posted March 19, 2020
Marinated Smoked Turkey Breast
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 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!
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.
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
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 YouTube, Instagram, or our Facebook Page.
Marinated Smoked Turkey Breast
- 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.
**This post was originally published April 2018. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.
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