Smoked Turkey Breast on a Pellet Grill

Fancy an easy-to-follow turkey recipe with minimal prep time? How does smoked juicy turkey breast sound?

Smoking a turkey breast can be tricky, you don’t want to end up with a dry turkey breast. So follow my simple steps below you’ll turn out a juicy succulent turkey breast every time.

how-to-smoke-a-turkey-breast-on-a-pellet-grill

Why You’ll Love This Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

You’ll love this smoked turkey breast recipe. It’s a true game-changer that will take your taste buds on a delightful journey.t:

  1. Tender and juicy: The slow smoking process ensures that the turkey breast remains moist and tender, making each bite a succulent delight.
  2. Versatility: Smoked turkey breast can be enjoyed as the star of a holiday feast, sliced for sandwiches, or used as a versatile ingredient in salads, wraps, and more.
  3. Crowd-pleaser: With its amazing taste and texture, this smoked turkey breast recipe is bound to earn you rave reviews from family and friends.
turkey-breast-on-traeger

What You Need for Smoked Turkey Breast

Bone-in turkey breast

Olive oil

Apple cider vinegar (for spritzing)

traeger-smoked-turkey-breast

Brine Ingredients

  • Apple juice or apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • Kosher salt
  • Brown sugar
  •  Worcestershire sauce

Dry Spice Rub Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

How to Smoke Turkey Breasts on a Pellet Grill

Step 1: Prepare the Turkey Breasts

– Follow the below guide to spatchcock the turkey breasts. See the full guide on how to spatchcock turkey breasts.

– Gently loosen the turkey skin from the breast meat without removing.

pellet-grill-turkey-breast

Step 2: Brine the Turkey Breasts & Apply Turkey Rub

– Prepare your brine as per the directions above, making sure the kosher salt is fully dissolved.

– Brine the turkey for 8-12 hours refrigerated and in an air-tight container.

smoke-turkey-breast-traeger
brining-turkey-breast-traeger

– Remove the breasts and disregard the brine solution.

– Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess brine from the breasts.

– Apply a tablespoon olive oil for a light coating.

– Mix together the spices evenly in a mixing bowl or spice blender.

– Coat the spices evenly on all sides of the breasts.

Step 3: Smoke the Brined Turkey Breasts

– Load the pellets, prime, set the grill temperature to 275°F, and wait until reached cooking temperature.

– Placed the brined and spatchcocked turkey side up breasts directly on the grill grates.

pellet-smoker-turkey-breast

– Insert your reliable meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breasts.

– Estimate the cooking time based on 25 minutes per pound of turkey breasts.

– Spritz every 20 minutes.

– Monitor until an internal temperature of 150°F.

– Cover the breasts with a sheet of aluminum foil.

– Remove when they have reached a target temperature of 160°F.

smoked-turkey-breast-traeger

Step 4: Rest & Enjoy Your Pellet Smoked Breasts

– Wrap the breasts completely in foil.

– Rest the turkey breasts for 15-20 minutes or until they reach 165°F.

– Enjoy with your desired sides or take inspiration from our recommendations!

smoked-turkey-breast-pellet-grill

What Temperature Do I Smoke Turkey Breasts on a Pellet Grill?

To smoke turkey breasts, you should set your pellet smoker to a medium temp of 275°F.

smoked-turkey-breast-pellet-grill

What Is the Cooking Time for Traeger Smoked Turkey Breasts

Smoke the turkey breasts for 25 minutes per pound. if you are used to smoking chicken, remember that turkey takes longer to smoke than chicken, so allow extra time.

Have boneless turkey breasts? Boneless turkey breasts will smoke at 20 minutes per pound at 275°F.

What Internal Temperature Does the Turkey Breast Meat Need to Be?

The internal temperature for the turkey needs to be at least 165°F before it ready to eat.

How to Accurately Monitor the Internal Temp

A calibrated meat thermometer works wonders for accurately monitoring temperature. Big names like Pit Boss or Traeger Pellet Grills will come with their own built-in!

Monitor for the safe temperature throughout the cooking process.

Note: Make sure your temperature probe doesn’t touch the breast bone, this will give a faulty reading.

traeger-turkey-breast

Choosing the Right Wood Pellets for Turkey

The perfect wood to accompany your turkey breast is cherry wood or apple wood. These infuse a light smoke flavor and help caramelize the skin.

We are already using bold ingredients like Worchester sauce in our brine so I like to go for a lighter wood. 

How Much Turkey Do You Need to Allow?

If you cooking for a crowd, you need to allow at least ¾ pound of turkey breast per person if your using boneless meat and 1¼ lbs of raw turkey per person if your using bone in.

Why Do Bone-in Turkey Breasts Taste Better?

Unlike dark meat, white breast meat contains little to no fat or connective tissue. We all know fat = flavor but did you know bone = flavor too?

Meat bones contain flavor compounds from minerals and collagen. Bones also help with moisture retention within the meat proteins.

So smoking with the breast bone will give you maximum flavor and texture!

pellet-smoked-turkey-breast

What if I Don’t Have a Pellet Smoker?

  If you don’t have a pellet smoker then don’t worry! A charcoal grill or gas grill will work fine.

Although you may not get the desired smoky flavor and crispy turkey skin.

Have you got a Traeger? See the recipe for smoking turkey breasts on a Traeger.

Got a Pit Boss? Here is the recipe for smoking turkey breasts on a Pit Boss.

The Trick to Crispy Skin on Your Smoked Turkey Breasts

Achieving that coveted crispy skin on smoked turkey breasts is easier than you might think. With a few simple tricks, you’ll elevate your turkey game to a whole new level. Here’s the secret to achieving that perfect crispy skin:

  1. Dry brine: Start by generously seasoning the turkey breasts with salt, allowing them to sit uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. This helps draw out moisture, resulting in drier skin that crisps up beautifully during smoking.
  2. Preheat the smoker: Ensure your smoker is preheated to a higher temperature, around 325°F (163°C), before placing the turkey breasts inside. This initial blast of heat helps to quickly crisp up the skin.
  3. Butter or oil baste: During the smoking process, periodically baste the turkey breasts with melted butter or oil. This helps promote browning and adds extra flavor.

What to Serve With Our Delicious Smoked Turkey Breasts?

So many mouth-watering ideas come to mind.

Smoked Heritage Carrots Topped With Brown Butter

Smoked Brussel Sprouts Topped With Bacon

Tip: What about leftover turkey breast meat?

How about a delicious turkey sandwich with a coating of mayonnaise on farmhouse bread!

smoked-turkey-breast-on-pellet-grill

How to Spatachcock the Turkey Breasts for Smoking

Spatchcocking is a term used for flattening out the bone in your meat. This is especially effective for the breast bone in poultry like a turkey. This technique allows a larger surface area and speeds up the cooking and brining process.

Follow the below guide to successfully spatchcock your turkey breasts.

Allow enough time for your turkey breast to thaw.

– Make sure your turkey breasts are on a secure surface.

– Wipe down excess juices with a paper towel.

– Snip the sternum or breast bone with the kitchen scissors.

– Remove any ribs if applicable.

– Flip the breasts and flatten them down from the opposite side to a heart shape.

turkey-breast-on-pellet-grill

How to Brine the Turkey Breasts for Smoking

Brining the turkey breasts for 12 hours will ensure the meat is tender. This is from denaturing the proteins with salt and aromatics.

Giving plenty of time to flavor the meat and reduce moisture evaporation when smoking.

– Mix the wet brine ingredients (cold water first) evenly in an airtight container.

– Add the dry brine ingredients and dissolve in the wet mixture.

– Submerge the spatchcocked breasts in your turkey brine.

– Refrigerate for no more than 12 hours.

smoking-a-turkey-breast-on-a-pellet-grill

How to Spritz the Turkey Breasts During Smoking

Spritzing the turkey while smoking helps reintroduce moisture and stop the turkey breast from drying out.

– Put the apple cider vinegar in your clean spray bottle.

– Spritz the breasts every 20 minutes during the smoking process.

Smoked Turkey Breast on a Pellet Grill

This is a easy-to-follow smoked turkey breast recipe that will turn out tender and juicy turkey breast every time.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Dinner, lunch, main, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq, dinner, grill, lunch
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 302kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: 20

Equipment

  • 1 pellet grill

Ingredients

  • Bone-in turkey breast
  • Olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar for spritzing

Brine Ingredients

  • Apple juice or apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • Kosher salt
  • Brown sugar
  • Worcestershire sauce

Dry Spice Rub Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Instructions

How to Spritz the Turkey Breasts During Smoking

  • – Put the apple cider vinegar in your clean spray bottle.
  • – Spritz the breasts every 20 minutes during the smoking process.

Step 1: Prepare the Turkey Breasts

  • – Follow the above guide to spatchcock the turkey breasts.
  • – Gently loosen the turkey skin from the breast meat without removing.

Step 2: Brine the Turkey Breasts & Apply Turkey Rub

  • – Prepare your brine as per the directions above, making sure the kosher salt is fully dissolved.
  • – Brine the turkey for 8-12 hours refrigerated and in an air-tight container.
  • – Remove the breasts and disregard the brine solution.
  • – Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess brine from the breasts.
  • – Apply a tablespoon olive oil for a light coating.
  • – Mix together the spices evenly in a mixing bowl or spice blender.
  • – Coat the spices evenly on all sides of the breasts.

Step 3: Smoke the Brined Turkey Breasts

  • – Load the pellets, prime, set the grill temperature to 275°F, and wait until reached cooking temperature.
  • – Placed the brined and spatchcocked turkey breasts directly on the grill grates.
  • – Insert your reliable meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breasts.
  • – Estimate the cooking time based on 25 minutes per pound of turkey breasts.
  • – Spritz every 20 minutes.
  • – Monitor until an internal temperature of 150°F.
  • – Cover the breasts with a sheet of aluminum foil.
  • – Remove when they have reached a target temperature of 160°F.

Step 4: Rest & Enjoy Your Pellet Smoked Breasts

  • – Wrap the breasts completely in foil.
  • – Rest the turkey breasts for 15-20 minutes or until they reach 165°F.
  • – Enjoy with your desired sides or take inspiration from our recommendations!

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

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 adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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