See more
Photo: Jody Horton; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas  

Smoked Turkey Breast

Smoked Turkey Breast is a winning choice for your Thanksgiving table or any dining occasion. This turkey breast is bursting with smoky flavor, incredibly moist, and super tender too.

Southern Living NOVEMBER 2013

  • Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings
  • Hands-on:20 Minutes
  • Total:10 Hours, 5 Minutes


  • 1 (64-oz.) bottle apple cider
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 (4-inch) fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 (4-inch) fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 10 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 garlic bulb, cut in half crosswise
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  • 1 (5 3/4- to 6-lb.) bone-in turkey breast
  • 4 hickory wood chunks


1. Bring cider and next 7 ingredients to a boil in a large stockpot or 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in ice. Cool completely (1 hour).

2. Place turkey in brine; cover and chill 5 to 12 hours.

3. Prepare smoker according to manufacturer's directions, bringing internal temperature to 225° to 250°; maintain temperature 15 to 20 minutes. Place wood chunks on coals.

4. Remove turkey from brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Smoke turkey, maintaining temperature inside smoker between 225° and 250°, for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 165°.

5. Remove turkey, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.


Go to full version of

Smoked Turkey Breast recipe