I'm Smokin' (Turkey, Chicken and Sausage)

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
OTBS Member
Jul 19, 2005
Gulf Coast Florida
Ok, this week, I am smoking turkey breasts. We cut them into sandwich meat on a slicer I bought for my wife last year. The breasts were on sale for $6 each. They weigh 3 lbs uncooked. Also, I have some sausage from a meal last week, and a chicken cut into 10 pieces we did not eat over the weekend.

First step, Brine.

Here is the brining recipe:
1 gallon of water
1 cup of kosher salt
1 1/2 cups of white sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tbl black pepper
2 tbl onion powder
2 tbl garlic powder
1 bunch of fresh thyme (I grow it on my deck in a pot)


Here are the ingredients in the pot ready for water:


Here is what is going in the smoker:


Left to right: A whole chicken cut into 10 pieces, two 3lb boneless skinless turkey breasts, a bunch of sausage (note: the sausage does not get brined)

Here is everything in the brining mixture. Note: leave the turkey breasts in the mesh bag they came in.


Here they are after a 10 hour brine in the refrigerator:


Now for the turkey rub: (recipe doubled)

2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon beef-flavored bouillon granules
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Here are the turkey breasts rubbed and ready for the smoker:

Here is the smoker loaded up:

I rubbed 1/2 the chicken with the left over turkey rub.

Ok, after one hour, here is where we stand:

118*. Need to get to 160.

Here is how we are looking.


I got hungry at lunch, so I pulled some of the chicken and cooked in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes. This pic is before putting in the oven.


It was darn good.


2 hour update to come.

Ok, 2 hours down:


Here they are:

Fast forward to 3 hours and I pulled the sausage:

I should have rotated the sausage as they didn't brown consistently where they were touching. No worries though, they will be re-heated before use.

Next update when the chicken and turkey are done.

Ok, we have reached 4 hours and 30 minutes. The cooking temp has stayed between 225* and 250* the whole time. This is why I love the propane smoker.

The turkey breast now reads 161* at the thickest point. Time too pull everything left.

Here are the chicken and turkey breasts.

Let them rest for 30 minutes. Well, actually I couldn't resist the last chicken leg. I ate it immediately.

Next for the turkey, remove the netting.


Final step, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 24 hours. I'll post an update tomorrow of the chicken breast sliced.


Final Pic: Here is one of the turkey breasts cut and ready for lunch. I vacuum sealed and froze the other breast.


Final thoughts:

1. The turkey was good, but not as juicy as usual. The turkey was not dry, but was not as moist and juicy as other breasts I have done.
2. A smoke time of 3 hours is usually sufficient to cook these to 160. 4 1/2 hours is longer than it usually takes.
3. I may have had too many items in the smoker.
4. I did not rotate the racks every hour as I usually do.
5. Next time, I think I will just stick to the turkeys. Also, I think I should push the temp up to 250*.

Conclusion: Good, but not perfect. Less items in the smoker, turn the sausage, rotate the racks, pull the turkey at 150* or 155* next time. Lessons learned.

Oh, and I now have turkey lunch meat for the next month.

Man it sure looks delicious from where I'm sitting! :D

I think you assesment is spot on. More items in the smoker cause the cooking time to be longer, the longer cooking time cause more moisture loss than usual and since the turkey is lean, there was no fat to keep it moist. I'm sure you'll get the results you're looking for next time by cooking less, quicker.
My wife has informed me that I am crazy. She said the turkey is great!

Now that I think about it. I belive I pulled at 150* before. The last ten degrees took over an hour. So, at this point, I'm not sure?

What do you guys think of pulling the boneless, skinless turkey breasts at 150*? 155*?
Everything I have read , sets the absolute minimum internal temperature at 165°! Probably raising smoker temp. would shorten cook time. Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m told slow smoking is not particularily the best way to go when preparing poultry. :roll: But I still want that nice smoky flavor! :oops: Does the smoke get in there still at higher temps or does it seal the meat? Maybe if one were to apply smoke throughout the entire smoke it would compensate for the shorter time?
When I smoke poultry I smoke the hell outta it due to the slightly higher temps and shorter cook time. I have not tried brining yet, but planning on doing that today. Nice pics and tutorial. Good Job, Looks Great!
Mike -

Looks GRRRRRRRRRRRREAT! I lke my turkey breat really smokey I just keep it at 250 degrees and use wood the whole time. It's never dry if I brine and spray with apple juice.
Cheech -

You can debone and remove the skin from turkey cut it into strips, stuff it into a 6" casing and make a great lunchmeat. I like the dark meat best so I strip the legs too.
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