Juicy Smoked Turkey Breast 
Turkey breast on a platter


Juicy Smoked Turkey Breast 



Turkey & Herb Butter 

  •  2 cups applewood or cherry wood chips 
  • 1 5 to 7 pound whole turkey breast 
  • 9 tbsp unsalted butter, softened 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 tsp each fresh diced oregano, thyme, rosemary, and sage 
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard 
  • 1 tsp kosher salt 
  •  ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper 
  •  ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 1 disposable 13x9-inch aluminum foil pan 
  • 2 cups apple juice or cider 


  • 3 quarts cold water 
  •  ½ cup kosher salt 
  • ¼ cup white sugar 




  • In a large container, combine water, salt and sugar. Whisk until the salt and sugar dissolve. Set the turkey breast in the water (add more water, if needed, to completely submerge) and refrigerate 8-12 hours.
  • Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 45 minutes before cooking, and pat it dry, inside and out, with paper towels.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine butter, garlic, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, mustard, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • Using your fingers, carefully separate the skin from the breast meat underneath.
  • Spread 3 Tablespoons herb butter under the skin of each breast and the remaining 3 Tablespoons butter over the outside of the breasts. Use 2-3 toothpicks per breast to secure the skin to the breast (along the edge of the breast). Securing the skin with toothpicks prevents the skin from shrinking during cooking.
  • Soak the wood chunks or chips in water for 30 minutes while waiting for the coals to heat. If using wood chips, after soaking them, place them in a packet made with heavy-duty alumi-num foil. Cut 3-4 slits into the top for the smoke to vent. 


  • Remove the top cooking grate and place the foil packet of wood chips on the primary burner. Replace the cooking grate and turn all burners to high.
  • Cover the grill and heat until hot and the wood chips are smoking. This should take about 1a5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and adjust burners, as needed, to keep the grill’s internal temperature between 325°F-350°. The total cooking time could be l½-2½ hours.
  • The turkey is done when the internal temperature of the turkey registers 162°F-163°F on an instant-read thermometer. The skin should be amber colored and beautiful.
  • Transfer the turkey to a cutting board, tent with foil, and allow it to rest 20-25 minutes before slicing. Carve and serve. 


Recipe courtesy of Michigan Allied Poultry Industries 


To view the article in the online 2021 Winter Partners Magazine, click here


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