If you want to switch up your usual smoked turkey recipes, you have to try my smoked turkey breast smothered in a garlic herb melted butter sauce. This recipe leaves you with an incredibly juicy turkey breast that is bursting with a delicious smoky flavor.
You can smoke a turkey breast on any smoker, but I prefer using my Traeger pellet grill. I’ve also included a technique for those with ovens only. If you’re looking for additional recipes that are simple to make on a grill or smoker, check out Chicken Skewers or Greek Chicken Souvlaki.
What You Need To Smoke A Turkey Breast?
You need three main ingredients to make the best-smoked turkey breast recipe.
Add extra flavor to your smoked turkey by drizzling it with a delicious Turkey Gravy.
1. The Turkey Breast
First things first, you need a boneless turkey breast. If you can only find a bone-in turkey breast, you can debone it yourself. Cooking a turkey breast with the bone in will require a longer cooking time.
You can also use a frozen turkey breast, but the quality won’t be as great. These turkey breasts will have a tenderized texture but will lack that signature meaty flavor.
If you can only find a frozen turkey breast, make sure to use more spices in your turkey rub, like onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper. You can also use more melted butter to ensure the meat retains more moisture.
2. The Turkey Rub
This is where virtually all of the flavor in your smoked turkey breast comes from.
My turkey breast dry rub recipe only requires kosher salt and black pepper. The rest of the flavor comes from the roasted garlic bulb, unsalted butter, rosemary, sage, and thyme.
If you cannot find garlic bulbs, you can use garlic powder as part of your dry rub. Add a dash of brown sugar to balance out the savory, earthy flavors.
You can use garlic salt instead of salt for this dry rub. Some of my friends also like adding a dash of smoked paprika to their dry rub.
Another trick I like to use is drizzling the smoked turkey breast with olive oil and melted butter to give it a mix of two delicious flavors.
3. A Traeger Pellet Grill (Or Any Pellet Grill)
I essentially made a Traeger smoked turkey breast recipe with my Traeger pellet grill. You can use any pellet grill that you’d like, and I even included a tutorial for oven cooking.
What Is The Best Wood To Use For Smoking Turkey Breast?
Cherry wood is known for its mild, slightly sweet, and fruity flavor. It complements turkey breast beautifully, adding a subtle, smoky-sweet essence without overpowering the meat’s natural taste.
Then, you also get apple wood, which offers a mild and subtly sweet smoke flavor with a hint of fruitiness. This wood is versatile and pairs exceptionally well with turkey breast.
And finally, you also have to try some hickory. It is a classic choice for smoking meats, including turkey breast, and pairs wonderfully with most turkey rub recipes. It provides a stronger, robust smoky flavor that can be a bit more intense than fruit woods.
What Is The Best Form Of Wood To Use?
When it comes to the form of wood to use for smoking, wood chips are the most popular choice.
They are small, easy to handle, and they ignite quickly, making them ideal for smoking poultry. They produce a consistent and controllable amount of smoke, which is crucial for achieving the perfect flavor without overwhelming the meat.
Wood pellets are compressed sawdust that comes in various flavors, including cherry, apple, and hickory.
They are an excellent choice for those who prefer a set-it-and-forget-it approach, as they are compatible with a pellet smoker.
These smokers automate the process by feeding the pellets into the fire, ensuring consistent and controlled smoke and temperature throughout the smoking session.
How To Smoke A Turkey Breast On A Pellet Grill
1. Preheat the smoker to 250 degrees. Begin by seasoning both sides of the turkey evenly. Sprinkle each seasoning one at a time over the turkey, starting with the salt.
2. Place the turkey on the smoker and cook for approximately 1 ½ hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees.
3. Meanwhile, in a small oven-safe dish, combine the sticks of butter with fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme. Place this dish in the smoker alongside the turkey breast, allowing it to smoke uncovered.
4. Once the turkey reaches 150 degrees, remove it from the smoker and place it in a foil boat.
5. Remove the rosemary and thyme from the butter mixture. Blend the remaining butter mixture until smooth, then pour it over the turkey in the foil boat. Finish by wrapping the turkey securely in foil.
Give this turkey breast recipe a try, and make sure to check out more turkey recipes I have on my site. I am especially obsessed with my Air Fryer Turkey Burgers Recipe.
How To Make This Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe In An Oven
To make my smoked turkey breast recipe inside an oven, you can use two methods. The first is to still use the chips for the process and the second is to use liquid smoke.
Smoked Turkey Breast With Wood Pellets
To smoke turkey breast inside an oven, you can add some smoking chips to the bottom of the oven inside an oven-proof dish lined with aluminum foil. The smoking chips will infuse the turkey breast with smoky flavors, similar to how a smoker would.
Smoked Turkey Breast Flavor With Liquid Smoke
You can also use liquid smoke to smoke turkey breast. You can incorporate the liquid smoke in the melted herb butter or brush the turkey with a teaspoon or two. Just be careful of this technique as the liquid smoke has a very overpowering flavor.
Tips And Tricks To Make My Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe
- When smoking a turkey breast, you must continue until it has an internal temperature of 160°F (72°C) after all the cooking time has elapsed. Use an instant-read thermometer or digital meat thermometer for the most accurate results.
- If you are making smoked turkey breast that still has a bone in it, the meat will take longer to cook. Arguably, this cut creates more flavorful meat because it retains more moisture. If you are going to smoke the turkey breast without a bone, the smoking time is shorter.
- You can use this smoked turkey recipe and technique to smoke a whole turkey. Remember that the cooking time will have to be majorly adjusted.
- If you want to skip the blending step, simply pour the butter over the smoked turkey breast without blending. Just make sure not to eat the herb stems! They’re not too enjoyable and completely ruin the turkey breast.
- Store any leftover smoked turkey breast in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. You can also store your turkey breast in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To present your beautifully smoked turkey breast, place the smooth side of the turkey down when putting it in the foil boat and dressing it with butter. You’ll want to set it in the pellet grill just like this as well.
FAQs For Making The Best Smoked Turkey Breast
Why is my smoked turkey breast dry?
Overcooking might be the reason. To ensure juiciness, strive for an internal temperature of 160°F (72°C). A digital meat thermometer can be your guide. Keep in mind that smaller turkey breasts cook faster. Plus, keeping the skin on aids in preserving moisture during smoking.
What’s the Perfect Side Dish for Your Smoked Turkey Breast?
The ideal companions for your juicy smoked turkey breast are velvety mashed potatoes, colorful roasted vegetables, a dash of tangy cranberry sauce, and a crisp green salad.
How Long to Smoke Turkey Breast at 225 Degrees?
At 225 degrees, your turkey breast should be smoked for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes to achieve that perfect golden finish.
Smoked Garlic Herb Turkey Breast
- Aluminum Foil
- Meat Thermometer
- 20 Ounce Turkey Breast
- 2 Sticks of Butter (1 cup)
- 3 Sage Sprig
- 3 Thyme Sprigs
- 3 Rosemary Sprigs
- 1 Bulb of Garlic, peeled
- 1 Tbsp Coarse Salt
- 1 Tbsp Coarse Black Pepper
- Beginby preheating your smoker to 250 degrees.
- Start the seasoning process by ensuring both sides of the turkey receive an even coating. To achieve this, sprinkle each seasoning separately over the turkey, commencing with the coarse salt.
- Place the seasoned turkey on the preheated smoker. Allow it to cook for approximately 1 ½ hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees.
- In the meantime, prepare a small oven-safe dish and combine the sticks of butter with fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme. Position this dish in the smoker alongside the turkey breast, leaving it uncovered. The goal is to infuse the butter with the aromatic smoke flavors.
- Once your turkey hits the 150-degree mark, carefully remove it from the smoker. Transfer it to a foil boat to prepare for the final steps.
- Remove the rosemary and thyme sprigs from the butter mixture. Then, blend the remaining butter mixture until it achieves a smooth, harmonious texture.
- Drizzle the herb-infused butter generously over the turkey in the foil boat, ensuring it's well-covered. To complete the process, wrap the turkey securely in foil, sealing in all the flavorful goodness.