Marinated Smoked Turkey Breast

14 reviews

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Marinated Smoked Turkey Breast is all the goodness of a whole bird scaled down to a non-holiday portion. Perfect for a weeknight cookout or a perfect weekday dinner option. This is a delicious, tender and juicy recipe that you will cook again and again.

Smoked and sliced turkey breast on a wood cutting board with sliced lemons and limes.


Smoked Turkey Breast Marinade

This marinated smoked turkey breast recipe has been on my mind for quite some time. I’ve done whole turkeys, turkey breasts, turkey legs, you name it, but I wanted to perfect a smoked turkey breast. This recipe took a few test runs to get just right, but it was worth it! This marinated turkey breast is tender and juicy with the perfect amount of smoke from the BBQ.

The secret to this particular smoked turkey breast is in the marinade. I got this recipe from my best friend’s mom back in college. This particular marinade is used on turkey breasts and is named after a tiny town in Utah called Manti. It is a Utah staple (watch the video to get a little bit more about the history of this recipe) and everybody has their own version of the marinade.

Since turkey breasts are very lean, the marinade provides a boost of flavor and moisture. The marinade combines some pretty unique ingredients that give the turkey a flavor profile that perfectly balances sweet, savory, and tangy. It almost feels like a slight version of a teriyaki sauce. 

BONUS- this marinade works great on chicken breasts also!

Smoked turkey breast being held above grill grates with a pair of tongs.

How to Smoke a Turkey Breast

I started to cook with indirect heat for the smoking period at 225 degrees F for about 2 hours, until the internal temperature of the turkey read 150 degrees F. Now the fun part, crank the heat up and sear the exterior of the turkey at the end to caramelize the outside. This method is called reverse searing. It allows you to smoke slowly for flavor and to retain moisture and also get that nice crispy sear on the outside of the meat. 

What Wood to Use for Smoked Turkey Breast

For this batch of turkey breasts, I used a mixture of pecan and apple. Pecan provides a nice smoky flavor base and apple gives a light kiss of sweet smoke. For other ideas on woods to use with turkey, check out my post on the Best Woods for Smoking

Sliced smoked turkey breast on a wood cutting board with sliced lemons and limes.

How Long to Smoke a Turkey Breast

I plan 2 hours of smoking and about 6 minutes of searing for larger 5 pound boneless, skinless turkey breasts. If your turkey breasts are smaller (or you are using chicken breasts) you will reduce the time significantly. My best advice is to use a good internal thermometer to track the temperatures of your poultry. Cooking to a safe internal temperature is crucial for poultry, but not overcooking it also means that it will remain juicy and delicious. 

More Turkey Breast Recipes

Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast Roulade
Cider Brined Smoked Turkey Breast
Smoked Turkey

Marinated Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

Follow the recipe, and I’ll teach you the simple steps to making your own smoked turkey breasts at home. Hey Grill Hey is dedicated to help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. You can find more of my smoking and grilling recipes and videos on YouTubeInstagram, or our Facebook Page.

Marinated Smoked Turkey Breast

5 from 14 votes
Marinated Smoked Turkey Breast is all the goodness of a whole bird scaled down to a non-holiday portion. Perfect for a weeknight cookout or a perfect weekday dinner option. This is a delicious, tender and juicy recipe that you will cook again and again.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 10 minutes
Marinating Time8 hours
Total Time10 hours 5 minutes
Servings6 people


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  • 1 5-pound boneless skinless turkey breast
  • 2 cups lemon lime soda
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon creamy horseradish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic minced


  • Marinate the turkey. Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a gallon zip top bag. Place the turkey breasts in the marinade and toss gently to coat. Refrigerate the marinating turkey for at least 8 hours, and no more than 24 hours.
  • Preheat your smoker. Prepare your smoker for indirect cooking at 225 degrees F.
  • Smoke the turkey. Remove the turkey breast from the marinade and place it directly on the grill grates. Close the lid and smoke at 225 degrees F for about 2 hours, or until the internal temperature reads 150 degrees F (whichever happens first.)
  • Finish cooking. Increase the temperature of your smoker to around 500 degrees F. Continue to cook the turkey for 5-8 minutes per side or until the exterior is nice and caramelized and the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
  • Rest, slice, and serve. Remove the turkey to a plate and cover with foil. The carry-over heat will continue to cook the turkey for a few minutes while it rests. Thinly slice the turkey breasts and serve.


Calories: 529kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 113g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 315mg | Sodium: 211mg | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

**This post was originally published April 2018. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

smoked turkey breast recipeMarinated Smoked Turkey Breast



Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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Recipe Rating

Reader Reviews

72 Reviews

  1. Jay says:

    This was excellent. As a person who is trying to watch my salt intake/blood pressure I wished it were a little less salty. So the next time I make it, and I will, I’ll try reduced sodium soy sauce.

  2. Thomas says:

    Best turkey I’ve ever had, hands down.

  3. Rick says:

    Going to try this very soon. Do you recommend a rub in addition to the marinade?

  4. John says:

    LOVE this recipe, made it several times. Always comes out perfect. So much so that it’s been requested for Christmas Eve. One problem, it’s -6 degrees with -40 wind chill and there’s no way I’m trying to smoke in this weather. Can this be done in a roasting pan in the oven? Then I can sear in my cast iron pan.

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      Yes! Follow the recipe as written!

  5. Ross McCormick says:

    Thinking about cooking a 6 lb skin on bone in breast in the same manner as your cider brined turkey which I made for Thanksgiving but with this marinade. I bought some of the Hook’s Midnight rub to try the sticky steak bites but have not used it yet. Wondering if the Midnight rub might taste good as a rub on top of this marinade – should give it a nice color too. Any thoughts?

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      That’ll probably be great! Hook’s products are all amazing!

      1. Ross McCormick says:

        Great – thanks for the advice! – what’s the max this cut can marinate? Last question (c;