This smoked turkey breast is great for entertaining because it feeds a crowd. Plus there's not much to do except wait while the brine turns the bird luxurious and then wait again until the grill turns it irresistible.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2009


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place 4 cups (1 quart) water, salt, shallot, garlic, lemon zest, thyme, sage, bay leaves and allspice berries in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

  • Pour the brine into a large bowl or clean tub; add the remaining 8 cups (2 quarts) water. Set turkey in the brine and refrigerate for 6 hours.

  • Two hours before preheating the grill, place wood chips in a large bowl of water to soak.

  • About 20 minutes before you are ready to grill, preheat a gas grill with all burners lit to 300 degrees F or build a fire in a charcoal grill and let it burn down to low heat (about 300 degrees F).

  • Drain the wood chips. If using a gas grill, fold a 12-by-20-inch piece of heavy-duty foil in half to create a 12-by-10-inch double-thick piece. Transfer the wet wood chips to the center of the foil and crimp up the edges to create a "basket." (If you have a gas grill with a smoking box, place the chips directly into the box.) Set the foil basket on the grill rack directly over the heat source. If using a charcoal grill, you will add the chips directly to the coals as the turkey cooks.

  • If using a gas grill, turn off one burner (leaving 1 to 2 burners lit, depending on your grill). If using a charcoal grill, move the coals to one side.

  • Remove the turkey from the brine, pat dry and set on the unheated side of the grill rack.

  • If using a charcoal grill, place one-third of the wood chips on the coals. Close the lid and roast undisturbed for 40 minutes.

  • Rotate the turkey 180 degrees, add half the remaining wood chips to the coals if using a charcoal grill, cover and continue roasting for 40 minutes.

  • Rotate the turkey 180 degrees one more time, add the remaining wood chips if using a charcoal grill, cover and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meat without touching bone registers 165 degrees F, 40 minutes to 1 hour more. Transfer the turkey to a clean cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.


Equipment: 1 pound wood chips for smoking, such as apple or hickory wood

Shopping tip: This recipe was developed for a minimally processed turkey. You can use a turkey breast that has been “enhanced” with saline solution (check the label for added sodium to be sure), but reduce the brining time to 3 hours. Overbrining an already “enhanced” turkey breast will make it too salty.

Nutrition Facts

125 calories; protein 25.6g 51% DV; carbohydratesg; dietary fiberg; sugarsg; fat 1.8g 3% DV; saturated fat 0.5g 3% DV; cholesterol 68mg 23% DV; vitamin a iu 9.4IU; vitamin cmg; folate 7.7mcg 2% DV; calcium 7.9mg 1% DV; iron 0.6mg 3% DV; magnesium 27.3mg 10% DV; potassium 211.9mg 6% DV; sodium 189.4mg 8% DV; thiaminmg 3% DV.

Reviews (2)

Read More Reviews
2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
I used a fresh boneless breast that was 3.8 lbs. We cooked it for 1 1/2 hrs and it came out perfectly. It did have some skin on top. We cooked on a gas grill so we only used about 2 C of apple wood chips. Other than timing we followed brine recipe as written. It came out moist and flavorful. Everyone loved it, including the grand kids. This will certainly be my go to recipe for turkey breast. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This brine is amazing!!!!!!!!! Read More