Prepare the perfect entree for any occasion with his Smoked Turkey Breast recipe. It’s juicy, loaded with flavor, and pairs perfectly with various sides!

This recipe costs around $26.48 to make. The recipe serves eight for about $3.31 per serving.

A Smoked Turkey Breast on a wooden cutting board where half of it has been carved into slices.

Smoked Turkey Breast

I love turkey because it’s flavorful, easy to prepare, and super good for you. It’s even leaner than other types of meat, making it perfect for anyone who wants to prepare nutritious yet truly delicious meals at home. Because of my love for turkey, this Smoked Turkey Breast recipe is one of my favorites.

But I don’t just love this recipe because I love turkey. I love this recipe because it’s simple and frustration-free, and I can do so many different things with the turkey once I’ve smoked it. 

While I love eating it when it’s freshly smoked with some of our favorite sides, such as air fryer green beans. I also make sandwiches and prepare homemade turkey salad with leftovers.

If you’re looking for a simple way to make a delicious meal, follow along with this recipe. You will have plenty of turkey breast to go around, and you can do a lot with it, whether you want to serve it with sides or use it in other recipes. 

You can also make a spatchcock version of this Smoked Turkey Breast recipe if you want it to cook even faster.

What You’ll Love About This Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

  • Easy Preparation: The brining and smoking process takes some time, but if you prepare for it, you will find it simple. Whether you are an experienced chef or new to smoking meat, you will be able to execute this recipe. 
  • Infusion of Smoky Flavor: There is nothing better than smoked meat. This Smoked Turkey Breast has a distinct smoky flavor that enhances the meat. 
  • Flavorful Brine: The brine combines apple juice, cider vinegar, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, onion powder, and paprika to create a tender, juicy, and mouthwatering turkey that is rich and succulent. 
Neat slices of the Smoked Turkey Breast recipe on a cutting board.

Smoke Turkey Breast Ingredients and Estimated Cost

Per Serving Cost: $3.31

Recipe Cost: $26.48

  • 5-6 pounds bone-in, skin-on Turkey Breast – $21.95
  • 2 cups water – $0.00
  • 4 cups apple juice – $2.00
  • 1 cup cider vinegar – $0.34
  • ½ cup salt – $0.24
  • ½ cup brown sugar – $0.28
  • 3-4 garlic cloves – $0.15
  • 2 Tablespoons peppercorns – $1.34
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder – $0.10
  • 2 teaspoons paprika – $0.08

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The recipe cost is calculated by the amounts needed for the recipe. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the pricing for this recipe in September 2023.

All of the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

How To Smoke A Turkey Breast:

***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.

  1. First, bring the brining ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan and then stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. 
  2. Next, add the turkey breast into ice-cold water and brining mixture in a brining bucket, ensuring that the brine covers the turkey.
  3. Set the turkey brine in the fridge overnight.
  4. Then remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry. Let it dry and come to room temperature for thirty minutes before seasoning with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. 
  5. Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F and then place the turkey breast on the smoker grates, breast side up. Smoke the turkey breast for three to four hours. 
  6. Finally, remove the breast from the smoker and rest for ten minutes before slicing into ½-inch thick pieces and serving. 

A picture collage showing how to make this recipe.

Traeger Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe Variations

  • Citrus Brine: Include citrus zest or slices (lemon, orange) for a citrusy infusion to your brine. 
  • Rubs: Apply a dry rub to the turkey breast after brining for added flavor. Consider using a barbecue rub, a Cajun spice mix, or a Mediterranean herb blend.
  • Wood for Smoking: Use different wood pellets or chips for smoking. For example, hickory for a robust smokiness, applewood for a sweeter note, or cherry wood for a fruity undertone.
  • Different Cuts of Meat: Instead of a bone-in, skin-on turkey breast, you can try this recipe with boneless turkey breast, thighs, or even a whole turkey. Note that cooking times will vary. 
  • Sweeteners: You can substitute brown sugar with alternatives like honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar for a different sweetness profile.

Smoke Turkey Breast Storage Tips

SERVE: Smoked turkey pairs wonderfully with various side dishes, sauces, or condiments, such as cranberry sauce, turkey gravy, or even a homemade barbecue sauce.

STORE: After your smoked turkey has cooled to room temperature, wrap it tightly in plastic or aluminum foil to prevent air exposure, which can cause it to dry out. If possible, place the wrapped turkey breast in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. Store it in the refrigerator to keep it safe and maintain its flavor. Store for 4-5 days.

FREEZE: Wrap the cooled turkey breast in plastic or aluminum foil, ensuring it’s tightly sealed to prevent freezer burn. Place the wrapped turkey in a freezer-safe container or a resealable freezer bag. Label the container with the date for reference. Frozen smoked turkey can be kept for up to three months.

THAW: Transfer the turkey to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw slowly over 24 to 48 hours. This gradual thawing process helps maintain the turkey’s texture and flavor.

If you need to expedite the thawing process, you can use the cold water method. Place the sealed turkey in a leak-proof bag and submerge it in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey thaws. Never thaw smoked turkey at room temperature, as this can promote bacterial growth.

REHEAT: Preheat your oven to around 325°F (163°C). Place the sliced turkey in an oven-safe dish, cover it with aluminum foil to prevent drying, and add a little broth or water to create steam. Heat it in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe FAQs

What to Do with Leftover Smoked Turkey Breast

I recommend trying this recipe for Leftover Turkey Soup. My family and I look forward to this soup every year around Thanksgiving, but now I’m making it more often because of this Smoked Turkey Recipe. You can also prepare a Turkey Gravy from scratch, adding chunks of turkey breast to it. And we can’t forget about the classic Leftover Turkey Sandwiches.

What to Serve with Your Smoked Turkey Breast

●      Grilled Corn in Foil – This is one of the easiest sides to make! It’s such a simple corn recipe that you will return for more. The corn goes great with the smoked turkey and will have a slightly smoked taste from the grill.
●      Air Fryer Green Beans – We LOVE these green beans. I honestly won’t make them any other way now most of the time because this recipe is so simple and leaves me with the tastiest green beans.
●      Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes – You can’t go wrong with these creamy, wholesome mashed potatoes, which will taste even better with homemade turkey gravy.

How long does it take to smoke a turkey breast at 225?

Be prepared to smoke the meat for a minimum of three hours. However, your turkey breast may need up to four hours to cook thoroughly in the smoker. Check the internal temperature and make sure it reaches 160 degrees F before you remove the turkey from the smoker.

How do you keep a turkey breast from drying out when smoking?

It’s all about the brine! Brining the turkey overnight helps create a tender and juicy turkey. The turkey absorbs the liquid to help keep it moist and from drying out during the smoking process.

Slices of the Traeger Smoked Turkey Breast on a cutting board.

More Smoked Recipes

A close up of Smoke Turkey Breast on a wooden cutting board.
5 from 5 votes

Smoked Turkey Breast

Recipe Cost $ $26.48
Serving Cost $ $3.31
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 16 hours 20 minutes
8 people
Prepare the perfect entree for any occasion with his Smoked Turkey Breast recipe. It’s juicy, loaded with flavor, and pairs perfectly with various sides!

Equipment

  • large saucepan
  • mixing spoon
  • Brining bucket or Large Stockpot
  • Smoker grill

Ingredients
 
 

FOR THE TURKEY:

  • 5-6 pound bone-in skin-on Turkey Breast
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • Coarse kosher salt

TURKEY BRINE:

  • 2 cups cold water
  • 4 cups apple juice unfiltered
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3- 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons peppercorns
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika

Instructions

MAKE TURKEY BRINE:

  • Combine all the brining ingredients in a large saucepan, boil, and stir until sugar and salt dissolve.

BRINE TURKEY:

  • Add the turkey breast into ice-cold water and brine mixture in a brining bucket or large stockpot.
  • Make sure the brine covers the turkey.
  • Set in the refrigerator overnight.

PREP TURKEY:

  • Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry. Allow to dry and come to room temperature for 30 minutes on the kitchen counter.
  • Season the turkey breast with coarse kosher salt and cracked black pepper.

PREP SMOKER:

  • Bring your smoker to 225 degrees F.

SMOKE TURKEY:

  • Place the turkey breast directly on the smoker grates, breast side up, and smoke for 3-4 hours until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F in the thickest part of the breast.
  • Remove the breast from the smoker and rest for 10 minutes.
  • Cut the breast from the bone and cut it into ½-inch thick pieces and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Preheat your smoker in advance. It should reach 225 degrees F before you put your turkey on it.
  • When placing your turkey breast on the grates, allow the skin side to face the ceiling/sky, with the other side touching the smoker grates.
  • Be prepared to smoke the meat for a minimum of three hours. However, your turkey breast may need up to four hours to cook thoroughly in the smoker. Check the internal temperature and make sure it reaches 160 degrees F before you remove the turkey from the smoker.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5pound | Calories: 480kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 7601mg | Potassium: 231mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 261IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg

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5 Comments

  1. This smoked turkey breast was incredibly delicious!! Perfect for lunches during the week.

  2. Sara Welch says:

    Enjoyed this for dinner last night and it was a savory success! Light yet hearty, and packed with flavor! The best way to enjoy turkey breast, indeed!

  3. Absolutely delicious! Full of flavor and the entire family love it!

  4. The recipe was absolutely delicious and a definite winner! Cannot wait to make this again! Thank you!

  5. This is incredibly scrumptious. Love the texture and flavor. Definitely trying this again.