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 juicy, flavorful turkey that has 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 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’s sure everyone is going to enjoy.
Even when its 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 leftover, and we all know one of the best parts about smoking turkey are yummy ways you can use the leftover turkey.
Table of contents
What You Need for Smoked Turkey Breasts
Below are the ingredients if you smoking and brining your turkey breast. I would suggest you do as it adds flavor, tenderness and moisture to the turkey breast.
Turkey breast. Bone in.
Apple Juice / Cider
Apple Cider Vinegar
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, its 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 not confident enough to smoke a whole turkey.
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
Preheat your Pit Boss to 275°F then you want to 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 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, 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 6 : 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.
Thawing Your Turkey Breast
If you use frozen turkey breast you need to allow time for it 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. Typically, 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?
When smoking a turkey breast, both bone-in and boneless options can yield delicious results. The choice between bone-in and boneless depends on personal preference and specific cooking considerations. Here are some factors to consider:
- Flavor: Some argue that bone-in turkey breast offers slightly better flavor due to the bones imparting additional taste during the smoking process. The marrow in the bones can add richness to the meat. However, the difference in flavor is often subtle.
- Cooking time: Bone-in turkey breast may take slightly longer to cook 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.
- Ease of carving: Boneless turkey breast is generally easier to carve since there are no bones to navigate around. 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.
- Moisture retention: The bones in a bone-in turkey breast can help retain moisture during the smoking process. The meat around the bones tends to stay juicier. If you prioritize moisture retention, bone-in turkey breast could be a good choice.
Ultimately, both bone-in and boneless turkey breast can be successfully smoked. Consider your personal preferences, cooking time constraints, and desired outcome to make the decision that 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. The turkey breasts should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.
Once they reach this temperature, they are considered done. Keep in mind 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
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’ll need to 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.
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
- Pit Boss Grill
- 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
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.
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!
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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