Smoked turkey breast is the best turkey you will ever eat!! With a super flavorful spice rub, it’s moist, and perfectly cooked.
With all of the different ways that there are to cook a turkey, a smoked turkey breast is one of the better options. It gives such a different flavor to the meat, and all of the time-consuming aspects of the brine is hands-off-meaning that you just fill a pot and place the meat inside for a few hours. The smoked turkey breast rub is delicious and just as easy to make!
Every year large families place a whole cooked bird on their table for Thanksgiving, you see people talking about deep-fried turkeys, whole oven roasted, and smoked. Then you read on and on about the countless side dishes that they add to their tables like honey-glazed carrots and traditional desserts like pumpkin pie.
But sometimes families are much smaller and in no significant need of a 30lb+ bird! Sometimes you just want to eat turkey for the sake of eating turkey, or you stock up after the holidays when the stores give great sales. This is when you can be adventurous with your cooking styles and try new ways to enjoy your turkey.
How to make this smoked turkey breast brine
- Combine 4 cups of water and the necessary salt in a pot and bring it to a boil
- Add this brine into the remaining water, orange juice, and pepper flakes.
- Place your turkey breast inside the brine and cover
- Place it in the fridge for at least 12 hours, but you can do up to 24 hours.
- Preheat your smoker to 300 degrees.
- Pat your turkey dry (paper towels work great for this).
- In a small bowl, combine your honey and olive oil. Brush it on your turkey.
- In another bowl, combine your spices and spread them evenly over the turkey breast (give a little gentle rub or pat to get them stuck on well).
- Place your turkey breast in the smoker and smoke for 30 minutes per pound.
- Double-check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer and make sure that it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove from heat and let your turkey rest for 20 minutes before serving. (This helps to seal in all of that juicy goodness so that it doesn’t run all over your cutting board during carving, and result in a dry turkey!)
How do you tell when a smoked turkey is done?
You know your turkey is done when it reaches 165 degrees. Smoked turkeys often have a pink tint to the meat, and while this may be cause for alarm to some, there is nothing wrong with it so long as the meat has properly come up to a safe temperature.
You can test to make sure that your instant-read thermometer is properly calibrated if you have any doubts about its accuracy.
Do you have to brine a turkey before smoking?
You don’t have to, but if you want great tasting turkey-you should. Using a brine before smoking your turkey helps to seal in all of the natural turkey juices and keep the meat nice and moist. No one likes a dry turkey!
Smoked Turkey Breast
- 6 pound turkey breast bone-in, skin-on
Smoked Turkey Brine Ingredients
- 2 gallons water divided
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1 cup salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Smoked Turkey Rub Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Combine 4 cups of the water and the salt. Bring to a boil.
- Add brine into the remaining water, orange juice, and pepper flakes.
- Submerge turkey breast in the brine and cover.
- Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, up to 24.
- Preheat smoker to 300ºF (see note).
- Pat turkey dry.
- Combine honey and olive oil. Brush on turkey.
- Combine all the spices, spread evenly onto the turkey breast.
- Place in smoker and smoke for about 30 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
- Let rest 20 minutes before serving.
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