smoking and grilling turkey breast

Brining and Smoking a Turkey Breast

Last Updated on July 31, 2023

Looking for the best way to have a flavorful Thanksgiving but don’t want to cook a whole bird?

A turkey breast is perfect for smaller gatherings (Friendsgiving!) and can easily feed four to six people.

The first step to getting a great turkey breast is brining it in a simple salt and sugar solution with some flavor added via apple cider and maple syrup. This will ensure the turkey breast stays moist and juicy.

You can roast a turkey breast, but there are other great ways to cook a breast due to its smaller size compared to a larger bird. (No matter which method you use, turkey needs to cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.)

We find that smoking a turkey breast not only adds incredible flavor but also adds to moisture retention because it cooks at a low temperature with gentle heat.



Turkey has a mild flavor and choosing the right wood or pellets to complement the turkey will help the natural flavors of the meat shine through. Pecan, applewood, and oak are ideal woods for smoking turkey and one that the ButcherBox Kitchen returns to again and again. Check out the video above on how to position the wood chips and the turkey on your grill.

When smoking over wood or charcoal, the turkey should never be directly over the heat. If applicable, position the turkey under the vent of a charcoal grill and keep the bottom and top vents slightly open to ensure good airflow over the breast.


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