Smoked Turkey Breast

Thanksgiving is fast approaching! I can’t believe it is the end of November already! Where did 2014 go? I love having our family and friends over for our Thanksgiving meal. I normally roast a turkey in the oven, but this year Jon is taking on a smoked turkey! That’s right! The pressure is off of me and on Jon this year. We had a little practice run with this smoked turkey breast. It was super delicious! I couldn’t get over how moist and flavorful this turkey turned out to be. I’m not sure we’ll have turkey any other way.

The nice thing about buying a turkey breast, is that it is small, easy to handle, and good for small groups of people. We had five people eating and we still had a little leftover for sandwiches the next day. I’m starting to get hungry just writing and thinking about this smoked turkey. I can’t hardly wait another week to have this smoked turkey!

First we started out by brining the turkey overnight. This really helped to add flavor and keep the turkey moist. We then set up our charcoal grill for indirect heating to slowly smoke the turkey. The golden brown color of the turkey was truly amazing. I have never had a turkey come out with that nice of color before, absolutely gorgeous.

We used a 5-6 lb turkey breast.

For the Brine Solution:

½ cup salt
½ cup sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ onion roughly chopped
2 cloves smashed garlic
1 apple roughly chopped
¼ cup black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
½ cup orange juice
Water

Combine the brining ingredients, except the water, in a container large enough for the turkey to fit into. We used a large stock pot that has a lid. You want enough room in the container for the turkey to be completely submerged in the liquid.

Fill the container with cold water. Be sure not to overfill the container, the turkey will cause displacement of the water and cause it to rise. Stir the solution.

Submerge the turkey into the brine solution. If your turkey isn’t completely under water, add more water.

Cover with a lid, and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the turkey from the solution. Discard the solution. Rinse the turkey under cold water. (Don’t worry you won’t lose any of the flavor.) Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.

Next, make your seasoning mix:
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
¼ tsp white ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground paprika

Combine the seasoning mix in a bowl and stir until combined.

Rub the turkey down with the seasoning mix. Make sure to cover all areas generously. I use all of the seasoning.  Be sure to get the seasoning under the skin too.

Set up the smoker/grill for indirect heating. We placed a disposable pan under the turkey with some water to help the bird stay moist. Heat the grill to 325-350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Smoke the turkey until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit of its thickest part. Plan to cook the bird 15-18 minutes per pound of turkey.  The cooking time can vary, so be sure to check the internal temperature of the turkey for best results.  Check the bird’s temperature every 30 minutes so you don’t over cook. Add hot coals and wood chunks carefully as needed to keep a constant heating temperature of 325-350 degrees Fahrenheit. Baste the turkey after you check its internal temperature every 30 minutes.

Once the turkey has reached proper temperature, remove from heat and carefully wrap in aluminum foil. (The turkey will be hot, so be careful and use caution.) Allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes.

Carve the meat from the bones and cut into slices. Serve with your favorite holiday sides. May I suggest Mashed Potatoes or Savory Sweet Potato Casserole?

Ingredients and Instructions:

We used a 5-6 lb turkey breast.

For the Brine Solution:

½ cup salt
½ cup sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ onion roughly chopped
2 cloves smashed garlic
1 apple roughly chopped
¼ cup black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
½ cup orange juice
Water

Combine the brining ingredients, except the water, in a container large enough for the turkey to fit into. We used a large stock pot that has a lid. You want enough room in the container for the turkey to be completely submerged in the liquid.

Fill the container with cold water. Be sure not to overfill the container, the turkey will cause displacement of the water and cause it to rise. Stir the solution.

Submerge the turkey into the brine solution. If your turkey isn’t completely under water, add more water.

Cover with a lid, and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the turkey from the solution. Discard the solution. Rinse the turkey under cold water. (Don’t worry you won’t lose any of the flavor.) Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.

Next, make your seasoning mix:
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
¼ tsp white ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground paprika

Combine the seasoning mix in a bowl and stir until combined.

Rub the turkey down with the seasoning mix. Make sure to cover all areas generously. I use all of the seasoning.

Set up the smoker/grill for indirect heating. We placed a disposable pan under the turkey with some water to help the bird stay moist. Heat the grill to 325-350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Smoke the turkey until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit at its thickest part. You want to plan to cook about 15-18 minutes for each pound of turkey.  This time can vary, so be sure to use a thermometer to check the bird’s internal temperature for the best results.  Check the bird’s temperature every 30 minutes so you don’t over cook. Add hot coals and wood chunks carefully as needed to keep a constant heating temperature of 325-350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Baste the turkey after you check its internal temperature every 30 minutes.

Once the turkey has reached proper temperature, remove from heat and carefully wrap in aluminum foil. (The turkey will be hot, so be careful and use caution.) Allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes.

Carve the meat from the bones and cut into slices. Serve with your favorite holiday sides. May I suggest Mashed Potatoes or Savory Sweet Potato Casserole?

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