How to Smoke a Turkey

If you think Thanksgiving is the only time of year to test your skills at smoking a turkey, think again. This slow-cooking method infuses the meat with a savory and smoky flavor that's as good during the warm spring and summer months as it is during the cool holiday season. Like roasting, smoking uses low, indirect heat. But it's more than just heating--this method actually adds a rich flavor to the meat, which can be influenced by your choice of wood chips, herbs and other flavorings you put directly on the heat source in your smoker. And since the process take several hours, you can make a day out of smoking your turkey. So, break out the Frisbee, lounge in the hammock and soak up the sun and fresh air, while the smoker does all the work. Not feeling up to the onslaught of leftovers from a whole turkey? A turkey breast is the perfect option for a smaller crowd. This recipe for herb-smoked turkey breast uses tart Granny Smith apples, onions and fresh herbs to enhance the flavors of the meat.
Hi, I'm Kristina with Today, we're to make an herb smoked turkey breast. Now, if you love the grill, you are going to love smoking, and this recipe will be right up your alley. Here's what you'll need for this recipe: 1 Granny Smith apple cut up, 2 medium onions also roughly chopped, 8 sprigs of fresh thyme, 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, 6 sage leaves, 2 teaspoons of seasoning salt, and 1 teaspoon of paprika. Here I have 2 to 3 cups of hickory wood chips that I've soaked in water, and finally bone-in turkey breast that's about 7-1/2 pounds. Here I have the water pan from our smoker, and I've covered it completely in aluminum foil. In here, I'm gonna put in our apple and the onions, the sprigs of thyme, and the rosemary as well as 3 of our sage leaves. So, this is ready to go for the smoker and we get out there and fill it with water. Let's start by making a rub for the turkey breast. I'm gonna take the seasoning salt and the paprika. Mix this together. I'll take a generous amount of it and rub it underneath the turkey skin. I've already rinsed the turkey and patted it dry. It helps to loosen the skin a little bit before you start this too. Then I'm take the remaining sage leaves and put that under the skin. Once this cooked you sort of see the sage peek through and looks gorgeous, and then the remaining rub can just be sprinkled on top. Now, that we have the turkey ready to go, we're heading out to the smoker. I have 10 pounds of hot charcoal ready to go and on top of that I'm gonna add our soaked wood chips. Then, I'm gonna take the prepared water pan and put that right on top. Here, I have 6 to 8 cups of hot water. I'm gonna pour that right in the water pan, put on the top grill rack, and then it's time for the turkey. Cover and let your turkey smoke for 3 and half hours. You wanna keep the temperature between 225 and 250 throughout those 3-1/2 hours and you might have to tend your coals to keep them nice and hot. Come back then when the turkey is nice and smoked and ready to eat. The Turkey has been on the smoker for 3-1/2 hours and look at the result. It is so gorgeous. Look at the color. You can even see little bit of the sage picking out from underneath the skin. You just want it to rest for 20 or 30 minutes, slice it up, and you have dinner, the difference we have smoked turkey and anything else, you'll never go back, and that's how you make herb smoked turkey breast. Thanks for watching. For more great recipes and savings, visit us at

What You'll Need

  • 1   bone-in fresh turkey breast, about 7-1/2 pounds
  • 1   Granny Smith apple, cut up
  • 2   medium onions, cut up
  • 8   sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4   small sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6   sage leaves, torn
  • 2   teaspoons seasoning salt (such as Adobo)
  • 1   teaspoon paprika

Step By Step

Rinse breast and pat dry. Loosen skin over both sides of turkey breast. Soak 2 to 3 cups wood chips in hot tap water.
Cover water pan completely with aluminum foil. Add apple, onion, 4 sprigs of the thyme, 2 sprigs of the rosemary and 3 of the sage leaves.
In a small bowl, combine Adobo and paprika. Place a generous amount between the skin and breast meat and remainder on the outside of skin. Tuck remaining herb sprigs under skin.
Prepare smoker:
Fire up about 10 pounds charcoal until gray and ashy. Place water pan in body of smoker and place body on top of grill base. Fill water pan with 6 to 8 cups hot tap water, and gently replace grill racks. Shake excess water off chips; add to charcoal through side door.
Place turkey breast on top grill rack, cover and smoke at 225 degrees F to 250 degrees F for 3-1/2 hours or until breast meat registers 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Let stand, covered with foil, for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

While knowing how to smoke a turkey certainly comes in handy during the holidays, it's too delectable a meal to be restricted to just the fall and winter months. Break out the smoker any time of year to enjoy this scrumptious feast.

nutrition information

Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 240, Fat, total (g) 7, chol. (mg) 107, sat. fat (g) 2, carb. (g) 0, fiber (g) 0, pro. (g) 41, sodium (mg) 486, Mark as Free Exchange () 0, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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