A delicious smoked turkey breast is the perfect addition to any holiday meal or Sunday supper. This dish is packed with flavor, thanks to the delicious dry rub that gives the turkey breast a crispy exterior. This easy recipe yields a juicy turkey breast that is perfect for slicing and serving. Best of all, no brining is needed. Simply apply the dry rub and let the electric smoker do its magic!
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This Traeger smoked turkey breast recipe is easy, flavorful, and one of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes.
It is the perfect recipe for a holiday meal when cooking for a small family.
It tastes great any time of year and is a great way to impress your family and friends!
The key to the best turkey is in the homemade dry rub. It helps to lock in moisture so the white meat is tender and juicy.
If you are smoking a whole bird, you have to try my Smoked Whole Turkey or my Smoked Spatchcock Turkey recipe! They are both so easy!
Smoking the turkey breast low and slow on the pellet grill ensures that it cooks evenly and remains moist.
No matter what grill you are using to smoke your turkey breast, this recipe will help you create a delicious bird that will be the star of your holiday meal.
Plus, you will love the amazing leftovers! So juicy and tender with a delicious smoky flavor!
Want more turkey recipes? Try my Smoked Whole Turkey or Turkey in Roaster Oven. If you like dark meat, try my Smoked Turkey Thighs.
Why you will love this recipe
- This recipe can be made on any electric smoker.
- No turkey brine is needed.
- It's hands-off cooking once you get the turkey breast in the smoker.
- This smoker recipe is foolproof and yields juicy, flavorful meat every time. You will love the crispy skin!
- The entire smoking process is easy. Like, really easy. You just need a few ingredients and a little bit of time, and you'll have the best smoked turkey.
- Leftovers!! I am absolutely obsessed with smoked turkey clubhouse sandwiches, and this recipe always leaves me with plenty of leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.
- Did I mention how delicious this recipe is? It's seriously amazing. You will love the smoke flavor!
This smoked turkey breast recipe is super easy, requiring only a few ingredients and about 5 minutes of prep time. And the best part is you can find everything at your local grocery store!
- Turkey breast. I used a boneless, skinless turkey breast.
- Olive oil. I used extra virgin olive oil. This is used so the dry rub has something to stick to.
- Turkey rub. I used my homemade turkey rub that contains brown sugar, smoked paprika, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, crushed rosemary, poultry seasoning, and ground thyme. I also have a chicken rub recipe that is fantastic as well on turkey.
See the printable recipe card for quantities.
This smoked turkey breast recipe is easy and foolproof, even for the novice cook.
First, you'll need to preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F, according to the manufacturer's instructions.
While the smoker is preheating, mix the ingredients for the dry rub in a small bowl.
Next, dry the turkey breast with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
Apply olive oil to the entire outside of the turkey breast.
Finally, sprinkle on the dry turkey rub. Make sure to cover the entire boneless breast in the spice rub. You want to cover the top, bottom, and sides. Press the rub in slightly with your fingers.
Next, place turkey breast directly on the grill grate of the preheated smoker. Insert a digital meat thermometer probe into the thickest part of the breast.
Smoke turkey breast until the internal temperature in the thickest part reaches 165 degrees F.
The cook time of my turkey breast was 3 hours, and it weighed 3 pounds.
Finally, remove the turkey breast from the smoker and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce or cranberry sauce.
- Turkey breast: You can use a boneless turkey breast with the skin. However, if you make this recipe with a bone-in turkey breast, you will need to add 1-1.5 hours to the cooking time.
- Olive oil: You can also use melted butter and apply it the same way.
- Turkey rub: You can use your favorite turkey rub or chicken rub if desired.
Change the flavor of the turkey breast by changing the spice rub ingredients. Some great options to try are:
- Spicy - add cayenne pepper, chili pepper flakes, or Cajun seasoning to the spice rub.
- Sweet - Add extra brown sugar to the spice rub.
Another excellent option for cooking a turkey if you don't have a smoker is to make a turkey in a roaster oven.
Smoker: I used my electric Traeger pellet grill that is synced to my phone and has a built-in temperature probe.
I also have a Pit Boss wood pellet grill that I also love.
Wood pellets: The best wood pellets are the Turkey blend by Traeger. Hickory, Mesquite, Signature Blend, Applewood, or Cherry wood are all excellent options.
Instant-read thermometer: This is a must-have item if you own a smoker. I invested in a digital meat thermometer as soon as I bought the Pit Boss smoker; it's an absolute necessity if your smoker doesn't have one!
For this recipe, you must cook with the thermometer, not the clock. This is because all grills cook differently, and so many variables play a part in the cooking time, such as weather, different grills, etc.
Fridge: Leftover turkey breast can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Freezer: Leftover turkey breast can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.
Hint: If you have lots of leftovers, slice up the turkey breast and wrap it in individual serving sizes in plastic wrap. Place individual servings in a Ziploc bag, then pop them in the freezer to make meal prep quick and easy for school or work lunches.
- Prepare the pellet grill. Make sure to add your favorite wood pellets to the hopper, you don't want to run out in the middle of cooking!
- Season the turkey breast. Don't skimp on applying the spice rub. This will help give the meat flavor and prevent it from drying out.
- Check the internal temperature. Place an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey breast. Smoke until the internal temperature of the turkey breast reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Check on the turkey occasionally, but resist the urge to open the grill too often, as this will let out heat and prolong the cooking time.
- Remove the turkey breast from the grill and let it rest. Once the turkey is cooked, remove it from the grill and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before carving and serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful breast. You can cover it with aluminum foil while resting to keep it warm.
A turkey breast can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to smoke, depending on the size of the breast and the temperature of the smoker. You'll need to smoke for longer if you're smoking at a lower temperature. If using a Traeger grill, it will take approximately 45-60 minutes per pound. I smoked a 3-pound turkey breast and it took 3 hours. Smaller turkey breasts will cook more quickly than a large turkey breast.
The smoked turkey breast is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the meat.
No, you cannot smoke a frozen turkey breast. You need to thaw the turkey breast before smoking it. Smoking a frozen turkey breast will not cook the turkey properly, possibly resulting in foodborne illness.
What goes well with smoked turkey breast?
Many things go well with smoked turkey breast. Some popular choices include mashed potatoes, roast vegetables, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, roast squash, turkey gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and green beans.
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Easy Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe on Traeger Pellet Grill
- Pellet grill
- 1 (3-5 pound) turkey breast boneless, skinless
- 2 tablespoon olive oil or melted butter
- 3 tablespoon homemade turkey rub recipe below, or get the link to the full recipe post below in the notes
Homemade turkey rub
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon rosemary crushed
- ¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ⅛ teaspoon ground thyme
- Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F.
- Pat the turkey breast dry with paper towels.
- Mix the turkey dry rub ingredients in a small bowl (brown sugar, smoked paprika, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, crushed rosemary, poultry seasoning, and ground thyme).
- Apply olive oil to the entire outside of the turkey breast.
- Sprinkle on the dry turkey rub, covering the entire breast on the top, bottom, and sides. Press the rub in slightly with your fingers.
- Place the turkey breast directly on the grill grate of the preheated smoker. Insert a digital meat thermometer probe into the thickest part of the breast. Smoke the turkey breast until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. The cook time of my turkey breast was 3 hours, and it weighed 3 pounds.
- Remove the turkey breast from the smoker and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
- Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce or cranberry sauce.
- Don't skimp on the dry rub. This will help give the meat flavor and prevent it from drying out.
- Smoke until the internal temperature of the turkey breast reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Check on the turkey occasionally, but resist the urge to open the grill too often, as this will let out heat and prolong the cooking time.
- Once the turkey is cooked, remove it from the grill and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before carving and serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful breast. You can cover it with aluminum foil while resting to keep it warm.
- If you have lots of leftovers, slice up the turkey breast and wrap it in individual serving sizes in plastic wrap. Place individual servings in a Ziploc bag, then pop them in the freezer to make meal prep quick and easy for school or work lunches.
- Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
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