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Smoking Bone in Turkey Breast Confusion


Meat Mopper
Joined Jun 4, 2011
I am planning on smoking about a 10 pound bone in turkey breast for thanksgiving.I am very confused on the smoking temp. I have read a bunch of post but the more I read the more confused I get. It seems like there are 2 schools of thought. Smoking at a temp. of 225-240 or smoking at 300-350. Which way will give the best results. I plan to brine the breast and apply a rub. Thanks.

bama bbq

Master of the Pit
Joined Sep 24, 2011
You're going to get conflicting information. Each craftsman has his/her own way to perfect the craft. You'll have to decide which is right for you.

I am in the 325-350*F camp. I cook large 20+ lb birds and want to get from 40*F to 140*F in less than 4 hours and want reasonably crisp skin.

I hope this helps. Regardless of the way you choose -- good luck and have fun!
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Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jan 23, 2010
I a also in the higher temp group for poultry.


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Jul 16, 2008
Here's a good way to get the skin to crisp-up . Remove the skin and Butter the back and the front , this may be toothpicked at the edges f the bottom of the Breast - or just vbutter the outside and leave it on  the Bird. 

At 350*F it will crisp-u a bit when it gets to 170*F or a bit more if you injected the Breast.

Just have fun and  . . .


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Joined Apr 12, 2013
For turkey the higher range (~350F 175C) is better so that it gets up to 140F 60C fairly quickly.

I cut off the wing tips and the ends of the legs and put these under the bird with some chunks of onion celery and peppers. This helps keep the bird off the roasting pan and helps create the base for the gravy. Do not stuff the cavity in order to help a even heat distribution - but if you want to help with flavour put in some coarsely chopped onion, lemon or whatever herbs you prefer. With turkey I often cut off the legs and cook them separately as they tend to cook faster than the main carcass. When the digital thermometer in the thickest part of the meat says 162F 73C take it out and wrap in 3 layers of foil. Let it rest breast downwards for at least 45 minutes - during which time the centre of the meat will have risen a further 8F 5C before starting to drop. This wont give you a crisp skin but you can achieve this by putting it back in a very hot oven just before serving. It will however give you the moistest turkey breast that wont dry out when carved.

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