Smoked Turkey for a Small Holiday Dinner in an Electric Smoker

Smoked Turkey for a Small Holiday Dinner in an Electric Smoker


Thanksgiving. The biggest meal most people will make all year. But what if you only have a few people joining you? Here are some ideas to make it easier.

  • The hardest challenge is the turkey. The general rule of thumb is to plan on one pound of meat per person. This will allow everyone to enjoy a full meal and still have some leftovers for turkey san...
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3-4 pound turkey breast half
stick butter at room temperature
teaspoon ground sage
teaspoon poultry seasoning
teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
teaspoon lemon pepper, plus more for sprinkling
vegetable oil
cherry, apple or maple wood chips



Set the turkey breast on a baking sheet on the counter to come to room temperature. While it is warming up, make the compound butter.


In a small bowl combine the butter with the sage, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix together with a fork until smooth. Set aside.


In your electric smoker, add your wood chips to the smoker box until half full and insert into the smoker. Add water to the fill line in the water pan and insert into the smoker.


Arrange the racks so there is enough room between them to hold the turkey breasts. Preheat the smoker (takes about 40 minutes).
While it is preheating, prep the turkey breast.


Slip your fingers under the skin on the top of the turkey, separating the skin from the meat. Put the herbed butter under the skin, pressing it so that it covers the whole top of the breast. This helps protect it and keep it moist and tender. Rub some oil over the skin and sprinkle it with a little more salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.


When the smoker is ready, place the turkey on a rack in the center, insert the temperature probe deep into the meat being sure not to have it touching a bone. Insert it lengthwise through the muscle for the best results.


Close smoker door and set to 160 degrees f.

Hot Tip: It will take about 30 minutes per pound so depending on the size of the turkey breast, it should be done in approximately 1.5 to 2 hours. Always go by the internal temperature rather than timing to judge doneness.

Once finished, remove the rack with the turkey on it and place the whole thing on a clean baking sheet. Cover the turkey loosely with a sheet of foil and let it rest for about 15 minutes before transferring to a cutting board and carving.

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