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Traeger Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

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This simple boneless Traeger smoked turkey breast recipe is so delicious and easy to make! Perfect for a small Thanksgiving dinner or comforting meal!

Smoked Turkey Breast

Recipe Features

  • Great for Small Families or Groups
  • Minimal Effort
  • Rated 5/5 from the Family

It’s fall ya’ll! The cooling temps and falling leaves have me ready to snuggle up in a cozy blanket with a good book and cup of cocoa. Luckily, the view out of my window keeps my staring straight at my Traeger Grill. This Traeger smoked turkey breast recipe has been high on my must-make list for ages, and what better time than just before Thanksgiving?

I opted to start with a smoked boneless turkey breast since our small family of three would have a rough time going through an entire turkey. Boy-oh-boy is this DELISH!

Cherry Smoker Pellets

What Pellet Types Are Best for Smoking a Turkey?

Let’s talk pellets for a second. There are so many different types, but which one works best for a smoked turkey breast?

I opted for Cherry. Why? Because it’s one of the varieties I had on hand and I felt like the cherry would work well with the apple flavor profile I was adding. It is also one of the varieties that works well with beef, poultry and pork which means it is a great option to have on hand all grilling season long.

So, the short answer? You can’t really go wrong with any option. My go-to’s with poultry are normally apple, pecan, oak, or cherry. Sometimes I’m even known to use hickory. Check out the pellet guide from Traeger to find more information on the different pellet flavors.

Turkey Breast with Fresh Herbs

Ingredients for Traeger Smoked Turkey Breast:

I really love the fall flavors that are brought together in this recipe. Apple cider gives you the most incredible brine base and elevates the flavor of the turkey. Pair that with fresh garlic, allspice, and poultry seasoning and you have got yourself one incredible main course.

  • Apple cider- Optionally, you can use regular apple juice.
  • Garlic- Smashed, not minced.
  • Brown sugar- Adds just a touch of sweetness.
  • Salt- This recipe calls for a lot of salt, but it’s in the brine. Your turkey will not have too much of a salty flavor when you’re done. It’ll be perfect.
  • Allspice and Bay Leaves- Again, this one is for the brine.
  • Water
  • Turkey breast- We opt for a boneless. See my note below for the bone in variety.
  • Poultry seasoning

Traeger Smoked Turkey Breast Bone In vs Boneless

When you are making turkey on pellet grill there will be one question you need to ask. Bone-in or boneless? This recipe works with both.

  • Boneless turkey breast will be by far the simplest way to go. They are already bone free when you purchase them from the store, so you won’t have to worry about that when you are ready to eat.
  • Bone-In turkey breast is the one most commonly seen in store. It includes the bone-in breast, ribs, back, neck and sometimes wing.

How to Prep Your Turkey Breast

Preparing the turkey will be the most time consuming part of this recipe, and it still only takes you 10 minutes of active work. Be sure to start this the night before as the turkey will need to be in the brine overnight before cooking.

Prepare the brine (the night before):

  1. Combine the apple cider, garlic, brown sugar, salt, allspice, and bay leaves in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the ice water. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Pour the brine over the turkey breast. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Smoking a Turkey on a Pellet Grill

Your turkey has soaked in the brine overnight, now we are ready to get cooking! This is the fun part. Be sure to follow the recipe fully and use a meat thermometer to be sure your turkey is cooked to the proper temperature.

Smoking the Turkey:

  1. Preheat your Traeger grill to 325 degrees. This should take about 15 minutes with the lid closed. Keep track with their wifi enabled app on the entire cooking process!
  2. While the grill is preheating, remove the turkey breast from the brine. Rinse and pat dry. Rub with poultry seasoning.
  3. Place the turkey breast onto the preheated grill. Cook for 1 to 2 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove from the grill and allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

Recipe Tips and FAQs

  • Be sure to check the type of turkey breast you are purchasing from the store. You want to pick one that is un-brined.
  • While brining, it is important to keep the breast fully submerged.
  • Rest the meat for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Do You Have To Brine The Turkey

Soaking your turkey in brine is key to giving you a tender and flavor packed poultry. While your turkey is soaking it absorbs some of the liquid as well as muscle proteins tenderizing. This helps keep it from losing moisture while it cooks. With the slower cook of the pellet grill, this is crucial to a successful meal.

How To Know When A Turkey Is Fully Cooked

Like most poultry, you want to cook the breast until the juices run clear and it reaches an internal temperature of 160 to 165 degrees. To ensure the best temperature read, insert the thermometer into the thickest portion of the turkey breast. Be sure to keep the thermometer from touching bone.

Why A Turkey Breast Instead Of A Whole Turkey?

If you are cooking for 4 or less people, a turkey breast will give you the perfect amount of food with a little left over! Ideal for small families or anyone looking for a quicker way to cook the bird.

Cooking a breast also helps eliminate the juggling of cooking dark and light meat. According to the USDA, white meat will start to dry out once it passes that 160 degree mark while dark meat needs to reach a temperature of at least 165 degrees.

How Long Does It Take To Smoke A Turkey

  • 225F – 30 min per pound
  • 250F – 25 min per pound
  • 350F – 13 min per pound

Related Recipes

This simple boneless smoked turkey breast recipe is so delicious and easy to make! Perfect for a small Thanksgiving dinner or comforting meal! 
Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

Yield: 6 people
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Brine Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 20 minutes

This simple boneless smoked turkey breast recipe is so delicious and easy to make! Perfect for a small Thanksgiving dinner or comforting meal! 

Ingredients

  • 6 cups apple cider
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cups ice water
  • 1 (3lb) boneless turkey breast
  • Poultry seasoning

Instructions

Prepare the brine (the night before):

  1. Combine the apple cider, garlic, brown sugar, salt, allspice, and bay leaves in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the ice water. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Pour the brine over the turkey breast. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Smoking the Turkey:

  1. Preheat your Traeger grill to 325 degrees. This should take about 15 minutes with the lid closed.
  2. While the grill is preheating, remove the turkey breast from the brine. Rinse and pat dry. Rub with poultry seasoning.
  3. Place the turkey breast onto the preheated grill. Cook for 1 to 2 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove from the grill and allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

Notes

*Cooking a bone in turkey breast will take approximately 3 to 4 hours to cook, depending on the size. Add additional water to the brine if needed to cover the entire breast.  

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