Snowed in Turkey Breast in MES 30

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Original poster
Jan 3, 2014
New Hope, PA
Well, I thought we were going to get snowed in today here in Bucks County, PA. When to the grocery store after work on Thursday, i decided to browse the meat section to find something to smoke. I was fortunate to find already thawed minimally processed Turkey breasts, and on sale!

I have done many turkeys since I started smoking about 5 years ago. This was my second in my new MES30. The first turned out OK, but I wasn't thrilled with the results. I was smoking 6 turkey legs and a few wings at the same time, so I think it just didn't get as much attention as it deserves and it showed in the results.

I was excited to give it another whirl and the results were great. Brined overnight, rinsed/dried/rested for about an hour. Rubbed with a wet rub and then smoked in 50/50 Apple and Maple chips.

The brine I am constantly tweaking as I haven't found the perfect one yet.

I am sold on the wet rub which i found here:  I have used it on every turkey I have made and have not altered it one bit; LOTS of great flavors. I like the outside of my turkey salty, so i do not mind. If you are sensitive to salt, you may want to cut it in half to start. 

Getting ready for a nap...

Rinsed, Dried, Rested and Rubbed

This is the first time I tried breast side down, until it reached about 120, then I flipped.

Final results...

The rib cage was split when I opened the package. (never seen that before...) But it made carving a lot easier as the two pieces split without much effort.

Sorry I didn't get a sliced picture or have any great presentation. It didn't last long enough. I think my wife and 3 year old liked it... :) 

As you can imagine, being cooped with with a 3 year old (and a 7 month old) on a blistery cold day can lead to a few toddler tantrums...My 3 year old won me back by saying "Daddy, I really like the brine." and then ate 3 helpings of turkey. And as i write this, just asked for a 4th helping as a "snack". Made my day.

Anyways, wanted to share. 

Happy Smoking!
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She watched me make the brine and asked what it was. I told her it was a brine and that it makes the turkey tasty. I don't know how she remembered that i brined it the next day but it was a pretty cool moment.

Is there something wrong with her eating the 3 helpings of turkey? Like a lot of 3 year olds she is a tough eater at times. Pasta, cheese and fruit are no problem at all. Anytime she is willing to eat protein other than a chicken nugget, we cash in and let her have at it!
Completely agree FoamHeart. My favorite part is that the smoker was running in the garage. I had a fan on a low setting to push the smoke out the garage door. As i was shoveling the driveway i would occasionally get a waft of the delicious aroma. Kept me shoveling for hours!
Tasty looking bird!

My seven year old boy has been cooking in the kitchen with us since he was 2. He made his first brine at 4!
    nice ,
I started with that brine originally and enjoyed the results...but my need to tweak led me over the years to modify it. I am still tweaking, but I have gotten rave reviews on my most recent brine combination, which I have used the past 2-3 times for breasts, wings and legs.

The key to this turkey is getting the wet rub under the skin as much as possible.

I like my smoked turkey to have a salty flavor. If you are sensitive to that, decrease salt and/or soy.

Here is an what i usually go with.

10-12 cups water - whatever will fit into your storage container with the turkey - sometimes i use less water to dissolve the ingredients and then supplement with ice to cool quickly
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 c soy sauce
1/2 c brown sugar - I have used light and dark and never noticed a major difference. Haven't tried raw sugar yet.
1 t cayenne pepper
1 medium shallot or small onion - I usually leave in large wedges or pieces to make removal easier.
1 - 3 medium clove garlic, smashed
Zest of 1 lemon, removed in large strips with a vegetable peeler (I have used lime when I didn't have a lemon)
10 thyme sprigs (or a tablespoon or two of dried) - I have done both...go with what you have on hand.
8 sage leaves (or a tablespoon or two of dried) - I have done both...go with what you have on hand.
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
1-2 tablespoons of whole Black Peppercorns

I cannot take full credit for this brine recipe, it is a combination of two i found on the web.
Original recipes for brines can be found here:

Happy Smoking!
That seems like an awful lot of volume for a turkey breast.  I'll certainly give this a shot.  Thanks for the recipe.  I'll have to pick up a few items, I don't have any allspice berries (although I'll probably leave those out) we also used up the last of the soy sauce with the pepper steak the other day. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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