This easy brined smoked turkey breast recipe is great for Thanksgiving dinner or for making sandwiches any time of the year. Just use an easy brine overnight and then smoke it for a hours for that delicious smoked turkey flavor. It’s a great low carb food to have on hand.
You might also like how to cook a turkey breast in the air fryer!
Recently I posted a recipe for a smoked barbecue brisket because my hubby and I are really enjoying his smoker. Today we decided to smoke a turkey breast. We ate this easy brined smoked turkey breast for Sunday dinner with all the usual Thanksgiving fixings.
The best thing about this recipe is that you get a delicious dinner that reaps loads of leftovers that you can slice thinly for healthy lunchmeat. Yesterday turkey dinner; today sandwiches, soup and salads!
Note if making smoked turkey lunch meat
This most recent time we smoked a turkey breast, we kept the breast whole. We wanted to have a real Thanksgiving dinner however in the summer we smoked a turkey breast for lunch meat. If you are doing that, split the breasts but keep the bone in before cooking. That will make it easier to slice thin. You can do it either way and it won’t effect the flavor or temperature.
By the way I just wrote a post about making your own lunchmeat if you are interested.
A simple brine recipe for your turkey
We like brining our turkey breast because that worked so good for smoked salmon and it keeps the turkey nice and moist. Sometimes it’s hard to find a container big enough to brine a turkey breast in but we used our largest pot.
The brine was perfect for this turkey breast and contains salt, brown sugar, bay leaves, onions, celery, fennel seed, mustard seed and garlic. Just pour it over the breast and refrigerate over night. You can use brown sugar sweetener if you want to cut out the sugar or carbs.
Then next day pat dry and place in your smoker. Note the photo below is from when we made lunch meat. My husband split the breast in half and took out the spine but kept the rest of the bone in to keep it moist.
NOTE: If you don’t have all of these ingredients on hand, I find that the most important ingredients are the water, salt, brown sugar and garlic.
How long to smoke a turkey breast
My hubby tried to keep the temperature between 200 – 225 degrees F. It can take between 3-5 hours to cook. The most recent time we made this it was a hot day so it only took 3 hours but on a colder day it took 5 hours. All you need to do is start checking the internal temperature and when it hits 170°F take it out.
When you take it out of the smoker it should like nice and browned like the picture below. Let it set for 10 – 15 minutes before carving.
Below you can see what it looks like after we carved it. This was when we had the full Thanksgiving dinner.
When we smoked a turkey breast for lunch meat, used our slicer to cut it thin so we could use for sandwiches. Below is an older picture when we did that.
As I mentioned above we ate this for dinner with all the Thanksgiving fixings. Then we had tons of leftover meat for sandwiches and salads. Below is are 3 recipes you might like to make with turkey leftovers. The Thanksgiving leftover turkey cristo is one of my favorite sandwiches!
Easy Brined Smoked Turkey Breast
- 1 whole turkey breast, bone in
- 4 cups water
- ½ onion chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 Tablespoons salt
- 4 Tablespoons brown sugar
Mix all of the ingredients (other than the turkey) in a bowl.
Add the turkey breast to a large container (I used a large soup pot) and pour the brining mixture over top.
Refrigerate over night.
Take out and pat dry.
Place in your smoker and adjust the temperature to between 200 and 225 degrees F. The lower the better though it might take longer.
Run your smoker according to manufacturer's instructions.
Smoke for approximately 3-5 hour or until the roast reaches 170 degree F with a meat thermometer. In the warmer weather it took us 3 hours and in colder weather it took 5 hours. Just make sure to start checking the internal temperature about half way through to gauge how it's cooking.
Let sit 10 minutes then carve.