Pit Boss Smoked Turkey Breast

This Pit Boss smoked turkey breast is perfect for any festive meal, cookout, or weeknight meal. This turkey breast recipe has a simple brine that will ensure you end up with a juicy, flavorful turkey with delicious crispy skin and golden brown in just a few hours.

Usually, a large, juicy smoked turkey is the traditional centerpiece of any festive table. But sometimes, we want the taste of turkey without all the fuss. Turkey breast is the perfect and convenient alternative to an entire turkey. Plus, using a pellet grill is an easy and tasty choice, as I don’t have to monitor the fire all day!

Follow along for a simple yet incredibly delicious smoked turkey breast recipe that you know everyone will enjoy.

Smoked Turkey Breast

Even when it’s not the holidays, we try to buy some turkey to cook. However, this time, we purchased some turkey breasts. This is a simple yet delicious way to enjoy turkey without all the fuss. Plus, you end up with lots of leftovers, and we all know one of the best parts about smoking turkey is the yummy ways you can use the leftover turkey.

What You Need for Smoked Turkey Breasts

Below are the ingredients for smoking and brining your turkey breast. I suggest you do this, as it adds flavor, tenderness, and moisture to the turkey breast.

Turkey breast. Bone in.
Apple Juice / Cider
Water
Apple Cider Vinegar
Brown Sugar
Rub
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Salt
Worcestershire Sauce

How to Smoke a Turkey Breast on A Pit Boss Pellet Grill

Below are my six easy steps for smoking turkey breasts using your Pit Boss, it’s so simple. You definitely won’t mess this one up! This is a good recipe to start with if you have tried roasted turkey but are not confident enough to smoke a whole turkey.

Step 1: Brine The Turkey Breasts

In a large bowl, whisk together the brine ingredients, ensuring the salt and sugar are dissolved. Submerge the bird breast side down. Cover and refrigerate for 6-12 hours.

Step 2: Spatchcock the Breast

Preheat your Pit Boss to 275°F, and then you want to spatchcock the turkey, making it flatter and even better for smoking. Cut the sternum to allow a break, about 3-4 inches. (You may also need to remove ribs if your turkey has them in). Then, flip the bird over and push it down to flatten. It should look like a heart shape.

Step 4: Apply Your Favorite Rub

Drain the brine and dry the bird. Pat dry and apply some BBQ rub.

Step 5: Place Your Turkey Breast in The Pit Boss

Smoke at 275°F for 3-4 hours, closing the smoker cover to keep the smoke consistent. Mild wood, such as apple or cherry wood, works well with turkey. Smoke for 3-4 hours or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165°F when checked with an internal thermometer.

Step 6: Allow to Rest

Pull the turkey breast from the smoker, cover it with foil, and allow it to rest for at least 5-10 minutes.

Thawing Your Turkey Breast

If you use frozen turkey breast, you need to allow time to thaw. It takes around 24 hours for a 6lb turkey breast to defrost in the fridge. If you have a 3lb breast, it should take around 12 hours.

How Long Does It Take to Smoke a 7.5 Pound Turkey Breast?

A 7.5-pound turkey breast would require around 4 hours of smoking time. When smoking a bone-in turkey breast at 225°F, a general guideline is to allow approximately 35 minutes per pound.

Should You Baste Turkey Breast When Smoking?

Basting can add moisture and flavor to the meat, but it may also disrupt the development of a crispy exterior.

If you prefer a moist and succulent result, occasional basting with a flavorful liquid like a marinade or broth can be beneficial. I like to baste with a liquid mixture of maple syrup and orange juice, with a dash of your favorite bourbon. 

Bone-In or Boneless?

Bone-in and boneless options can yield delicious results when smoking a turkey breast. The choice between bone-in and boneless depends on personal preference and specific cooking considerations. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Flavor: Some argue that bone-in turkey breast offers slightly better flavor because the bones impart additional taste during smoking. The marrow in the bones can add richness to the meat. However, the difference in flavor is often subtle.
  2. Cooking time: Bone-in turkey breast may take slightly longer than boneless turkey breast due to the bones acting as insulators. The bones slow down the heat penetration, which can extend the overall cooking time. If time is a concern, boneless turkey breast may be a better option.
  3. Ease of carving: Boneless turkey breast is generally easier to navigate since no bones are around it. It allows for cleaner slices and smoother serving. If you’re looking for simplicity and convenience, boneless turkey breast might be the way to go.
  4. Moisture retention: Bones in a bone-in turkey breast can help retain moisture during smoking. The meat around the bones tends to stay juicier. Bone-in turkey breasts could be a good choice if you prioritize moisture retention.

Ultimately, both bone-in and boneless turkey breast can be successfully smoked. Consider your preferences, cooking time constraints, and desired outcomes to decide what best suits your needs.

How To Know When Turkey Breasts Are Done?

The most accurate way to check if the breast is cooked is by checking the internal temperature with a handheld meat thermometer probe.

Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast without touching the bone. For safe consumption, turkey breasts should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Once they reach this temperature, they are considered done. Remember that cooking times can vary based on factors like the size of the turkey breasts, the cooking temperature, and the type of smoker used.

Always rely on the internal temperature rather than time to ensure the turkey breasts are thoroughly cooked and safe to enjoy.

Other Cuts of Turkey to Smoke

You don’t have just to smoke whole turkeys or the breast. Try the juicy smoked turkey legs or smoked turkey necks. Not many people use these cuts, but they are just as delicious.

Wondering How Much Turkey Breast You Need?

If you’re cooking for a crowd and wondering how many pounds of turkey breast per person? You must allow at least 1¼ lbs of raw turkey per person.

Want to Smoke a Whole Turkey

Like the look of these smoked turkey breasts, but prefer to smoke a whole turkey? I have perfected my recipe for whole smoked turkey, using a variety of smokers, ovens, and grills. One of my favorites is my Pit Boss smoked turkey recipe, but you can also find the rest of the recipes below, you can also rest assured they are all rigorously tested by me and the family.

Turkey Cooked in a Gas Smoker

Turkey Cooked in an Electric Smoker

Traeger Spatchcock Turkey

What to Do With Leftover Turkey?

If you have some leftover turkey, try one of my recipes below;

Smoked Buffalo Turkey Dip

Smoked Turkey Sandwich

The Perfect Sides for Smoked Turkey Breast

When it comes to side dishes for the smoked turkey, anything goes. 

Serve it with mashed or baked potatoes and sweet potatoes, fresh vegetables like green beans or corn, coleslaws, fresh garden salads, or even a couscous and rice salad.

Pit Boss Smoked Turkey Breast

Charlie
Want a delicious Pit Boss turkey breast recipe? This one is simple with only 5 steps but ensures you always end up with juicy, tender and moist turkey
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, main, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Barbecue, bbq, dinner, grill, lunch
Servings 4 servings
Calories 402 kcal

Equipment

  • Pit Boss Grill

Ingredients
  

  • 7.6 lbs turkey breast, bone in
  • 4 cups apple juice / cider
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp rub
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder

Instructions
 

Steps 1: Brine The Turkey Breasts

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the brine ingredients ensuring salt and sugar is dissolved. Submerge bird breast side down. Cover and refrigerate for 6-12 hours.

Step 2: Spatchcock the Breast

  • Spatchcock the turkey, making it flatter and more even for smoking. Cut the sternum to allow for a break, about 3-4 inches. (You may also need to remove any ribs if your turkey has them in). Then flip the bird over and push down to flatten. Should look like a heart shape.

Step 3: Apply Your Favorite Rub

  • Drain the brine and dry the bird. Pat dry and apply some bbq rub.

Step 4: Place Your Turkey Breast in The Smoker

  • Smoke at 275F for 3-4 hours, close the smoker cover to keep the smoke consistent. A mild wood like apple wood or cherry wood works well with turkey. Smoke for 3-4 hours or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165°F when checked with a internal thermometer.

Step 5 : Allow to Rest

  • Pull the turkey breast from the smoker, make sure you cover with foil and allow to rest for at least 5-10 minutes.
Keyword Smoked Turkey, Turkey

The mouthwatering flavor of smoked turkey breast is perfect any time of the year, not just the festive season, so fire up the wood pellet grill and get smoking!

Smoke On!

Charlie

Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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