feeding a crowd.
One thing to keep in mind when using bone-in turkey breasts is that they can take longer to cook than boneless breasts, as the bone slows down the cooking process.
This extra time is definitely worth it for the added flavor and tenderness that comes from cooking with the bone.
Ultimately, whether you choose a boneless or bone-in turkey breast comes down to personal preference and the specific recipe.
Both options can be delicious when prepared properly, so it’s worth experimenting with both to see which one you prefer.
How To Smoke A Bone-In Turkey Breast
Preheat your pellet smoker to 225°F
Use hickory wood pellets for a classic smokey flavor, or try apple wood for a unique and flavorful smoked turkey breast.
Prepare The Rub
Prepare The Turkey Breasts
If you have a frozen turkey breast, you’ll have to wait 3-4 days for it to completely thaw in the refrigerator. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, plan ahead!
Pat dry your room-temperature turkey breasts using paper towels. Having your turkey dry will help the rub stick to the skin better.
Season The Turkey Breast
Generously season the skin with the dry rub mixture you prepared earlier. Make sure to cover the entire surface of the turkey breast with the rub. You may also choose to stuff the inside cavity with sprigs of thyme, rosemary, garlic cloves, or any other fresh herbs and spices you like.
Smoke Turkey Breast
This smoking temperature will vary depending on the size of your turkey breast. Plan for around 30 minutes for every pound of turkey. Check the temperature often when you’re nearing the end because you don’t want to overcook it!
Remove & Rest
Serve & Enjoy
Enjoy the delicious, smoky flavor of your perfectly cooked turkey breast!
Tips For Making Traeger Smoked Turkey Breast
When it comes to cooking a delicious turkey breast, it’s important to follow the recipe closely and pay attention to the details.
Here are some tips and tricks that can make the process even easier and more enjoyable, especially for beginners.
Thaw Turkey Breast In Advance
Let the turkey breast come to room temperature. If you’re starting with frozen turkey breast, thaw it in the fridge 3-4 days prior to cooking.
On the cooking day, let it sit out for about an hour prior to cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.
This will help the turkey cook more evenly, and it will also make it easier to season.
Experiment With Seasonings
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different seasonings to find the flavor that you like best.
You can adjust the amounts of garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, paprika, kosher salt, and black pepper to suit your taste.
Brush With Butter Or Oil
Brushing the skin of the turkey breast with melted butter or olive oil will help it to crisp up and develop a beautiful golden-brown color. It will also add extra flavor to the turkey.
Use Meat Thermometer
To ensure that the turkey breast is fully cooked, it’s important to use a meat thermometer.
Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, being careful not to touch the bone.
The internal temperature should reach 165°F before removing the turkey from the smoker.
Best Beer To Pair With Smoked Turkey Breast
When it comes to pairing beer with smoked turkey breast, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Here are my top three picks for beers that will complement this recipe perfectly:
Brown ales are a great option for pairing with smoked turkey breast. They have a rich, malty flavor that balances out the smokiness of the meat.
The caramel notes in the beer also pair well with the sweetness of the basting sauce. Try a nut brown ale or an American brown ale for the perfect pairing.
If you’re a fan of hoppy beers, an IPA is a great choice to pair with smoked turkey breast.
The bitterness of the hops cuts through the richness of the meat, making each bite feel lighter and more refreshing.
The citrus and piney notes in the beer also complement the flavors of the rub and basting sauce. Look for a West Coast IPA or a New England IPA for the best pairing.
For a hearty and warming pairing, go with a stout. The roasted malt flavors in the beer complement the smokiness of the turkey, and the sweetness of the beer plays well with the basting sauce. A dry Irish stout or an oatmeal stout would be great options to try.
Smoked Bone in Turkey Breast
- Small bowl
- 7 lb bone-in turkey breast
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- turkey drippings (Optional)
Smoked Turkey Seasoning
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tsp dried thyme
Smoked Bone in Turkey Breast
- Preheat your pellet smoker to 225°F.
- Prepare the rub by combining garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, paprika, kosher salt, and black pepper
- Pat turkey breast dry with a paper towel, and season the inside cavity with salt and pepper (stuff with sprigs of thyme, rosemary, and other herbs if desired)
- Brush the skin with melted butter and season generously with the dry rub mixture
- Place the turkey breast on the smoker with the bone side down, close the lid, and let the turkey breast smoke for 3-4 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Once the turkey breast reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.