Apple-Wood Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

Smoked Turkey with Sweet Bourbon Glaze
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Sometimes simple is better. Case in point: a split turkey breast or two on the smoker. With a simple butter  rub and injection, this turkey comes out moist and juicy – perfect for a main course and delicious for turkey sandwiches or soup the day after.  While it will taste like you laboriously slaved over a hot smoker to achieve such perfect, smoky flavor, this proven method of cooking turkey is truly a breeze.

Here’s how we used The Big Easy® Smoker Roaster & Grill to make quick work of smoking a turkey breast.

  1. Simply heat the smoker up and add the turkey breast with a digital probe thermometer in the thickest part of the breast (not touching the bone).
    Turkey breast in the smoker, ready for cooking


  2. Add your favorite variety of wood chips to create a smoky flavor based on your personal preference.  We used apple wood chips.
  3.  Now that your turkey is tucked in, no need to stand watch for hours on end- just simply shut the lid and let the smoke do the work.  Follow the manufacturers guide of your smoker for the best smoke time.  We suggest setting the smoker at 225° and cooking for up to 4 hours.
  4. You can easily double this recipe by adding another turkey breast and then doubling the amount of the barbecue rub butter.  You’ll be glad you did when there are requests for seconds!

    3 turkey breasts perfectly browned and cooked in the smoker

Cooking Turkey Breast Without A Smoker

If you don’t have a smoker, have no fear!  You can also easily achieve smoked turkey breast nirvana just by using your grill.  Grills can serve multiple different purposes, from searing up hot meats to serving out baked goodies, but transforming a grill into a smoker is one of our favorite creative uses.  Here are the simple and easy steps to prepare smoked turkey breast without a smoker.

  1. Prepare for indirect grilling by turning half the burners on medium low and leaving the other half off. You want a temperature of about 300-325°F.
  2. Add a handful of wood chips to an aluminum foil pouch or cast iron smoker box; seal the foil pouch tightly and poke a small hole in the top. Let the pouch heat up on the direct side of the grill until smoke appears.
  3. Put the turkey breast in another aluminum pan and put it on the indirect side.
  4. Smoking times will vary based on grill types.  Cooking by internal temperature is the best way to ensure that the turkey is safely prepared, but not over cooked.  We suggest checking the temperature of the turkey after about 3 hours of cooking.  Use an instant read digital thermometer to verify that your turkey has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees in the breast meat.

    A gorgeous grill-smoked turkey breast ready for the table
Apple-Wood Smoked Turkey Breast

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 1 turkey breast which yields 2-3 servings

Smoking a turkey doesn't have to be a daunting task. Try a fresh turkey breast, which is more manageable than a whole turkey and takes a fraction of the time.


  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon barbecue rub
  • 1 split fresh turkey breast
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Combine the melted butter with the barbecue rub. Cool to room temperature.
  2. While the butter is cooling, let the turkey breast come to room temperature.
  3. If you own an injector, inject the cooled butter into the turkey breast at regular intervals. If not, use a fork to poke holes into the meat under the skin and massage the butter into the breast.
  4. Salt and pepper the turkey skin and place the breast into the smoker basket if using a smoker or in an aluminum pan if using the grill.
  5. Prepare smoker according to directions or heat one half of a grill to medium low (300-325°F), leaving the other side off.


You can easily double this recipe by adding another turkey breast and doubling the amount of the barbecue rub butter.

6 thoughts on “Apple-Wood Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

  1. Confused, the recipe says total cook time 1 hour 50 minutes. But in the body of the article it says up to 4 hours. Is that depending on the weight of the turkey breast?

    1. Hi Sharon, the cooking time does vary depending on the weight of the turkey breast. For a medium sized breast that would feed a family of 4, we recommend cooking the turkey breast for at least 3 hours.

    1. Hi Regina, the cooking basket for the Big Easy can be used to cook smaller cuts of meat. It can be purchased here.

  2. FYI. Have done several breast only in my smoker. Breast is done when the internal center of the breast temperature reaches 160 – 165 degrees. Take out, cover in foil and et stand for about 20-30 minutes. Then enjoy.

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