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Boneless Turkey Breast in MES

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Looking to smoke my first boneless turkey breast this weekend, will need to go look at the label but guessing 4-5# range, doesn't say skinless.


approx time & temp to smoke at?

brine? suggested flavors (thinking more traditional vs bbq flavor, if possible in a smoker, plan on apple or poss cherry chips)



Depending on how this goes, for the 'big day' should I get more boneless, or 'whole' breasts? seems my fam could care less about the rest of the bird & it almost get wasted anyway.


Also going to toss in some sweet potatoes (whole), any other suggested sides? (saw smoked/baked apples & deviled eggs on a PBS show this week, yum!)


any other tips/suggestions?

post #2 of 21

I have never smoked a boneless breast but 250°-275°F should do nicely. Maybe 3 hours to get it done. Now Brine, Rub and Gravy, I know, see below. Check this thread for the Sweet Potatoes... http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/130645/smoked-sweet-potatoes

Sausage Dressing is a must around here...JJ


Sage and Herb Sausage Dressing


2 1/2Lbs Bread, 2 of the large sliced sandwwich loaves.

4C Chicken Broth

1Stk Butter

1 1/2Lbs Breakfast or Country Sausage, 2 Rolls Jimmy Dean is good.

2C Diced Onion, 1Lrg.

2C Diced Celery, 4 big Ribs.

2T Minced Fresh Sage Leaves, small bunch. (1T Dry Sage, rubbed)

1T Fresh Thyme Leaves, 6-8 sprigs. (1tsp Dry Thyme, rubbed)

1T Fresh Rosemary Leaves, Minced (1tsp Dry Rosemary, rubbed)

Salt and Pepper To Taste.


Melt the Butter in a 2Qt Pot. Add the Sausage and brown, breaking up into marble sized chunks.

Add the Onion and Cerlery and saute until tender.

Add the Herbs and saute until fragrant,2-3 minutes.

Add the Chcken Broth bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, 15-20 minutes.

Using a Serrated Knife, cut the bread into 3/4 inch Cubes and place in a large bowl.

Here is where I break with tradition, because my family likes moist dense Dressing as if it came out of the Bird...

Pour the Broth mixture over the bread and mix well.

Pour the Dressing mix in a greased 9 X 13 baking Dish.

Bake at 350°F for 1 hour until hot and top is Brown and Crunchy.

Note: For a lighter Dressing, Dry the Bread Cubes in a 275°F Oven, spread on cookie sheets, toss frequently. To bake, cover the baking dish with foil and bake 30 minutes, Uncover and bake 30 minutes more to Crisp and Brown the top...


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...


Bubba Chix Rub


1/2C Raw Sugar

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

1T Cayenne

1T Gran. Garlic

1T Gran. Onion

1tsp Black Pepper

1tsp Wht Pepper

1tsp Allspice

1tsp Bell's Poultry Seasoning or Thyme


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

Reduce Cayenne to 1 teaspoon if less heat is desired. Add 1T Kosher Salt if the bird is not Brined.


Mild but Wild Turkey Rub


1/4C Raw Sugar

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


Edited by Chef JimmyJ - 11/8/15 at 9:59am
post #3 of 21

@Chef JimmyJ recipes have you covered. The only change I would make to his post is to cut the temp to 225. I have done boneless turkey breasts and they cook a lot faster than you would think so if you lower the temp they will spend some more time in the smoke. I also wrap mine in foil with some butter for the last hour or so and then use the butter for my gravy (you wont get much drippings on just the breasts). 

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks, will work with that! Any suggestions for sugar substitute? just diagnosed diabetic, and trying to cut sugar where I can. Use splenda or other alternatives when I can.

post #5 of 21
Originally Posted by bryanw20 View Post

Thanks, will work with that! Any suggestions for sugar substitute? just diagnosed diabetic, and trying to cut sugar where I can. Use splenda or other alternatives when I can.

For the brine and the rub you can cut sugar entirely. You will loose the slightly sweet flavor but it will still be a good finished product. When I do turkey breast I season with salt and pepper only. 

post #6 of 21
Try some of the ("sweet spicea ") like Cinnamon ,corriander and cloves .

Splenda can be used and with your rub(with the lighter / sweeter Spices) , you can control your sugar .

Be frugal with the spices , they can become overwelming ! Make a small amount and try it on , say , a leg . drool.gif:drool

Have fun and . . .
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I left the sugar out of the brine. Almost the salt too! Oops. Caught it & added, whew.
Thinking of the mild turkey rub, just skip the raw sugar?

Not what I was expecting in the package, but not sure what I thought it was going to be, looks like a loose breast, single, wrapped in a net. Do I need to take that off before smoking?

post #8 of 21

Yes you can leave the net on. 


I noticed on the pack that it is an enhanced breast (cue the boob jokes). You should avoid salt in the rub since the brine and the injections from the factory will add plenty of salt. 

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

Yea, I need to pay more attention in the store =(

I was just excited to see just a breast vs a whole bird, and it was at Aldi's; been pretty impressed with food from them so far. But I think next time i'll get a bone in breast; not sure which is a better deal (price for actual food/pound)


Do I need to remove the net when smoking?

post #10 of 21
I think I'm gonna do a trial run of a boneless breast before turkey day for a wednesday night appetizer with various smoked cheeses. May have to abbrevite the brine and smoke Sunday though since i have to travel for the next 2 weeks leading up to turkey week. I look forward to seeing how yours turns out.
post #11 of 21

I don't use the Sugar in my Brine and you certainly can leave it out of the Rub with little impact. You have to have some salt, 1/4C per gallon for the brine to work, otherwise it is just a Marinade and only the surface 1/2 inch will get any flavor. You can leave the net on for a uniform shape. Some of it will stick to the meat but let the breast rest, 20-30 minutes to solidify before trying to remove it to carve. That is just the two lobes of a whole breast boned out and looking at it I have to agree that 225°F will be a better choice for max smoke flavor...JJ

post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 

Forgot to photo it this morning, but in at 845a @ 225, cherry dust in the AMPS (whatever its called) and apple in the MES.


2 hrs in & up to like 125 already. Tossed a few little frozen chicken breasts in the brine yesterday, just put those on, I suspect an hour or 2 for them will be enough.


Put sweet potatoes on the top rack.


I'd toss in a few raw eggs to try for deviled eggs; but since my eggs are fresh (like just hours old) they are hard to peel. I have found dropping them into boiling water, then ice bathing when done they usually seem to peel better.



doesn't look like I'm going to get drippings, so will pass on the gravy this time; will just make the packet that came with the bird :(

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
post #14 of 21

OK - I am going to do 225 also on mine today and plan for more like the 3 hrs.

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

Sorry I didn't update the time, it was like 4hrs before I hit 160, upped to 255 for the last 30-45min.

post #16 of 21

ok - thanks. Its smoking now....

post #17 of 21
:781:Looks great. Wish ida made green beans with mine. I hit 170 in 3hrs and it turned out great. I slightly trunkated the brine/rest time
post #18 of 21

ok - so , after 5 hrs and 15 minutes at 225, I put the heat up to 260 for last 30 minutes to get the skin more browned up and to get the internal temo to 165.

post #19 of 21

Looks pretty good. 

post #20 of 21

I heard a news item about turkeys being rare and expensive this year, because the bird flu wiped out a lot of flocks.

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