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Smoking a turkey breast???

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by doug123, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. doug123

    doug123 Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Hi all,

    Last time I was at Sam's club a frozen Honeysuckle turkey breast caught my eye.

    Didn't grab a hold of one but I would say they are uncooked and weigh around 5 or 6 pounds.

    I was thinking that would be good for me to try smoking instead of a whole turkey.

    I was going to coat it with mustard and some kind of rub, then spray with apple juice every hour or so until it hits 170. I'm pretty sure it is boneless.

    I'll be using apple wood to smoke.

    Does it sound like I am on the right track?

    I haven't smoked any poultry yet, any advice appreciated.

  2. cajunsmoker

    cajunsmoker Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Doug,

    I cook a lot of Turkey's and I have found mustard not to really go to well with it. Use butter or some type of butter substitute for a binder. I would suggest either butter and Tony Chacere or Lemon Pepper.

    I always use pecan on Turkey but I bet Apple would do real good.
  3. scott in kc

    scott in kc Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Doug, I agree with cajunsmoker about the mustard on birds, doesn't work like it does on pork or beef.

    As for the rub, I don't use any on poultry at all but that's just my tastes. I like white meat and smoke and that's all I use. If you're going to rub make sure to get some under the skin of the breast. The skin is a very effective barrier which is a good thing for retaining moisture, but bad for spice penetration so get the rub under the skin or it won't do much.
    If you're looking for extra flavor, an injection is probably a better bet than the rub.

    Apple on poultry is awesome. That's the only thing I cook with a single wood and it's great.

    I'm not sure what you cook on, but don't be afraid of extra heat, I cook birds at 275-325. Birds aren't tough and don't need the slow cooking to tenderize anything.

    The most important thing with a turkey breast (or any white poultry) is do not overcook!! This is what dries out white meat. A breast will be done @ 165 so pull it from the cooker no higher than 160 and let it rest for 20-30 mins, residual heat will take it to at least 165 and it will still be nice and juicy.

    Best of luck and happy eating. If (and that's a big if) you have leftovers, smoked turkey makes the best turkey salad sandwiches you've ever eaten.
  4. doug123

    doug123 Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    OK, thanks guys.

    No mustard. I will try butter and lemon pepper.

    I am smoking on a Brinkmann electric gourmet, same as my avatar pic.

    I don't know what the heat gets to, I am going to test it soon with a potato. I don't have any temp control. I'll test it with and without the water pan.

    :?: So should I spray it every hour or so with apple juice?

    Thank you
  5. icemn62

    icemn62 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I have only 1 word of advice.....BRINE!!! You want that bird to be juicy and full of taste? A simple brine for 3 - 4 hours and it will be the hit on the plates.
  6. willkat98

    willkat98 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


    ALthough Gary is 100% correct (as usual :) ) check the packaging.

    I have NEVER bought a turkey breast that does not say "packed in a solution of X%" with the X being up to 14 (usually 11 or so).

    The solution is a brine, and the % is the amount of salt.

    I would suggest Tony Chachere's Jalepeno Butter injection (comes with an injector attached), and go with apple wood if you can.

    And I beleive, if we're talking about the same thing Doug, the bird is not boneless (just leg/thigh/wing-less)

    P.S. These whole turkey breast fry up nicely 2 at a time in the deep fryer
  7. doug123

    doug123 Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    OK thanks.

    Bill- You are probably right about the boneless, I didn't think about that. I just pictured a hunk of turkey in the package but I'm sure they just got rid of the appendages. Guess I'll know when I buy it :D

    So does that mean the rib cage and everything is still there?

    Should I spray with apple juice every hour or no???

  8. willkat98

    willkat98 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Yes, ribs and the rest of the carcass are there. (Soup time!!)

    There is probably a bag in the cavity that I think is for gravy, but I toss it out.

    Most of the backbone is cut away, so its like a half cavity.

    Sure I would spray, probably more often up through the door versus removing the lid (although I am un aware of how quick that unit will come back to temps, so that tip might be useless. If it comes back to temp quickly? sure, remove the lid (and throw on a fatty!)
  9. rubmymeat

    rubmymeat Fire Starter

    I smoked a 7 lb turkey breast on my smoker a few weeks ago and it turned out great. I like to put garlic salt and pepper under the skin and everywhere there is exposed meat. I put in on the smoker bone side down and cook around 225 degrees. It will turn out awesome! Smoked turkey can be as juicy as fried turkey. I took the turkey out at around 169 to 170 degrees and it was not dry at all. The meat in the deepest part of the breast near the bone is the hardest to get cooked.
  10. doug123

    doug123 Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    OK, thanks for all the tips guys.

    I'd say I am all set, just need to get the turkey breast :D

    I'll let you know how it turns out.
  11. doug123

    doug123 Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    OK, finally got around to doing this yesterday.

    Here is what I did. It ended up being a 4.75 pound turkey breast. Nice piece of meat and no bones. It was wrapped in a net and it looked like there was a piece of the skin at the bottom of the net with it but it wasn't attached.

    I cut the net open and rubbed some olive oil on it. Then, I decided to try the free sample pack of the crazy cajun rub I saw mentioned on this site. That is excellent stuff if anyone hasn't used it. I thought so anyway.

    I left the pan out of my smoker so it would get up to 318. That's what I have tested it to before anyway.

    I let it go about 2 hours or so (I was kind of busy anyway) then I sprayed it with apple juice. I waited another hour or so and sprayed it again. Then I left it alone until it hit 170, then pulled it off the smoker.

    Man was it good. It was a beautiful color. My 12 year old daughter and her friend dug in and that is the most I've seen either of them eat in a long time. They could have just been starving though :D

    It said on the package a 4-5 pound breast could take 2-2.5 hours in a 350 oven, so I thought it wouldn't be a whole lot longer in the smoker at 318. So I didn't end up getting it on until 2:30pm. I told the wife it should be done at 5:30 or so at the

    Wasn't done until 7pm. :shock:

    Guess what, no one really wanted to hear "It will be done when it is done" :(

    That's why I don't have any pictures either, wasn't pushing my luck with the wife :lol:

    As soon as it hit 170 it was sliced and half gone.

    Seriously, it turned out great though and I will definitely be making another. I'll just start it a little closer to noon next time :roll:

    Thanks for all the tips.
  12. rubmymeat

    rubmymeat Fire Starter

    Very happy to hear it turned out so well. Your success has made me decide to throw a turkey breast on the smoker tomorrow with my pork butt. I can't wait.