Smoked Turkey Breast


I didn't feel like doing a whole turkey so I opted for one of those turkey breast only packages.  This one weighed in at 7.3 pounds pre-cook weight.

Click on any pic to see the full sized pic.

Pics and Notes



Instruments are ready.  The turkey breast has been rinsed and excess fat trimmed off.



Using poultry shears, I cut down the middle of the breast bone to split the breast cage into two pieces.  I also cut out remnants of rib bones left attached.  The turkey breasts are immersed in a cooled brine then covered and put into the fridge.  Later, I will turn the breasts for even soaking.

I used brine recipe #1.  Click for  the recipe.



After about 16 hours in the fridge, the turkey breasts are removed from the brine, then a quick rinse with cold water and dried with paper towels.  Next I rubbed the turkey breasts with peanut oil then sprinkled a light dusting of Wild Willy's rub on the turkey breasts.  Massage the Wild Willy's rub into the peanut oil.



Pic #10 was taken about 1 hour into the cooking session.
Pic #11 was taken just before the breast came off the WSM.
Pic #12 was taken before being covered with foil for resting.  I use 3 to 4 layers of foil, top and bottom, to prevent heat loss.


Lets eat!

Cooking Record
Time BG TG Lid Vent Comment
BG=Bottom Grate temp.  TG=Top Grate temp.  Lid=Lid temp.  Vent is the setting of each bottom vent.
The top vent is always open 100%.
1:35 PM 100% Assemble the WSM.  3/4 ring of charcoal with some white oak chunks.  Fill the water pan.  Air temp is 32*
1:55 PM 215* 100% Temperature check.
2:10 PM 237* 100% Temperature check.
2:30 PM 264* 100% Temperature check.  TG thermometer connected
2:44 PM 255* 271* 100% Turkey breasts go on.  BG thermometer is connected.  Air temp is 36*.
3:35 PM 248* 251* 275* 100% Temperature check.  Took one pic.  See Pic #10 above.
4:35 PM 264* 276* 305* 100% Add 1 qt. of water.  Spray both breasts with apple juice.
5:05 PM 281* 302* 329*   50% Add 3 small pieces of hickory.  Spray top turkey breast with apple juice.  Internal temp of the top breast is 160*.
5:30 PM 277* 312* 334*   50% Add 1 qt. of water.  Spray top breast with apple juice.
5:45 PM 249* 300* 320*     0% Turkey breasts are done.  Internal temp of the top breast is 190*.  190* is way to high.
6:00 PM After resting for 15 minutes one of the turkey breasts is sliced for dinner. The breast should have rested longer but everyone wanted to eat now.
Even though the top breast reached an internal temp of 190*; it was not dry.  Brining helped prevent it from drying out from my over cooking.

Sesame Oil On some other turkey breasts,  I rubbed them with sesame oil before putting on a light coat of dry rub.  Good flavor.
Skin The skin on these first turkey breasts was not as crispy as I like.  I didn't expect crispy crackling skin like when cooked in the oven but had hoped for something crispier.

A brief time in a very hot oven might crisp the skin or cooking at higher temperatures in the WSM might help.  Just be careful not to dry out the turkey meat.

Top of Page Home