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Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

, by Steven Gray, 4 min reading time

Smoked turkey breast is not just bursting with flavour but also incredibly juicy. The combination of a cider-brine and a delectable sweet rub results in a turkey breast that's perfect for both everyday meals and special occasions.

Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

This recipe promises an exceptional smoked turkey breast that's second to none. We kick things off with a delectable apple cider brine, follow it up with my secret weapon, "KILLER" turkey rub, and culminate with a few hours in the smoker. These three components combine to deliver a turkey breast that's tender, juicy, and utterly unforgettable. But don't just take my word for it – try it yourself!

Smoking a turkey breast adds a mesmerising smoky flavour that, in conjunction with the brine and rub, guarantees an extraordinary taste experience. This recipe is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to create a mouthwatering holiday meal, especially if serving a smaller group.

While this recipe is tailored for a boneless turkey breast, it's also possible to use bone-in turkey breast. The availability of one over the other may vary. Still, if you can get a boneless turkey breast, I recommend going with it for simplicity and ease.


  • 1 bone-in turkey breast (about 4–5 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons of your favourite poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Wood chips or chunks (apple or maple wood is recommended)

Cinder Brine Ingredients

  • 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

Smoked Turkey Breast Rub Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Sweet Rub
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust for desired heat)

Instructions on How to Prepare, Rub and Smoke a Turkey Breast Brine

1. Prepare the Turkey Breast Brine

Start by ensuring your turkey breast is fully thawed if frozen. Pat it dry with paper towels.

Gently lift the skin of the turkey breast and rub the softened butter underneath. This will help keep the meat moist and add flavour.

2. Prepare the Smoked Turkey Breast Rub

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, dried thyme, dried rosemary, and cayenne pepper. This mixture will be used as a rub to enhance the flavour of the turkey.

3. Season the Turkey Breast

In another small bowl, mix the poultry seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle this seasoning mixture evenly over the turkey breast, both on the skin and underneath the lifted skin.

4. Preheat the Smoker

Preheat your smoker to a temperature of about 225°F to 250°F (107°C to 121°C). Ensure you have your wood chips or chunks ready for smoking.

5. Smoking the Turkey

Place the turkey breast on the smoker grates once the smoker is at the desired temperature. If your smoker has a water pan, fill it with water to help maintain a moist cooking environment.

Here’s our guide on how to smoke a turkey breast.

6. Add Smoke

Add the wood chips or chunks to the smoker. For turkey, the mild and fruity flavours of apple or maple woodwork wonderfully. Adjust the smoker's vents to maintain a consistent temperature.

7. Monitor the Temperature

Use a meat thermometer to keep an eye on the internal temperature of the turkey breast. The goal is to reach an internal temperature of 71°C (160°F). This should take about two hours.

8. Rest and Slice

  • Once the turkey breast has reached the desired temperature, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for about 15–20 minutes. This allows the juices to be redistributed, ensuring a juicy and flavourful result.
  • Slice the smoked turkey breast, and it's ready to serve. You can enjoy it as is or use it as a delicious addition to sandwiches, salads, or any other dish you prefer.

Adding the Smoked Turkey Breast Rub enhances the flavour and aroma of your smoked turkey breast, making it a truly delectable dish.

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