Smoked Turkey Breast

Soaking the turkey breast in the spicy brown sugar brine helps keep the meat moist and juicy, even after 1 1/2 hours of smoke cooking.

Smoked Turkey Breast
Servings: 10 Prep 1 hr 15 mins Grill 170°F 1 hr 30 mins


  • 1/2 cup kosher or coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 clove garlic, slightly crushed
  • 1 jalapeno chile, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 whole turkey breast, with bones and skin (about 5 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 cups mesquite wood chips
Grilled Corn Salsa (see recipe on
  • Grilled Corn Salsa (see recipe on

Make It


1. In a large bowl or pot, stir together the salt and brown sugar. Add hot water; stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Then add the cold water, onion, garlic, jalapeno chile, chili powder, cumin and peppercorns and stir to combine.


2. Place turkey and brine in 2-gallon plastic food-storage bag or large deep bowl; seal. Refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally.

3. Soak wood chips following package directions.

4. Remove turkey breast from brine; pat dry with paper toweling. Drain the wood chips; place the chips in a small foil pan.

5. Prepare outdoor grill with hot coals arranged for indirect grilling, placing foil pan with chips in corner of grill and over direct heat. Or heat gas grill for indirect grilling with foil pan. Grill is ready when chips begin to smoke, about 5 minutes. Grill turkey, breast side up, over indirect heat, covered, for 1-1/2 hours or until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 170 degrees F. Let turkey rest 10 minutes before carving. Serve with Grilled Corn Salsa. Makes 10 servings.

Oven Method:

6. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place turkey breast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Roast for 1-1/2 hours or until internal temperature registers 170 degrees F on instant-read thermometer. If turkey browns too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil. (Do not try smoking the turkey with wooden chips using the oven method.)

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe: 10; Amount Per Serving: cal. (kcal): 289, Fat, total (g): 11, chol. (mg): 111, sat. fat (g): 3, carb. (g): 1, fiber (g): , pro. (g): 43, sodium (mg): 660, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.