Recipe: Smoking a Boneless Turkey Breast on Pellet GrillPublished: June 06, 2022
Smoked turkey is really good and surprisingly easy to do. It takes about 45-60 minutes to finish. For this cook we are going to use 1/2 a boneless turkey breast, that we picked up from our local grocery store. In our case the breast has the skin on, so we are going to make it a little crispy
What you will need
|Turkey Breast (Skin on or off)||Seasoning (we prefer something with a little sugar in it)|
|A Smoker (Pellet Grill, Stick Burner, or a charcoal grill)||With seasoning wood|
1. Oil the Breast with Olive Oil
We are going to add a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) to the skin, this will act as both a binder for our seasoning but also will crisp up our skin. So rub the oil on both sides of the breast and the sides as well. I use these smaller sized sheet pans to transport from the kitchen to the grill and back again.
This set is nice since it includes a rack as well as the half sheet pans.
2. Seasoning the Turkey Breast.
Picking the right season isn't all that hard. Pick a seasoning that you like.
If you like foods that have more salt and pepper flavor?
Then use a seasoning that has lots of pepper and salt, generally beef and steak seasoning have salt and pepper.
If you want something a little more sweet, pick something which has brown sugar or a little sugar.
In general pork seasonings fall into this category. Most Poultry seasonings have this as well with a little paprika (I think), this will give the skin of either the pork or the chicken a golden hue. I personally find that I like the color and the taste of this style of seasoning on Poultry (Chicken or Turkey)
For our cook, we are going to go a little sweeter, so that we have similar flavors to Honey roasted turkey. We picked Swine Life Mississippi Grind as our seasoning. Apply a good amount to all sides.
3. Prepare your Pellet Grill
For pellets we used a gourmet blend that included Maple, Hickory and Cherry. Which gave our turkey breast some great flavor. For the initial part of the cook we are going to crank it to 450 degrees. So set your pellet grill to 450 and wait for it come up to temp.
4. Start cooking
Once your grill is up to temp, put your turkey breast on it. I generally try and put it into the center of the grill grate which ends up with a nice even temp cook across the breast. I feel like having it further away from the heat source, and putting a little air between the heat and the meat allows for more smoke to surround the meat, but since heat rises a more even cook.
We are going to cook it for 20 minutes at this temp, to get the skin crispy. If you are using skinless turkey, then you can either skip this cook, or still cook it at 450 to have a shorter cook time.
At this point you want to put a thermometer into a thick part of the breast. You want to make sure that the thermometer is in the upper thick part, to make sure that the thick part is fully cooked. It is important so that you can cook it to the right temp and make sure it stays moist.
5. Lower the Temp
After cooking at 450 for 20 minutes, drop the temp to 350 degrees, we are going to cook at this temp until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
6. Let it rest
After the internal temp reaches 165 degrees, take it off the grill. You must let it rest....you must let it rest.
Because by letting it rest, you let the juices and moisture settle back into the internal part of the meat, and you end up with a moist and better tasting piece of meat. This also allow for the meat to settle down, so that when you cut into it the juices don't just flow out they stay in the meat.
Now comes the best part, taking a bite of the succulent smoked turkey.
What about brining?
You can absolutely brine your turkey, this adds extra moisture, and another opportunity to inject flavor into your turkey.
For this cook we cooked it on indirect heat, so there was a barrier between the meat and the flame. So this breast was completely moist.
But there is a case for brining or even injecting the meat. It is another opportunity to make it moist, and add additional textures and flavor profiles.
All Products used in this cook