Smoked Bone-In Turkey Breast
It’s time to buy those turkeys for next week and get them thawing in the refrigerator. I checked out the sales ads this week and everyone has turkey on sale – so I picked up a Bone-In Turkey Breast to smoke.
If you’re still cooking your thanksgiving bird in the oven you are missing out. I started smoking turkeys several years ago and refuse to go back to roasting or deep frying.
Smoked Bone-In Turkey Breast is by far the best. If you need help with the smoking process check out my video and step-by-step method. It’s real simple.
This week I want to share with you my method for cooking just the breast of the turkey.
A Whole, Bone-In Turkey Breast is the way to go if you don’t need the entire bird. I also cook just the breast when I need extra white meat for serving a larger crowd.
Whole Bone-In Turkey Breast can be found right beside the frozen turkeys in the supermarket. A whole frozen breast takes a couple days to thaw in the refrigerator. You’ll need to buy it several days before you plan to cook, so it has time to slow thaw. You can speed the process up by placing it in water but never let it thaw just sitting out on the counter.
When the turkey breast is completely thawed, rinse under cool water and pat dry with paper towel. Be sure to disinfect the sink where you rinse the breast. It’s the number one place where cross-contamination occurs when dealing with raw poultry.
Before seasoning the turkey breast melt ½ stick of butter and brush it on the skin. This will help the skin brown and give the seasoning something to adhere too.
Now we need to get some flavor going on the outside. I have a chicken seasoning that is awesome on turkey too. Sprinkle the outside with a good dose of it.
Smoked Bone-In Turkey Breast Seasoning
- 2 cups Salt
- 1 cup Black Pepper
- ½ cup Granulated Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Poultry Seasoning
This makes way more seasoning than you’ll need for 1 turkey breast, but it will keep for several months in an air tight container.
I keep it in a ziplock bag, and fill a Stainless Shaker with enough to last a couple weeks. It stays in my spice cabinet and anytime we’re cooking poultry, it gets some of this seasoning.
We need to get something in the cavity of the breast to give it a little more mass. This will help it cook even. I use an apple, onion, and some fresh herbs (rosemary & thyme). Just wedge it in the cavity the best you can.
Next I want to get some flavor inside the breast, and to do this I’m using Butcher’s Bird Booster Honey injection. The Bird Booster will help the breast to stay moist and it adds natural poultry flavor with just a touch of sweetness from the Honey Powder.
Mix ¼ cup of Bird Booster with 2 cups of Water and inject it into the breast. I try to hit at least 4 sticks into the top of each breast and hit the ends close to the bone.
I’m smoking this breast on my pellet smoker with apple BBQr’s Delight pellets but you can use whatever smoker you want as long as you maintain 300 degrees.
300 may seem a little high for smoking but trust me it’s perfect for turkey.
Once the pit is up to temp, place the Whole Turkey breast on the rack skin side up. The cook time is going to be about 2 hours for an 8lb bone-in breast, but you really have to watch the internal temperature when cooking turkey.
I use a thermoworks Chef Alarm to monitor the internal and it goes in at the very beginning of the cook. This way I know what the temp is from the get-go.
Check on the breast at the hour mark. The skin should start to have some color but not too dark. It may need a little extra melted butter if it’s looking dark.
The butter will help with the browning effect too. If you do notice the skin turning darker, lay a piece of aluminum foil loosely over it.
The finished temperature for Turkey breast is 165. Pull the breast off the smoker as soon as it hits this temp.
If you’re not sure, probe it with an instant read thermometer in a couple places to verify. Any juice that runs out should also be clear.
Let the Smoked Bone-In Turkey Breast rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
You can expect a Smoked Bone-In Turkey Breast like this to yield about 8-10 servings. But with something that comes out this juicy and tender… folks might come back for seconds.
Smoked Turkey is one of my holiday favorites – and doing a whole breast like this is not only really quick and easy, it gives you a meal the family will love.
You don’t even have to wait for Thanksgiving either… with turkeys on sale just do one this weekend and make some killer sandwiches.
I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Smoked Bone-In Turkey Breast