This year for Thanksgiving I decided to smoke some turkey breast. We went to my in-laws this year and they were baking one bird and frying three so I thought some smoked breast would be a nice addition. I placed an order from my local butcher for 4 breasts between 4 and 8 pounds each and of course all 4 were 8 pounds! So with 32 pounds of breast in the fridge I set out to smoke some birds.
Day 1 - Monday
Each 8 pound package consisted of what I like to call an "amputee" turkey. It is a whole bird without any wings, legs, or thighs. I split each one in half so I ended up with 8 bone on skin on breasts with the rib meat (each weighing around 4 pounds).
Here is my brine:
4 gallons water
4 cups salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
Day Two - Tuesday
I pulled the birds from the brine after 24 hours then prepped them for the smoker.
I made a simple compound butter to put under the skin
4 sticks butter
1/4 cup rosemary
1/4 cup thyme
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
I kept the rub simple since I was counting on the butter to do most of the work
4 tablespoons pepper
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
I used an offset spatula to get under the skin and make a pocket for the butter.
The butter and the rub
Day Three - Wednesday
I smoked the birds the day before since we were traveling to the in-laws and had to leave early on Thursday
I heated my UDS to 275 and smoked them with hickory for 2 hours
After two hours I wrapped them in foil with half a stick of butter for each breast then back on the smoker until they reached 165.
Day 4 - Thursday
I didn't take many pictures as we were pretty busy getting everything else done.
Early Thursday morning I removed the skin and bones from the breasts and vac sealed. I had frozen some cubes of the butter/drippings caught in the foil and placed a cube in each bag
Once we were at the in-laws I got a water bath going using my immersion circulator set at 145 and let the 5 of the breasts float around for 2 hours or so until dinner.
I only sliced two since we had wayyyyy to much food.
The remaining ones are in my freezer waiting to be run through the slicer for some awesome turkey sandwiches.
It had a really subtle smoke flavor and the herbs really shined through. I can't wait to eat the rest of these! The appearance of a boneless skinless turkey breast is not as great as a whole bird but the taste is out of this world.
Thanks for looking!