How do you smoke your turkey breast

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by schlotz, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    One of the things I haven't got around to is smoking a bone-in turkey breast.  Definitely want to brine so the first step is to decide what brine make up I want to use. Looking for ideas here :)  Next, I'm looking for is a rub profile that isn't necessarily derived from those usually suited for pork or beef. i.e. containing paprika, cayenne and a bunch of sugar. Again, looking for ideas :)

    What flavor profiles do you use in smoking turkey breasts?
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Juicy Smoke-tastic Chicken and Turkey

    Here is a Brine and Rub that is a Favorite with members of my Family. I like Apple and/or Hickory with Chicken or Turkey. We determine doneness by measuring the Internal Temp (IT) in the thickest part of the Breast and Thigh, 165* and 175*F respectively. For a One Step Smoke with Crispy Skin the birds have to be smoked at a temp of 300-325°F. You can figure about 15 minutes per pound to reach the desired IT. Electric smokers usually only go to 275°F. With these you will be smoking at the most common temp range of 225-275°F. You can figure on about 25 minutes per pound cook time + or - 5 minutes depending what part of the range you choose. Usually the skin will not crisp so if the skin is not Crisp enough when the IT is 145*F in the Breast, put the Bird in a 425*F Oven to finish cooking to 165* and Crisp the Skin...JJ

    Families Favorite Brine

    1/2C Kosher Salt

    2T Paprika

    2T Gran. Garlic

    2T Gran. Onion

    2T Dry Thyme

    2T Black Pepper

    1C Vinegar (Any)

    1-11/2Gal Cold Water to cover Chix

    1/2C Brown Sugar, Optional

    1T Red Pepper Flake Optional

    Mix well and Soak the Bird over night or up to 24 Hours.

    Remove the Chix, rinse if desired and pat dry with paper towels.

    Place in an open container in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours for the Skin to dry.

    This will give a crispier skin when Smokng or Roasting...

    Mild but Wild Chix Rub

    2T Paprika (I use Smoked if I'm just Grilling)

    1T Gran. Garlic

    1T Gran. Onion

    2tsp Bell's Poultry Seasoning or other

    1tsp Ground Coriander Seed (2-3tsp Whole seed, fresh ground)

    1tsp Black Pepper

    1tsp Mustard Powder

    1tsp Allspice

    1/2tsp Cumin

    Optional: 1T Kosher Salt * Leave out if you Brined the Bird!

    Mix well. You can put directly on the skin or mix with Butter, Oil or Bacon Grease and rub on and under the Skin.

    Place a pan with some veggies under the Turkey to make some Gravy. Here's a recipe. 

    Smokey Turkey Gravy

    1- Lg Onion,

    4-5 Carrots,

    3-4 Ribs Celery

    3-4 Peeled Cloves of Garlic

    Toss them in a pan under the Turkey, and let the whole deal Smoke for one hour,

    THEN add 4-6 Cups Chicken Broth,

    1/2tsp Dry Thyme (4-5 sprigs Fresh)

    1/2tsp Dry Sage (2 sprigs Fresh)

    1-2 ea Bayleaf

    Finish the Smoking process to the IT you want.

    While the Turkey is resting, dump the pan juices, veggies and all into a 2-3Qt Sauce pot and bring the Jus to a boil, lower the heat and simmer 20-30 minutes. Strain out the veggies and let the Jus rest a minute or so for the Fat to rise. Skim off the bulk of the fat then using strips of paper towel laid on top of the Jus then quickly removed, take off the last little bit of fat.Bring the Jus back to a simmer. Mix 2T Flour and 4T Chicken Broth for each Cup of defatted Jus. Whisk together to make a Slurry with no lumps, add a little additional Broth if needed. Whisk the Slurry into the simmering Jus, bring back to a simmer and cook 5-10 minutes to cook out the flour taste and fully thicken the Gravy. Adjust the seasoning with Salt and Pepper and serve.

    The purpose of Smoking the Vegetable for 1 hour before adding the Broth and Herbs is...The Smoked vegetables Roast in the Dry heat concentrating their Flavors and Sweetness giving the finished Jus a Richer, Deeper, Full Flavor.

    Serve the sliced Turkey with plenty of Gravy and Enjoy...JJ
  4. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

  5. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Thanks Jimmy! Definitely will have to study this a bit more, looks very interesting.  Does the vinegar flavor come through in the final product at all?  Hoping here that it doesn't.

  6. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    At that dilution, the Vinegar is not really part of the flavor. There is no reason you can't add more. Red Wine Vinegar works exceptionally well...JJ
  8. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Jeff has a great buttermilk brine that works really well on turkey. For my poultry, I like to use a good base of kosher salt and coarse black pepper with a topping of Weber kickin' chicken.
  9. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    The Buttermilk brine does sound like something worth trying.  I hadn't got to the second page of Jeff's recipes, good catch! Thanks

  10. I smoked a turkey breast about 2 weeks ago, i only rubbed it down with SPOGR (salt, pepper,onion powder,garlic powder,rosemary) first rubbed down the breast with olive oil, then rubbed it down. smoked it at 250 for about 6-7 very careful not to over cook the bird, it will dry it out.

    Danny Lang
  11. forgot to add that i did not brine because the turkey was alredy enhanced( means that its already brined or soaked in a salt solution) thats why i did not brine.

    Danny Lang
  12. Quick help needed.  Not sure anyone will read this in time put I'll give it a shot.  I have a buddy coming over later today to turn a batch of venison into sausage.  Wants to throw a couple of wild turkey breasts on the smoker while we are working.  My past experience is overnight brine.  Suggestions for something quick that could be thrown on the MES later today?

  13. garyhibbert

    garyhibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I used JJ`s Families Favorite Brine on my last chicken.  Its GREAT!  No vinegar taste and not salty (I rinsed thoroughly after brining).

  14. halfsmoked

    halfsmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    You could try injecting them.
  15. **Quick update.  Made a brine. 

    1/2 Gallon Water

    1/2 Cup Kosher Salt

    1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

    2 T black pepper

    2 T minced garlic

    Juice from Dill Pickle  Jar--2 cups??

    2 wild turkey breasts--Brine and Turkey vacuum sealed in vacuum container 4 hours in fridge.

    Rubbed with CBP and into MES 40 with AMNPS.  Couple hours at 165 then bumped to 225.  Pulled when IT hit 157.

    Best wild turkey I've ever eaten.

    Sorry no pics.  Next time.

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