Texas Turkey Breast

Texas Turkey Breast

Texas Style Smoked Turkey Breast

Texas is known for its luscious, post oak smoked, brisket… but pit masters in the Lone Star state also know how to smoke a mean turkey breast. Restaurants keep smoked turkey on the menu year-round and if you haven’t tried Texas Style Smoked Turkey you’ve been missing out.

This recipe is pretty much standard when it comes to smoking turkey the Texas way. It starts with extra-large, boneless turkey breast. These can be difficult to source in my area, so I reached out to my friend Kevin at the Butcher Shoppe down in Florida.

Texas Turkey Breast

I knew if anyone could find some Goliath sized turkey breast it was Kevin. Sure enough, after a few phone calls he was able to source just what wanted. He packaged it up and shipped it to my front door.

Texas Turkey Breast

First the turkey breast gets a light trim. Remove the skin and cut away any excess fat or silver skin. Then the outside is seasoned with a good dose of Coarse black pepper and Kosher salt. A good ratio is 2 parts Coarse Black Pepper to 1 part Kosher Salt, but you can add a little garlic or herbs if you want… but the pepper and salt are most important.

Texas Turkey Breast

Now fire up the bbq pit. You can use any smoker for this recipe but to keep in true Texas form I pulled out my stick burner. I load Ms. Jolene with a bed of Royal Oak lump charcoal to create a hot bed of coals; then I start adding sticks of Post Oak to hold the pit at 275 degrees. Once it stabilizes the turkey breast goes on the pit.

Texas Turkey Breast

Texas Turkey Breast

Smoke it for 2 hours adding more post oak as needed to maintain steady temperature. After about 2 hours the outside of the turkey will start to turn golden brown and have a nice crusty bark from the salt and pepper.

Texas Turkey Breast

Texas Turkey Breast

At this point it’s time to wrap. Lay out a double layer of aluminum foil and cut up 1 stick of butter. Place half the butter on the foil and lay the turkey breast “top side” down on the butter. Place the remaining butter on top and fold up the foil tight. Insert a probe thermometer (I use a Thermoworks DOT ) and return the turkey breast to the pit. Continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 162 degrees.

Texas Turkey Breast

Remove the turkey breast from the pit and rest it for at least 20-30 minutes before slicing. In Texas you order turkey by the pound and it’s sliced right in front of you. Typically, the slices are about 1/4” but you can request it however you like.

Texas Turkey Breast

I recommend reserving some of the butter for drizzling over the top. It makes a fine dipping sauce. And don’t even think about covering it in bbq sauce; you won’t need it. This turkey is packed with flavor and moisture.

Texas Turkey Breast

The salt and pepper create a flavorful bark on the outside and the post oak gives it a true Texas-style smoked flavor. You’ll be smoking turkey year-round once you try this recipe!

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Texas Turkey Breast


  • 4lb Boneless Turkey Breast
  • 2 Tablespoons TX Brisket Rub *(substitute 2 parts Coarse Black Pepper to 1 part Kosher Salt)
  • 1 Stick Butter


  1. Prepare smoker for indirect cooking at 275 degrees using Post Oak wood for fuel and smoke flavor.
  2. Remove the skin from the turkey breast and trim away excess fat.
  3. Season with TX Brisket Rub*
  4. Place the turkey breast on the pit and smoke for 2 hours.
  5. Cut the stick of butter into pieces. Place half the butter on a double layer of aluminum foil and set the turkey breast top-side down on the butter. Place remaining butter on top and wrap the foil around.
  6. Set the turkey back on the pit and insert a probe thermometer.
  7. Continue to cook until internal temperature reaches 162 degrees.
  8. Remove the turkey breast from the pit and rest for 20-30 minutes before slicing.

Malcom Reed
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Comments 18

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      1. Can’t wait for that. All of your products are awesome, and my guests always say so too! I’ve gained you some extra customers as well.

  1. Looks awesome. Roughly how long did the entire smoking process take? 4-5 hours? Also, have you ever made gravy with the drippings?

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  2. What herbs do you suggest to add to the rub from your video? The turkey breasts looked amazing and I plan to try this recipe out for Thanksgiving.

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  3. Hit up The Butcher Shoppe in Pensacola Tuesday and got two of those ginormous (12 lbs!) Turkey breasts. Getting ready to trim, season, and throw them on the smoker for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m pretty excited about this one and I’ll let y’all know how it comes out. Along with a repeat of your smoked honey baked ham recipe I tried out last Thanksgiving, should be an awesome meal. Thanks for the great recipes Malcom!

  4. Everything turned out amazing! I was nervous how fast the temp got up, but after the butter and wrap they turned out great. Someone asked if I could do turkey breast for Christmas!

  5. Great Texas Turkey Breast recipe! I have to admit I deviated somewhat & instead of S&P I used the Killer Hogs “Steak Rub ” plus some cracked black pepper; yielded an awesome bark. Had 10 people over & they all concurred it was the best turkey they had ever had. Waiting on the “TX” rub to come out soon as I am generally lazy when it comes to making my own rubs. Thanks again!

  6. Malcom
    Thank you so much for always sharing your videos and most of all, your recipes
    Your instructions….
    Continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 162 degrees.
    I know cooked items will pick up internal temp. as they rest……
    I’m thinking the internal on Turkey should be 170. I assume the pick-up temp will go to 170 as they rest..correct.

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  7. Malcom,

    I bought the largest frozen bone-in turkey breast from the case at the store. After it thawed, I carefully de-boned it and removed the fat and skin. Then, I followed your recipe and cooked them up on a Grilla Silverbac.

    I realize the ones in the store are usually packaged in some sort of solution. But, let me tell you… the two pieces turned out phenomenal. Maybe someday I’ll try and source some fresh ones, but with a little bit of time effort, this can definitely be made with a large breasts from the store.

    Thanks again for another great recipe! I’ve learned so much from you.

  8. This ROCKS! All my life I’ve had dry turkey that no one really likes, they just eat it because you’re supposed to at Thanksgiving. I’ve made this three times now and this will be a go to all year. It will make great sandwiches and is awesome for a nice dinner.

  9. Malcolm, I noticed in the video that you rested the turkey breasts in the foil. But you were also outside. If I bring them in the house after taking them off the smoker, should I unfoil them and tent them to rest? Also, I’ve noticed a lot of your newer recipes, you’ve used butcher paper instead of foil. Any reason not to use butcher paper here?

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