Smoking Turkey Breasts

Our local grocer had a great buy on some frozen turkey breasts so I thought I would purchase a few and do some smoking.    And I must say they turned out delicious and I learned a little trick that I will be passing on to you.

Stopping at a local grocery store on Monday I purchased three frozen whole turkey breasts (bone-in). I brought them home and placed them in our refrigerator that we have in our garage.

On Wednesday I mixed up the brine.  The brine I used consisted of water, salt, cure, and brown sugar as the main ingredients.  See the picture for all the dry ingredients.

I used a cooler to mix the brine and the turkey breasts.  I did make sure it was clean.

Now that all the ingredients are mixed in the water and and most have dissolved completely, we need to add the turkey breasts to the mixture.  Remember to wash your hands and anything else the raw turkey may touch.

When adding the turkey breasts to the brine mixture I noticed that they were not completely thawed --- but that's OK. Remember the brine is high in salt and we all use salt to melt ice.  In addition to the salt the temperature on the tap water we used was probably around 65 or 70° F  . So that alone will help finish the thaw.

On Thursday we mixed about 12 oz. of honey from a jar with about 24 oz. of brine.  You don't need to be exact just about a two to one ratio will work.  Whatever is left over will be poured back into the brine. So we pumped each side of the breasts with a mixture of honey and brine. See pictures below.

Put them back into the brine solution until Saturday morning.  At this time I removed the breasts from the brine and let soak in plain water for about 15 minutes. This just helps remove some of the excess salt from the outside. Then it's smoke time.

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I used hickory and apple wood for smoking. You can use whatever you prefer.  I got the pit good and hot and then let the fire die down to almost out but there were still plenty of hot embers.

Roll the smoker over the pit and about 4 1/2 hours later  --  165° F  internal temperature.  Your time may vary but just make sure the internal temperature is 165° F.

Remember, keep the temperatures of the smokehouse below 210° F. This makes for a little longer cooking time but remember -- you are smoking the meat.

And now for the tip I promised you - I removed the skin from one of the turkey breast before smoking. This allowed the smoke to penetrate the meat and no noticeable drying out.  Note the one on the right in the picture has the skin removed.

After removing from the smokehouse we placed one the kitchen for about a half an hour.  We then placed in the refrigerator for the night.

I must say, they turned out pretty good.  We removed the bones and passed out to some neighbors who agreed with me -- they were delicious.

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