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posted October 31, 2022

The Best Smoked Turkey Breast

This smoked turkey breast is not only flavorful, but juicy to boost. Cider-brined turkey breast combined with a sweet and savory sweet rub makes for a turkey breast that is just as good for a weekday dinner as it is served on a special occasion.

Sliced turkey breast on a plate next to brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes with text overlay - Smoked Turkey Breast.

Smoked Turkey Breast

This recipe is for (no bias here) the best smoked turkey breast you’ll ever have. We begin with a delicious apple cider brine, season with my KILLER turkey rub, and finish up with a few hours in the smoker. These three elements combine to bring you a tender, juicy turkey breast that is like no other. Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself!

Smoking a turkey breast also infuses the turkey with amazing smoky flavor. Between the brine, seasoning, and the smoke, you can guarantee that this turkey will taste completely incredible. It’s also a great option if you’re wanting a delicious holiday meal but you’re only cooking for a few people.

This recipe calls for a boneless turkey breast, but you could also cook it with bone in turkey breast. It might be easier to find one over the other, but if you can find a boneless turkey breast over a bone in turkey breast, go with the boneless.

Apple cider being poured over a turkey breast.

Smoked Turkey Breast Brine

Let’s take a moment to talk about the turkey breast brine in this recipe. This isn’t your mama’s turkey brine. No, no. It’s packed with so many amazing ingredients with the main goal of adding flavor, moisture, and tenderness to your turkey breast.

Make sure you have the following on hand prior to making this brine.

  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder

Turkey breast being seasoned with Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub.

Smoked Turkey Breast Rub

When seasoning this turkey breast, there are two great rub options to try:

1. Sweet Rub

I find that a good sweet rub is best to compliment the apple cider brine and smoke flavor.

If you like that sweet heat BBQ flavor, you can go with my homemade sweet rub. It combines 8 ingredients (including brown sugar and smoked paprika) that never overpowers the flavor of the meat. You can make your own Sweet Rub at home by following my recipe on this site.

For those of you who have been long-time Hey Grill Hey followers, you likely know how often I use this sweet rub. It’s my go-to, and one that I’m happy to share with my friends. If you want to stock up on this great rub, you can purchase my Signature Sweet Rub from Patio Provisions. We also sell 2-pound refill bags so you never have to worry about running out!

2. Turkey Rub

If you want to combine BBQ and traditional turkey flavors, I highly recommend my new Smoked Turkey Rub Recipe. It’s got BBQ zing with a great addition of traditional turkey herbs and spices. I think it’s pretty bomb!

Seasoned turkey breast on the grill grates of a smoker.

How to Smoke a Turkey Breast

Guys, smoking turkey breast only requires 4 steps; it’s so easy! This is one that you can’t mess up. It’s a good one to try when you’re ready to branch out from simple turkey, and you want to try something that takes a little more time and effort. Here’s how to smoke a turkey breast:

  1. Brine the turkey. Whisk all ingredients for the brine in a bowl. Submerge the turkey breast in the brine, and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.
  2. Add some flavor! Remove the turkey from the brine, and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle the turkey breast with my Best Sweet Rub Recipe or my Smoked Turkey Rub. You can also purchase my Signature Sweet Rub pre-made and delivered straight to your door from Patio Provisions.
  3. Put that turkey in some smoke. Get your smoker going at 275 degrees F. You can use whatever wood you have on hand, but apple wood goes great with this turkey breast (it compliments the cider brine perfectly!). Smoke for 3 hours, or until the internal temp of the turkey breast reaches 165 degrees F with an internal thermometer.
  4. Rest and enjoy. Remove the turkey breast from the smoker, cover it with foil, and rest for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

How Long to Smoke a Turkey Breast

It will take approximately 3 hours to fully smoke a turkey breast when your smoker is consistently running at 275 degrees F. Keep the ol’ meat thermometer on hand (I used my instant-read thermometer for this smoke) and pull the turkey breast off the smoker when the internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey breast reaches 165 degrees F.

The FDA recommends turkey breast be cooked to a minimum temperature of 165 degrees F, and for this turkey breast, that’s the exact temperature you want to be watching for. The turkey will come off safely cooked and beautifully moist.

Sliced turkey breast on a plate next to brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes.

More Smoked Turkey Recipes

It’s turkey season, baby! Turkey for me, turkey for you! And yes, I would highly consider eating turkey in my big brown shoe. Not only is turkey the quintessential main course for Thanksgiving, but it’s great on Christmas, and for Sunday dinner.

And with Hey Grill Hey by your side, you can make a different turkey for each occasion, and each one will come out bursting with flavor and perfectly cooked. Check out more smoked turkey recipes below:

Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

Smoking a turkey breast for your family should be easy, and Hey Grill Hey is here to help! Here at Hey Grill Hey, we’re in the business of helping 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 here on my website (browse the Homepage for inspiration) on InstagramYouTube, or our Facebook Page.

This post was originally published in November 2019. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

Smoked and sliced cider brined turkey breast lined up on a wooden cutting board.

The Best Smoked Turkey Breast

Susie Bulloch (heygrillhey.com)
Smoked Turkey Breast is flavorful and oh-so juicy! Cider brined turkey breast combined with a savory turkey rub or sweet rub make for a killer turkey breast.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 3 hrs
Brining Time : 8 hrs
Total Time : 11 hrs 15 mins
Servings : 6 people
Calories : 93.9kcal

Video

Ingredients
 

  • 1 4-5 pounds boneless turkey breast (fresh, not previously brined)
  • 1 Tablespoon Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub (or Turkey Rub (recipes in notes))

Cinder Brine

  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder

Instructions

  • Make the brine. Combine all ingredients for the brine in a large bowl and whisk until the sugar and salt dissolve.
  • Brine the turkey breast. Submerge the turkey breast in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.
  • Preheat. Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees F. Apple wood goes great with this meat to compliment the apple cider.
  • Season. Remove the turkey breast from the brine and pat dry. Sprinkle the turkey breast on all sides with Sweet Rub or Turkey Rub.
  • Smoke. Place the turkey breast on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for approximately 3 hours or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees F.
  • Rest and enjoy. Remove the turkey from the smoker. Cover lightly with foil, let rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 93.9kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.45g | Protein: 1.21g | Fat: 0.73g | Saturated Fat: 0.28g | Cholesterol: 0.09mg | Sodium: 14.87mg | Potassium: 226.23mg | Fiber: 1.37g | Sugar: 11.85g | Vitamin A: 194.6IU | Vitamin C: 2.22mg | Calcium: 92.85mg | Iron: 2.95mg
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